Log in

Lending a helping hand

‘Code Busters’ named Goodyear citizens of the year

Posted 2/28/23

The city of Goodyear has split its 2022 citizen of the year award between two men who are hitting the streets, ‘busting’ code violations wherever they go.

Brothers-in-law Tim Kelly and …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor
Lending a helping hand

‘Code Busters’ named Goodyear citizens of the year


The city of Goodyear has split its 2022 citizen of the year award between two men who are hitting the streets, ‘busting’ code violations wherever they go.

Brothers-in-law Tim Kelly and Larry Olguin the Code Busters, a program through Compass Church that provides assistance to residents who find themselves in violation of a Goodyear city code. 

Common city code violations include “uncontrolled vegetation” such as overgrown bushes or trees obstructing the sidewalk or blocking the view of traffic. Yards containing debris or weeds taller than six feet are also considered in violation of the Goodyear city code, which could result in legal penalties if not addressed.

Usually, a code violation can be quickly rectified. But for some, such as elderly or disabled people, it can be impossible to address a violation on their own.

Enter the Code Busters.

When Kelly and Olguin get word of a code violation, they start by meeting that person at their home, explaining what they do, and making a plan to get the yard back into compliance.

With the property owner’s permission, the Code Busters assemble their crew of volunteers to fix the violation, whether that means removing debris, trimming back trees or picking weeds.

The program is through Compass Church and had been around for some time, but was revived when Kelly and Olguin joined the church in 2018. It was then the men reestablished contact between the church and the city of Goodyear’s code compliance division.

Now, the men lead a team of just six Compass parishioners who spend their free time cleaning up trash or pulling weeds for people who cannot do it themselves.

“We’re not a lawn service,” Kelly said. “We’re looking for people that need help, that can’t afford it or can’t physically do it for themselves.”

He added that the vast majority of  Goodyear residents who get a warning address the problem themselves. “But there’s a population that can’t do that,” Kelly said.

Both the men stressed that the Code Buster's program couldn't do what they do without the continual support of their church, which provides the team the tools they need to help others, and acts as a go-between for the Code Busters volunteers and the city of Goodyear, which is often how  Kelly and Olguin get their leads. 

“They really want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a tangible way to help meet people's needs,” said Scott Williams, the community life pastor at Compass Church. “And I just so appreciate these two guys.”

Sometimes, it's the residents themselves who reach out to Kelly and Olguin. The men have traveled even outside city limits to provide assistance.

During an interview with the Independent, Kelly and Olguin were in the process of assisting an elderly man whose palm tree began blocking an alleyway.

Both Kelly and Olguin say that residents are always extremely grateful for the help. “You go, and you talk to them, and you can just see how relieved they are” for the help, Olguin said. 

Code Busters is a relatively unique program, at least in the Valley, and that’s something Kelly and Olguin would like to see change. They now have their sites set on other Southwest Valley cities.

They've begun making connections with the city of Buckeye, and are open to expanding further, but they need more volunteers for that.

And they're hoping to see people in more churches, or companies or community groups  Valleywide start their own Code Buster-style organization

"We'd be willing to share our experiences and the process with any church that feels like they'd want to start something like this throughout the valley," Olguin said.  

If you are in need of assistance or would like to support the work of the Code Busters, please reach out to Compass Church in Goodyear at office@compasschurchaz.com or call 623-935-3060.