Perhaps a Two Front Battle?
I originally posted this on the Tribune forum but elected to put it up here also to get more coverage.
OK the truth is I don't have two topics a day in my repertoire. So fire me already!
Many of us have for over a year struggled with the code enfoercement issue, or the lack thereof with very minor sucess.
Should we give up or should we perhaps get equally aggressive with another important aspect of the battle while we continue the first? Should we wage a two front offense?
Consider the following;
There are over 7,000 residences in the inner New Albany area. One very smart fellow told me there were as many as 3,000 substandard units. We know there is about 60% rental properties.
So while code enforcement might be able to address the most egregious of violations, how long do you think it will take a superman Building Commissioner, who never sleeps, to address even a fraction of these effectively? (New Albany Building Commissioner's office is another understaffed and underfunded entity by the way.) If he successfully corrected two or three every month (no easy task), that would be about 1% of the estimated problem in a year.
Code enforcement is needed for sure, but it is not the only answer and perhaps not the best answer.
Nor is city government that is unwilling to stick its neck out gonna be an answer any time soon.
Cops don't stop speeding, traffic design does.
Code enforcement won't stop slumlords, but higher property values will. We need plans that bring investment and demand to downtown New Albany.
That's where the neighborhoods and opinion leaders should be putting some of their energy.
The slumlords are laughing that everyone is struggling to pursue a solution that will only take care of 1% of the problem.
Strike any bells?