Not abandoning the solution

Blighted and abandoned properties are a big problem for Bremerton and they have been for a long, long time.

The worst of the worst properties have more often than not become a constant living nightmare for the residents around them.

Left as they are, these properties suck a certain quality of life right out of a neighborhood.

Typical recommended solutions such as calls to police, calls to code enforcement and pleas to elected leadership have typically only scratched the surface of solving the problem for the long term nor have they really been effective in breaking up the repetitive cycle of abuse.

Currently the Bremerton City Council has before them a proposal that looks to improve the city’s ability to hold those responsible to a firm, documented standard of safety and maintenance.

These properties are a documented drain on taxpayer funded resources.

They are boarded up, crime ridden, vandalized hazards that invite even more abuse like attractive beacons to those who disregard the law.

In the coming weeks, forward movement on the plan to deal with blighted and abandoned properties will continue from the critical discussions which occurred during the joint planning session between the City Council and city leadership that was held on March 23.

I attended that meeting. I was extremely happy to see that this issue had become such a priority for 2013.

Councilman Eric Younger was the one that raised the importance of this topic last year during the council retreat.

I was slightly discouraged when I did not see much movement on this issue from the rest of the city council for most of 2012.

A critical change in the leadership of our Police department, combined with the very clear message that has been directed to and heard by the department of community development from battle weary residents of this city who have been demanding some real solutions and you have a current situation where across the board support looks to net this community some enforceable, visible action.

Important details about the plan will be forthcoming as this issue works its way through the council discussion and decision making process which will include public comment opportunities.

I suspect that there will be some push back from the banking and investment community as compliance will affect their financial bottom line.

However, the residents of this community have reached the bottom line of their tolerance for apathetic, marginal responses from so called financial community partners when it comes to well known, problem blighted properties in their neighborhood and community.

Time to step up the commitment and be a part of the solution.


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