Old neighborhoods are deteriorating

Older people remember how old neighborhoods were great places to live. Many are now to the point that they are disgusting eyesores.

What have past and present city councils and mayors done about these problems?

If you really want to know what a city is like, go to the older neighborhoods, like mine.

I’m going to challenge, dare – no, demand – that a member of city council or the mayor come see for himself.

There are two houses very close to mine that, if a council member or mayor were in the alley, they would not walk to the back of either house. Why? For fear of being bitten by a rat or other vermin.

Then, I want them to take a four-square city block tour, including the alleys. You can see such delights as junk in the back yards, junk vehicles, overgrowth of vegetation – all the things you would not want a visitor to our proud city to see are there.

Many properties are rental properties, including Section 8. These seem to be the worst. I say that landlords don’t care, and the city doesn’t have the power it needs to correct these problems.

I’m not condemning all landlords; there are two I know who do care.

Drug dealers, people who use four-letter words you can hear half a block away, and some who live like hogs are taking over. Why do they come to the old neighborhoods? Because the city won’t bother them. The city won’t be demanding these areas get straight and get cleaned up.

The city should give more help to code enforcement. Instead of a paltry $100 fine, make it $500, then keep doubling it. Some people won’t care unless you make them care.

Do I expect a council member or the mayor to do as I ask? No. Why? Because, if you don’t see the problem, you won’t have to do anything about it.

I feel sorry for people who, for decades, have kept their homes and properties looking good in these neighborhoods.

Dennis C. Shore