The following was sent as a comment to a previous post. I found his presentation compelling and decided to post it as a blog entry. The writer lives on Wildflower Way near the city's Clean Green facility.
"Thought you might be interested in the letter I sent the mayor the day after his "coronation". It is very similar to yours. I don't expect any response or action, just more study groups, steering committees and other useless meetings to defer responsibility away from those who seek to gain or regain political power. Great blog BTW. If I were home more often I would be knocking the door down at city hall.
November 28, 2007
RE: Neighborhood Code Enforcement
Dear Mayor Pike:
Congratulations on your recent election to the office of Mayor. For what it’s worth, my wife and I voted for you based on the endorsement of Brett Bonner for your campaign. To be very honest with you, except for Brett’s endorsement, we really didn’t see much difference in the candidates for the office. We are hoping you give us a reason to vote for your re-election in four years.
Now that you have been elected, we are hoping you “hit the ground running”, particularly on issues concerning the neighborhoods in
Allow me to expand this discussion to code enforcement in general. I recently received a letter from Kent Butenschoen, Department of Public Works, Street Division, City of
The “flyer” that was enclosed in the envelope with the “tree” letter also stated it was the City’s responsibility to keep weeds and vegetation out of the sidewalk. I’m the original homeowner and in the thirteen years of living here, the City has never taken care of weeds and other vegetation in the sidewalk. Either I or my wife does this.
I would also note that my yard and property are meticulously maintained, including the tree in question. Since I travel extensively in my profession, I contract with a yard maintenance company to mow, edge, fertilize as necessary and maintain my yard in a manner which not only enhances my property, but the neighborhood in general.
What is my reward for this? I look across the street, up the street and down the street at the WWU student “boarding houses”. We hear the loud parties, the banging of house and card doors at all hours of the night. We have a very hard time getting in and out of our driveway due to the excessive amount of cars, most parked illegally, around or in front of our driveway. We see the trash strewn about the yards and streets due to trash bins overflowing with party material, beer and booze bottles, beer and soda cans and general debris. We see houses that are not maintained, the structures collapsing in some cases with old unused furniture thrown out the front door. And we see yards not maintained, the weeds and dandelions’ growing and blowing all over the neighborhood.
As bad as the appearance and disturbances are, the real insult is the response we get from the City. Our complaints and requests for code and traffic enforcement fall on deaf ears, but we get letters from the City about a beautiful tree that is harming no one.
So is the taxpayer to assume that when there is an issue that requires action by the owner-occupier of a home, the city will enforce or fine, but where there is an issue that requires action by the city to correct the problem, the city will give us no action or answers? I believe that question deserves an answer Mr. Mayor.
As I said above, welcome to the office of Mayor. But please understand this office is not ceremonial in nature. It is not an office designed to only serve those with political clout in the city. It is, in fact, an office that requires strong leadership by the occupant to ensure the average working, taxpaying citizen in this city is served as well as the wealth, the politically connected or the large student population that we seem to be bending over backwards to cater to.
I look forward to seeing action on these issues and to see the leadership from you I voted for.