The following email arrived today as a comment on my blog entry regarding the article by Council At-large member Louise Bjornson which appeared in the Herald on January 27th, 2008. Click here to read my comments on that article.
Do you have any suggestions what we might do to support Louise Bjornson in her efforts to get our city government to pay attention to how important it is to preserve our single-family neighborhoods?
You bet! This email provides me with an excellent opportunity to remind my readers of some simple actions they can take to demonstrate support for those in our government who recognize the problems created in our neighborhoods by illegal rooming houses. There are some in the city government who claim that there are no problems because they say they receive few complaints. You have to prove them wrong. Consider the impact if everyone in your neighborhood does the following:
- Write to the Mayor at
- Write to the Council Members at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you support enforcement of the codes and that you want them to approve the hiring of more enforcement officers.
- Write to the Neighborhood Services Coordinator, Linda Stewart, at
- Write to the search committee for WWU president at Presidential.Search@wwu.edu. Tell the search committee that the next president cannot ignore of the effect of the 8,000 off-campus students from the university on the community. Tell them it is time for the new president to build student housing (lots of it) and to sanction off-campus misbehavior of WWU students. Tell them that the new president has to do something for the community before WWU gets a seat at the table at the waterfront.
- Write letters to the editors of the Bellingham Herald at
- Attend your neighborhood association meetings and voice your concerns.
- File a complaint with the Permit Office of the Planning Department on the illegal rooming houses in your neighborhood. Click here to retrieve the form. Tell your neighbors to do the same. Ten complaints on the same illegal rooming house will wake up the Planning Director. Send a copy of your complaint to the Mayor, the City Council and Linda Stewart at City Hall.
- Help clean up your neighborhood by reporting litter violations to the city's litter control officer, Darren Sandstrom at 676-6859. Eliminate those parking problems (it is against the law to park on the sidewalk or to park on the roadway facing the wrong direction) by calling 676-6911 and asking for a parking control official to ticket such violators. Call every day if you have to. If a car appears to be abandoned, call 676-6920 and ask for the vehicle to be tagged and towed (for additional info click here)
- And lastly, for those loud parties or disturbances from illegal rooming houses, continue to call 911 (ask your neighbors to call at the same time) and ask for a follow up call from a police officer.Your letters do not have to be original. Borrow language from my blog if you wish. Plagiarize to beat the band! Tell your friends to read my blog and then ask them to take action. You are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of your home.
*With thanks to Georges Jacques Danton.