My topic this week is about the city’s lack of communication with the public.
Public concern has been growing as to how the city is treating the crisis concerning the trailer park residents. Several weeks later and many stories in the paper, the city finally decided to break silence and brief the public.
The city claims they didn’t cause the problem, but the city sure compounded the problem by allowing the water bill debt to go on for five years and ignoring the many red flags such as bankruptcy and failure to pay property taxes on the part of the owner. The excuse of why the city allowed the water debt to accumulate was that it was a humanitarian situation. Where is that same concern now that the tenants only have three months to move?
It is simply unbelievable allowing the water bill debt to roll over constantly to the property taxes that have been delinquent for years and the owner is in bankruptcy.
The trailer park situation is soon to get out of control as the August deadline approaches. People are starting to dismantle and abandon their trailers leaving the city with a big eye sore at one of the main thoroughfares coming into town. One of the commissioners already stated that the city will have the obligation of clearing the land, which should be no surprise to the taxpayer. I certainly hope the city addresses the situation sooner rather than later and not allow the stripped trailers to exist for any length of time.
The city claims that code enforcement does not have jurisdiction over the trailer parks because of the change in state law, so how was the public to know this information since it wasn’t discussed at the commission table until just recently. Another agency should never have total control over the city’s right to inspect for code enforcement at any trailer park.
Once the bypass is finished, I expect the land around the area will become valuable and ripe for development; there could already be a developer just waiting to grab up the land. Could the city be positioning itself? Either the land will be auctioned off or it will fall into the land bank and the taxes will be forgiven. There is another piece of property across the street which has already been sold off. Could there be more going on then the city is willing to share with us?
Until next week, the public cannot begin to understand what the city is doing to solve a crisis if it doesn’t share information. It is not good management to wait until things are out of control before trying to explain the matter to the public. Why should the public stay informed? The taxpayer is head of the organization chart something I think the city fails to understand. The city should not keep us out of the loop when tax dollars have to be spent trying to remedy the crisis.