Friday, October 5, 2007

City Council Meeting

The DE has a more extensive report on Tuesday's council meeting, as far as the inspection fee and conversion grants go. As far as the inspection fee goes, I'm neither a renter, nor a landlord so it doesn't affect me directly. However, having rental properties up to a certain standard does affect the overall quality of life in the 'dale and past experience has show that relying on voluntary standards or good intentions doesn't work.
I know of a restaurant in town that's had the building inspector out three times so far this year because of leakage from its dumpster. Each time, employees have gone out, washed out the dumpster and washed down the pavement. Would they do that without the inspector's warning? Doubtful, since it keeps happening even with the warning. Are they intentionally thumbing their nose at the law? Doubtful as well. They're running a business keeping customers coming through the door is a much higher priority than keeping grease in the dumpster. When they're reminded, they take care of it promptly. That's the purpose of the building inspectors, not to catch people and fine them for the city coffers but to remind landlords there's a certain standard our society has decided they should offer their tenants. Unfortunately, instead of viewing it as an additional level of security for their tenants, the comments I have read from landlords have viewed the fee solely as money coming out of their pockets.

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