Last night, I fortified myself with Elector and began answering the questions someone double-bag posted at another location. By answering here rather than there, troglodyte nation has to implicitly admit to reading New Albany's most viewed blog in order to continue their anonymous character assassinations.
I haven't had this much fun since 1966, when code enforcement in New Albany was suspended indefinitely.
3. Why do you tolerate the excuses about the lack of code enforcement?
A better question would be this: Why do any of us tolerate it?
And: Why have so any of us tolerated it for so very, very long?
The absence of code enforcement is a New Albanian civic malady that stretches so far back into the mists of time that it predates virtually all of us. Can any administration in living memory claim to have been pro-active in enforcement? Can any council during the same time span claim to have provided City Hall with the means, both monetary and politically, to pursue meaningful code enforcement?
Larry Kochert accomplished next to nothing during his sad career of grandstanding and ward-heeling, but he leaves us with an axiom that succinctly explains everything we need to know: An ordinance enforced may well become a vote lost. The implications are obvious. All local politicians over a period of decades have been complicit in sabotaging code enforcement, because they must retain the ability to make politically-based exceptions based on their own needs of the moment, rather than entrust a politically-neutral enforcement regime to pursue what is lawful.
They’ve rationalized this by saying to themselves, hmm, codes aren’t really laws in the sense of prioritization, and the slum lord down the streets provides votes, and more than a few New Albanians have tolerated it, so, what the hell. That's politics, right?
Do I think the current England administration is doing the best job it could to promote code enforcement? No.
Is the current city council providing any assistance at all in making code enforcement a front burner issue? No.
It’s institutional, perhaps even genetic, and while none of this absolves City Hall, the worst culprit in all of local political “culture” (as loose a term as one might use) is your beloved Steve Price, whose obscene petulance at the rental property registration meeting last year was just as noteworthy as my own better remembered example at the recent council meeting.
Code enforcement? It’s a two-way street, and now, let’s remember the words of Neil Young: “Why don’t we roll another number for the road?”