A letter to the editor: The Daily Times
E: “Slum of Week tensions mount,” May 26
It’s past time for Mayor Jim Ireton to end the “Slum Property” nonsense and find a more effective way to deal with code compliance for rental properties in Salisbury.
Besides presenting a less-than-desirable image to visitors (potential residents and/or business relocations?) on the city’s website, there is no indication using a bludgeon rather than a “carrot and stick” approach is remotely effective.
I suggest Ireton make an overture to Salisbury Property Owners Association, asking to reinstate a program that was in place a few years ago: The city administration would notify SAPOA leadership of problems with specific properties. A committee of SAPOA members would approach the owner(s) of the subject property and attempt to get the problem resolved for the good of the city and the rental community.
More often than not, the problem was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Peer pressure can be a powerful incentive. It may not have created the level of drama some seem to desire, but it was effective. It also retains the bludgeon approach as an option for cases that were unsuccessful.
At the recent City Council meeting, we saw representatives of property owners practically begging for a cooperative effort at equitable code enforcement. The administration needs to reach out to those who are willing and able to help. They may be amazed at what a bit of quiet diplomacy can accomplish.
Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in rentals. I do not now nor have I ever owned any property other than the one occupied by me and my family.