Before I took office myself and many others argued against the adoption of a Property Maintenance Ordinance, PMO, stating that “we already have laws on the books” to address the most egregious of situations. Turns out we were correct and those laws have been around since the 1990’s.
In the future, before spending precious resources creating new laws, lets know what laws already exist and if need be enforce what we’ve already got on the books. But let’s also revisit those laws from time to time to make sure they are still needed, relevant and most important, just and equitable.
With regard to the code that already exists to address blight and unsafe building conditions in our community, before we use these existing tools, let’s go through the code to ensure that they are not overly broad and that the problems they intend to solve can be solved, but also that our residents individual rights are protected. As written now, a building inspector has more authority than a police officer, not even requiring a warrant to enter your property. Potentially infringing upon on one persons rights simply because you “suspect” or perceive a property to be unsafe or unsightly is a dangerous road to go down.
I’m committed to addressing the most serious of cases but lets make sure to preserve the rights of those individuals that are being targeted or else someday, you may be on the receiving end of a government officials discretion or perhaps worse, someone else’s mission, political quest or cause.
Councilman Jeff Oravits