Opinion

September 23, 2012

Ask your questions Tuesday

Members of the Dalton City Council say the city has a problem. Foreclosed and abandoned buildings dot the landscape, blighting neighborhoods, pushing down the value of nearby properties and taking a bite out of tax rolls.

That’s a problem cities across the country face due to the economic downturn of the past four years, the bursting of the housing bubble and problems with the American financial system.

Council members say they plan to address the problem with more aggressive enforcement of building and zoning codes and the creation of a land bank that will allow the city to acquire foreclosed properties, clean them up and sell them.

But they want to know what residents think before they put that program into action. They’ll be holding a special called meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall. Several speakers will address various parts of the plan. Audience members will get a chance to ask questions and to voice any concerns.

Council members say they are particularly interested in getting input from people in the real estate business but they want anyone to contribute who is interested.

The plan calls for the police department to step up its code enforcement efforts, and we expect some people may have questions about how that will work.

City officials are also looking at creating a land bank authority to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties. Any time government officials talk about creating a new agency voters are sure to have questions about how it will work.

But having questions and asking them are two different things. Council members can’t know what’s on your mind if you don’t speak out. You’ll have that opportunity on Tuesday. Take advantage of it.

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