I gave up on public pronouncements of New Year’s resolutions when one year a relative reminded me, “You said the same thing last year.” Therefore from that year forward I never gave anyone a clue as to what goals I was targeting for the upcoming year. I continue to maintain that silence and since that time my resolutions have not been tied to a calendar year.
That said, there are times when publicly it would be nice if there were resolutions or goals set by our elected representatives empowering citizens to make decisions regarding their community.
Democratization of the community development process – Allocating funds for local projects including: housing, code enforcement and capital improvements, demolition, economic development and more as they pertain to an individual neighborhood.
Reduce the size of Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today aka TNT -All sectors should be within walking distance of area residents. In a city this size if you have to drive two miles to get to your neighborhood meeting then it no longer resembles a neighborhood.
Can you hear me now? City representatives should be available at these meetings to respond to resident’s concerns. Responses to individual issues need to be documented in writing. How many times have you attended a meeting only to leave with a hat full of promises with no tangible documentation to confirm the issue was ever discussed? Have an agenda and keep minutes that residents can access.
User Friendly Code Enforcement – When a residential building’s overflowing garbage-can-clutter sits there week after week without action then there’s something wrong with the system. We’ve witnessed roach infestation in a house on School Street so bad that bugs marched 60 feet to escape poison. On trash day roaches were even seen scurrying from the resident’s trash.
Code Enforcement should report to the neighborhood clusters so that people can have a voice in their community. We in the neighborhoods see the issues those in Code Enforcement at times don’t see or seem to care about. Today, a Code Enforcement employee can and will tell investors who called them. Disclosing information regarding who lodged a complaint should be punishable by losing your job.
The last time I called Code Enforcement my property was vandalized. The property next door had hundreds of violations and the State Supreme Court made the investor clean it up. In response to my property being vandalized the investor said, “Take me to small claims court.”
Well, you don’t have to worry about me calling “codes” again. If you want to be spoken to like you are trash, feel like you’ve interrupted someone’s day, call City of Syracuse Code Enforcement.
But just like our personal resolutions, time gets away from us and the next thing you know it’s the next year. During this time of transition in Syracuse let’s hope that someone’s considering a resolution to make living in all Syracuse neighborhoods just a little bit better.