|Remember this garage?|
Several months ago, city officials had spoken both privately and at Councilmember Hofstede's 3rd Ward CARE meetings about the prospect of creating a "Slumlord Hall of Shame" on the Minneapolis city website. Even though the plan was discussed openly, northside bloggers held off on announcing anything prematurely due to the fact that the city attorney's office and others were reviewing exactly what kind of content would be there.
Well, the link is live now.
In all honesty, this so far seems too dry. I was hoping for something closer to the Allentown, PA website, which goes right to the point and calls it a Hall of Shame. In one instance, the Allentown mayor took a sledgehammer to a slumlord's building as part of a ceremonial start to the demolition process. Their website shows the dilapidated buildings of slumlords and also posts pictures of the ritzy houses where they either live or receive mail.
Here's what Mayor Pawlowski said about a recent inductee: “Mr. Miller is not being a good neighbor nor is he meeting his financial obligations to the city,” said Pawlowski. “At last check, he owes water and sewer bills on three properties in the city totaling more than $32,000. He owes more than $4,000 in fines for code violation cases. He owes more than $1600 in SWEEP violations on his three properties. He does not have an active rental license.”
It sure would be nice if our mayor went on record and publicly shamed slumlords who were costing our city over $35,000 in unpaid fines. Northside bloggers could focus our efforts on other things then. But this site for Minneapolis is a good beginning. For one thing, it starts to come up with empirical, standardized ways to classify someone as a slumlord. Hopefully its features are expanded, and that one day we'll be able to search the city database using property owner names as criteria.