Anyone who thinks that this blog is devoted to the mere rantings of a disgruntled resident is wrong. This blog represents only the first step in getting this policy changed, because I believe that not only can we change it with minimal impact to our already-high property taxes, but that we must change it for the sake of our property values and for public safety.
We recognize that the current system is not only arbitrary, onerous, and inefficient, but that it produces unsatisfactory results. In light of that, plus the inevitable hardships current policy imposes upon people still struggling to recover from the worst recession in a generation, we believe that the Borough must find a better way.
- To prove to the Borough residents and to Borough Council that a better and more efficient way to improve our pedestrian infrastructure exists.
- That we can pay for this better way with a minimal impact to our existing property tax burdens, and to strike the current ordinance that puts the full burden and liability upon abutting property owners.
- To prove the inefficiency of the current system by comparing the money spent by individual homeowners for patchwork repairs to our sidewalks using a variety of “favored” and fly-by-night contractors, with a single, lowest-bidding contractor system for work on a wholesale, block-by-block basis.
- To prove that a single-contractor system would not only cost less, but that it would also produce sidewalks and curbs built to a higher aesthetic and engineering standard.
- To explore all possible funding sources, including the state’s new Multi-Modal fund, not just property taxes.
- To lobby our representatives in Harrisburg to help fund the spread of more walkable communities.
- To reimburse residents for all work already done this year and/or to provide relief to proven hardship cases. People should not live under the threat of court action, fines, and jail just because they cannot afford to comply.
As always, I welcome your comments and concerns. If you largely agree with what you read here, please forward to your Councilor with your comments.