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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Time to deal with property code violations

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To the editor:

I am in Pat O'Neill's corner and support him in providing the city of Lincoln with a partial list of alleged city code violations of properties located in the city of Lincoln. County board member O'Neill was serving as a messenger while doing this needed job as outlined above.

Shame on city attorney Bill Bates and Courier letter writer Andy Anderson for condemning Pat O'Neill after he provided his very limited list of properties with alleged code violations to the city.

It is never acceptable to condemn the messenger; only the message is open to dialog. City Hall should welcome complaints and concerns from us.

It isn't necessary for anyone to travel very far throughout the city to come upon undesirable-looking property in Lincoln. They are often found in block after block throughout the city, and this problem is getting worse every day.

Undesirable property is costing the city of Lincoln thousands and thousands of dollars in lost real estate tax revenue, while at the same time it is lowering the value of decent neighborhood owners' property, thus costing the city of Lincoln tax revenue from both of the type properties described above. This makes for a loss-loss for the city while permanently lowering local residents' property values. This trend is wrong and it needs corrected at once.

[to top of second column in this letter]

I believe it is time now to make for constructive change in present policy by listing each address of the code violations, while including each of the violations along with each property owner and their phone numbers.

After a reasonable length of time when City Hall sees no progress, we should then publish a working list in all local media outlets and continue to publish these lists every quarter.

I recall that public humiliation worked to collect outstanding city sewerage bills a few years ago. Why not try this same method with the city code violators? There is no room for excuses and failed policies; anything less than results is unacceptable. Insanity is to continue to do things the same way and expect different results. Just ask Dr. Phil.

We must get a grip immediately on this very serious problem that is robbing all of us.

Citizens for Justice, Inc.
Lester C. Van Bibber III

[Posted July 22, 2008]

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