It’s not something I could have said four years ago.
Today, we can.
Ninety-nine percent of questions I receive about code enforcement are from residents who are concerned about particular properties that present the risk of negatively impacting the property values of surrounding properties – and risk negatively impacting their own important investment – their home. For so many of us, it’s our largest investment. As a city, we must strive to help protect our residents’ investments in Pittsfield. So many of us have purchased a home here, and long ago lost track of all the dollars we continue to spend over the years to enhance and maintain that investment.
Make no mistake, these challenges with problem properties are present in all types of neighborhoods in Ward 6 and throughout the city.
When questions arise about what the city can do to address problem properties, I can now tell constituents that we have a better system in place. It was a long process in the making, with countless hours discussing and debating at council meetings. But for our residents, it was more than worth it.
Pittsfield’s ultimate acceptance of these tools provided by the state to enhance communication on non-owner occupied properties, and to give the city more leverage for addressing problem properties, enables our staff to halt a downward spiral before it becomes unmanageable.
I’ll be following-up with our inspectors on the status of two properties that are causing a very legitimate concern for several residents in an upper-middle class neighborhood in Ward 6 I visited today. These are both non-owner occupied, so with our registration system the responsible parties are just a phone call away if there are any outstanding violations.
Today, we have more tools than ever to follow-through and address issues earlier. It helps encourage positive energy in our neighborhoods, and more simply, it protects our residents’ investments in Pittsfield.