It’s great speaking to people one-by-one, door-to-door. But, what’s even better is when you happen upon two or more neighbors together enjoying the evening outdoors. Often their kids are out playing in the yard together, or maybe they’re taking a walk on a beautiful early fall evening (like tonight). This is a great way to get an even better feel for what’s happening in the neighborhood, and of course, get a better sense on how I can be helpful. It’s a meeting of the minds in the best way. Everyone has the intention of making their neighborhood a little bit safer and nicer. Sometimes you learn about the traffic issues, or maybe a property that’s in transition – which can cause a little concern. We’re all invested in our neighborhood, and its overall quality. If a property a few house down, or across the street, is not being kept up to snuff – it will hurt your own property value, no matter how well you maintain yours. This is one of the reasons I’m such a proponent of the city’s code enforcement responsibilities. We have a health department, a building department, and a fire department (responsible for addressing unregistered vehicles and more) for this very reason. Yes, they issue permits for a variety of projects, ensuring they are done correctly. However, much of their work includes getting in front of problem properties before they spiral out of control, becoming a blight, and ultimately, a safety hazard. Our city’s housing stock is a reflection upon who we are as community. As a city, to protect our collective investments, we must do whatever we can to support those who are investing in their own properties.