ViewPoint: Urban blight is still with us

June 3, 2008

Several months ago, downtown manager Don Buie announced a new plan to crack down on the owners of dilapidated property.

The city hired extra code enforcers to check every downtown property to speed up the clean up or demolition process. We broadcast an editorial in early February praising the plan.

But four months later, we have almost nothing to show for it.

The process is still painfully slow. And after all the tough talk, code enforcers now admit they're not pushing the owners of commercial properties very hard at all.

They have come up with the idea of adopting stricter codes for non-residential property, and they plan to ask commissioners to put those on the books.

They have got to be kidding! There are plenty of codes to enforce already on the books. The process of adopting new codes could take months and months. All the while, nothing happens to improve commercial property in downtown Albany.

We have too many dangerous and blighted buildings in Albany, especially downtown. They attract criminals, hinder development, and hurt property values.

Owners must be forced to clean up their mess or see the buildings meet the wrecking ball.

City of Albany, don't wait on new codes. To us "New Codes" is code for "Do Nothing".

City of Albany, quit doing nothing. The time for action is now.