Rental ordinance up for vote

Although I’m having loads of fun working on the parks series, I have missed talking about public policy and revitalization issues. Actually, I have REALLY missed it. I should be able to get back into the mix a bit more because Rosemary Keane will be leading the way through the parks for the next couple weeks. Below is a copy of a comment sent a few minutes ago to the Mercury regarding their article on the new rental regulation ordinance coming before Council on Tuesday night. Personally, it’s hard for me to be on the outside of all this. Pottstown has so much potential, and I believe it is on its way to seeing better days, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

Has anyone – other than Council, I presume – seen the new ordinance? Is it on the Borough’s website? Don’t you all have mandated notice provisions that would let people see a proposed ordinance 2-4 weeks before it’s voted on? Even if it’s not required by law, it seems like that would be a good practice to put into effect.

When this issue came up this summer, I advocated looking at the existing rules to see if they could simply be enforced, rather than introducing new regs, since everyone acknowledges that enforcement is at the heart of the problems. Will this new ordinance come with a re-vamped, rapid response enforcement system that is administratively tight?

I have heard buzz about the new ordinance and the landlord threats to sue the Borough en masse. On the flip side, property owners are threatening to sue other property owners. Again, PROCESS MATTERS. Why was there not a public process before getting this to a vote? Where is the leadership to bring people to the table to solve their own mutual problems? Each side knows what the stumbling blocks are on their end. Why can’t they face each other across a table in Borough Hall and come to some mutual solution? Why does it seem that people are afraid to talk to each other or that they are cut out of the problem-solving by their own government?

This is symptomatic of what the ULI report noted as a major hindrance to change – people not working together. There has to be a new way of doing things. Now. Or you will never get over the major hurdles in front of you.


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