1. Everyone who needs affordable housing can get it. This is critical to building healthy neighborhoods, and a healthy city.
2. We’d love to see the city reduce its marketing efforts to other states/cities, and spend that money here at home, on the residents who pay the taxes to keep the city going.
3. Restrict the use of city/state tax credits and other homeownership programs to people who are actually going to live in the homes and become residents of the city. Yes, we know some restrictions exist, but they’re not being enforced.
4. Restrict the time limit on renovating an abandoned property. Buying a property and letting it deteriorate for a year or more does nothing to improve the surrounding community.
5. We wish the city would realize that it has a largely untapped potential to create wealth in other parts of the city besides Harbor East. We love Harbor East, but this is a big city, and other communities have just as much potential for growth and sustainability.
6. Urban renewal plans are critical to the development of marginal communities, yet they’re rarely followed and enforced across the board. Before the city approves business licenses, that comunity’s URP should be consulted and followed, reducing the number of unwelcome businesses.
7. The penalties for renovating without a permit, and the use of unlicensed contractors should be harsh enough to dissuade speculators from circumventing the law.
8. Condemned properties should not be re-sold to yet another speculator unless strict regulations are met and followed. Perhaps they should be torn down and turned into community green spaces.
9. Every taxpayer should know where his or her money is going, especially money collected for property taxes. A business wouldn’t continue to throw money at a failing venture, and why should city residents have to do the same? City residents deserve to see results, and how their hard-earned money is being spent.
10. Every community has the opportunity to become healthy and economically stable, in a way that is sustainable and meaningful to all of its residents, not just a select few.