Enforce the present laws

Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 10:30 p.m.
On Friday, Jan. 20, The Gainesville Sun reported that a joint meeting of the city's Public Safety and Community Development committees considered limiting the number of rentals in single-family neighborhoods to address the growing problems in our neighborhoods. While that option was briefly discussed, it was largely dismissed. Actually, there was a great deal of consensus at the meeting - virtually everyone agreed that the city has a major enforcement problem. We have strong laws already to protect neighborhoods. We're just not using them.
I would encourage all citizens who care about single-family neighborhoods to contact their commissioners and say, "Just do it." Tell them, "You've got the rules - please enforce them."
That means more code enforcement officers, more resources for code enforcement, and a crackdown on the landlords who chronically fail to obey the law. Right now, we have a law to revoke landlord licenses for six months when too many code violations have been committed, but we've never actually enforced it.
It's simple really - the city does not need to make new rules. It just needs to do its job. Tell 'em to "just do it."
Jimmy Harnsberger, Gainesville

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