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Neighborhood Blight Will Destroy A Community

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BILL'S POINT OF VIEW:

By Bill Cleary

This will be the third year I have written about this property located at the corner of Lane and Thompson Avenues, Gloucester City. As you can see from the most recent P1050087 photo (s) taken on August 27th  the bushes/weeds are so overgrown they extend over the sidewalk blocking pedestrian traffic. 

Because of the condition of the property I complained on August 20 to Third Ward Council members Jay Brophy and Kellie Ferry, who live just a stone’s throw away from it. I mentioned to them about the landlord having a history of not cutting the grass and further stated I was upset that someone had to complain each year before the City took action against this landlord.

Most people in our community take pride in their property and get upset like I do when there is a property that is unkempt.

Definition of blight from the Urban Dictionary-The feeling, when walking through a part of town, that this neighborhood has seen better days. The decline of a part of the city from thriving neighborhood to encroaching ghettodom.  The first signs of blight are poorly kept properties, damaged building facades and an increasing number of "for sale" signs.

There are indications in certain sections of Gloucester City where blight has already taken over some neighborhoods. If you go back and look the deterioration began with just one property.

From my June 8, 2008 Cheer and Jeer column

As I walk pass the corner of East Thompson and Lane Avenues recently I noticed the two landlords who own rental properties on either side of the street have allowed the weeds and trash to overrun their properties once again. Last year I took a photo of one of the rentals and a month later the grass got cut. The bushes are so tall they block the view of oncoming traffic at the intersection. To reiterate my plea from last summer I urge our City Fathers to put stricter fines on landlords who don't maintain their properties. If they don't cut the grass/weeds/bushes/ and clean up the debris let the City workers do it and add the cost to the landlord's taxes. Properties such as these devalue the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. To report maintenance violations or unlicensed vehicles on properties call the Housing Office at 456-7689.   Or call the City Clerk's office 456-0205. Let's work together starting with our own properties to "Enhance the City's Image".

TIP- I received an E-mail from one of my roving reporters about the position of Gloucester City Sanitation Officer being posted on the NJ Civil Service website. If you recall the job was announced on August 13 on the City website. And after some digging around we learned that Jim Rauchet, president of the local Democrat Club was hired for the 19 hour a week job.

Because the title comes under Civil Service all are eligible to file an application. The opening date was August 27 and the closing date is September 17. You must hand deliver your application to Civil Service in Trenton.

Job Description:

Under direction, conducts inspections and investigations to enforce codes, ordinances, and other standards related to collection and

disposal of refuse and litter; does related work as required.

Examples of Work:

Walks or rides in a vehicle to visually examine the placement,

containment, separation, and condition of refuse.

Visually examines the condition of refuse to detect deviation from

standards contained in ordinances or codes for refuse and litter.

Notes improper or failure to pick up refuse and other conditions and records and reports information. Etc.

For more information http://info.csc.state.nj.us/Vats/JobView.aspx

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