Blighted Properties: Transparency May Help

A little transparency can go a long way toward fixing a problem.

Perhaps shedding a little public knowledge on code compliance in Jamestown will help bring some of the city’s dilapidated homes back up to snuff. Mayor Sam Teresi and Vince DeJoy, city development director, asked the City Council on Monday for permission to purchase a new software program from MyGov for $30,000, with an additional $20,000 a year in annual subscription costs.

With that investment, people can take photos of a house with their smartphones or any computer device with Internet access to submit a photo of a potential problem property. There is an online action center where citizens can submit complaints. It will also be well worth the investment for city residents to see easily the status of a code complaint, whether a house has had multiple complaints and if certain property owners have repeated problems at their properties.

New software won’t magically fix Jamestown’s blighted properties, but it will make valuable data available to the public. The City Council should approve this request.