Webster, Massachusetts: Shame Property Owners into Fixing Their Homes!

Filed in Gather News Channel by on March 1, 2011 0 Comments

Webster, Massachusetts has a new way to get people to clean up: shame the property owners and get results. Seems a little drastic, but what other choice do they have?

The health board in Webster approved a plan to shame the owners of rundown property throughout the city. Basically, the city will go around putting up 4-foot-by-8-foot signs on the sides of rundown buildings with the name, address, and phone number of the property owner.

In a rather ironic twist, some of these property owners include banks. They also have not returned calls, to fix up various properties within the city; so they, too, will be shamed. For once, it’s nice to see the big banks not being exempt from something!

Selectman Mark Dowgiewicz is the one who brought the idea to the city’s attention. Dowgiewicz had heard that a large amount of money–up to $9,000 per year–is spent on police who are dispatched to the rundown homes, which often are a prime target for vandals.

Is shaming the owners a good idea? Maybe, instead of shaming them, the city could just send the bill for the police responses to the owner, instead. That may be more likely, to garner a response than shaming the owners, don’t you think?

Photo Source: WHDH

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