Readers’ Opinions, 2-26-2014

Leaving Meriden

Editor:

The 2-23, R-J article about a downtown landlord and a city councilor bemoaning the cost of apartment inspections leads me to believe this is really the time to leave Meriden.

I cannot possibly even imagine the remote possibility of anything good coming out of this. Anyone who lives in the inner-city (I do, and this downtown landlord does not) knows our major problem with blight evolves from the increasing rate of absentee landlords across our city who reside as far away as Idaho. If we do not keep irresponsible landlords in check, who allow irresponsible tenants go unchecked (except for the rent money)? Then, we are truly destined to go downhill rapidly.

Working with the neighborhood associations for all those years, I have personally witnessed the actions of the housing division as they have been an integral part of reversing blight in our city through partnerships with the community police officers and the neighborhoods. They have done an exceptional job and, unfortunately, have traveled under the radar. If there is one bright spot in this situation it is increased attention to the Housing Court of Meriden, which seems to be a rubber stamp for tenants’ rights. There needs to be an overhaul of the Housing Court system that approaches each individual case with a blind perspective to the issues; if the tenant is causing the problems, they must be held accountable — likewise, the same for the landlord. I am truly disappointed in the city councilor who participated in this issue as he does indeed live in the inner city. Does he expect his street will get better if there are no housing inspections? It really sounds like he has lost touch with reality. Can you imagine the downtown area being flooded with affordable housing and no housing inspections? I can!

Dave Swedock, Meriden

Yale Acres

Editor:

My question to Meriden City Council is this:

If Yale Acres can have a community center for only 160-plus units, why can’t Diamond Hill in South Meriden have one there with over 250 homes? (And, for that matter, there many places in Meriden that have many more homes than Yale Acres.) The proposal states that it will not cost the city anything. Will the YMCA run it for free, with no cost to taxpayers? That’s hard to believe.

Richard Gill, Meriden



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