The Douglas H. Palmer administration plans on presenting a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s housing and inspections system, according to statements made at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, to which every council member but James Coston and Milford Bethea were late.
The administration announcement came after Councilman Coston, seemingly fed up with the council’s year-long delay on new legislation, handed out copies of an ordinance changing the city’s inspection codes.
Beginning a discussion of the ordinance, Council President Paul Pintella said it could not move forward until there was an examination of what the changes would cost the administration and departments involved with housing inspection.
“I’m less concerned with the costs for the administration than the current cost to residents,” replied Mr. Coston. “Slumlords are an issue, and we have yet to address that.”
Currently, a high percentage of Trenton’s housing stock is renter-occupied, with many landlords frequently making maximum profits off their tenants without investing money into the upkeep of the structures.
This process is exacerbated by the fact that housing inspections only take place every five years, instead of annually as Mr. Coston’s revisions would have stipulated.
Mr. Pintella said he wanted to move ahead with an update of the housing code, except he was simply waiting to approve the schedule of meetings for the 2007-2008 City Council year.
The validity of this excuse has yet to have been established by Trenton Makes logic scientists.
According to Mr. Coston’s Web site, Mr. Coston had presented this revision to the City Council before, during the WINTER of 2006. The administration then said they would put together the comprehensive overhaul of the inspections department that they have now promised again during June 19’s meeting.
Apparently the presentation has been ready, and Council President Pintella simply needed to schedule it, Mr. Coston’s Web site said.
It has taken this additional amount of time to perform the simple task of scheduling the presentation.
This creates a situation where it has taken a good portion of an entire YEAR for the City Council and the Palmer administration to come up with legislation that Mr. Coston came up with, by himself, many months ago.
Ending the discussion, Chief of Staff Renee Haynes told the Council that the administration would present their plans during the July City Council meeting.
In between Mr. Coston’s first introduction of his revisions to the inspection code, and the July 2007 meeting of City Council at which the presentation will take place, numerous properties have probably been damaged or destroyed because the greed of slum landlords operating within the city of Trenton.