Mayoral Candidate Thomas Garmon Announces Operation Facelift

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Thomas Garmon Clean Sweep HattiesburgOperation Face Lift

One of the most valuable organizations we have in this city is the Council of Neighborhoods led by an incredible woman named Maxine Coleman. This organization has organized and created partnerships with local neighborhood associations by bringing them together to discuss neighborhood issues as well as promote events like Night Out Against Crime.  As mayor I will further strengthen this partnership by implanting Operation Face Lift, and execute the program through the Council of Neighborhoods. 

There are a couple of legal processes to deal with dilapidated properties. One legal process is called Demolition by Neglect. The Demolition by Neglect classification is somewhat misleading. Once a property is determined through the legal process to be in violation of municipal code, and Demolition by Neglect status is assigned, the property can then be painted or repaired; and the property can be liened by the city for the cost. It does not involve demolishing the property. That process is done through the condemnation process. If a property is beyond salvage it can be condemned by the city through the legal, condemnation process.

Phase One:

In phase one neighborhood associations will identify vacant and abandoned properties. Once these properties have been identified they will be assessed to determine if they are salvageable. If they are salvageable they will go through the Condemnation by Neglect process. This process gives the city the authority to either paint and repair the home, or hire someone to do the same; then lien the property for the cost.

Once a property is determined to be “Demolition by Neglect” the city will partner with neighborhood associations to paint the houses. The city will supply the materials and the neighborhood associations will supply the volunteers. By partnering with neighborhood associations in the process the city will avoid any increase in payroll or personnel. This will ensure that this process does not grow the size of government while at the same time increase property values.

Once a house is painted, the property will be liened for the cost of the materials as well as fair market value for the volunteer labor cost. Once the house is sold by the owner, the money recovered will go to repay the city for its costs, as well as to compensate the neighborhood associations for their labor time. The neighborhood associations could then use this money to help their neighborhoods even more. This keeps the money right in the communities who participate in the program.

Properties which are determined to be beyond salvageable will be condemned, and the city will utilize controlled burns for firefighter training as well as traditional demolition methods to remove this blight.

Operation Clean Sweep creates a winning solution for the city and the neighborhoods. As a result of the program:

(1)   Government will not grow in size

(2)   Neighborhood blight will decline

(3)   Associations will be compensated

(4)   Property values will rise

(5)   The result will encourage more investment in these communities.

Phase two will move on to income producing (rental) properties.
It is a winning solution for everyone.

Please cast your vote for Thomas Garmon in the May 7th Primary.

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