The Squatters Next Door !

     What do you do when squatters live in the abandoned house next door, bust out all the windows, steal the copper pipes, smoke crack, bring in whores, turn your life into a living hell ?

                   

     If you’re citizen Karen Doyle, of Croissant Park, you get mad as hell and decide you’re not going to take it anymore!

     Karen has gone from being totally frustrated with the situation just next door to her, to being cautiously optimistic.

     When she first started calling the City about the mess next door , she got the standard government run-around! The Police could come and arrest the squatters, and they did, but they couldn’t take their possessions! Code could site the property, but had no resources to board it up. The Fire Marshall could check it for dangerous conditions, but not do this, or that, the lawyers had to be consulted, on and on and on.

                                      

     Now, all that finger pointing seems to have stopped!


                 

     The City is on it, together!

     Somewhere along the line, some City Employees got frustrated with the City run-around themselves! They realized everyone was chasing their tails.

     Doyle’s problem is being replicated all over the City. One of the City’s abandoned homes, 715 NE 15th Ave, had been visited 58 times by different City Departments, another, at 740 NW4th Ave, 49 times. The City says there may be 1000 of these abandoned properties in the City, and 380 of them have already had City attention. 

     So now, a passionate group of City employees are proposing new procedures – so that all the departments will talk to each other, assist each other, maybe even  solve the problem!  

    They are calling the program the SRT ( Strategic Response Team) and Monday is the big meeting, All the participating departments are attending!  FLPD Det. Maura seems to be one of the key organizers of this new effort, Assistant City Managers will be there, even Commissioner Romney Rogers is getting involved. 

     Karen Doyle says she will probably be the only “citizen” attending the meeting, with the 15 City employees from many different departments. She feels a little out of place, but is seeing this effort through.

     Looks like one citizen can make a difference!