We can handle blight effectively

This letter is in response to the front-page article from Monday, March 25. I would like to thank Lucy Chew and Eric Handlin, along with reporter Lisa Trigg, for bringing to light one of this city’s most pressing issues — blight — more specifically, abandoned buildings.

I am running for mayor, and as many people know, especially if they have attended one of my public forums, blight elimination is high on my list of priorities. Abandoned buildings are not only unsightly, but are obstacles to economic development.

However, public safety may be the most pressing issue surrounding abandoned buildings. In the article, Lucy says she fears that someone will start a fire in one of the abandoned homes bordering her property. Her fear is not unfounded. Recently, I sat down with city fire officials who estimated that about half of the fires to which they respond are abandoned buildings. Half.

With regard to both economic development and public safety, we must deal with this issue head on by prioritizing city funds and resources to demolish or force redevelopment of these buildings. Grants and federal aid are also available, and we should pursue those. But in the end, city government needs to increase funding for demolition, and provide more legal and administrative support for the process.

As your mayor, I would develop a streamlined system to address these buildings in an urgent manner. The two-year timeline mentioned in the article by the current administration is unacceptable. Action can be taken much more quickly, especially in the case of buildings that pose an imminent danger to the public. Indiana’s Unsafe Building Code allows a city to tear down a hazardous building immediately and recover the costs of demolition from the property owner.

Sullivan and South Bend are both examples of Indiana cities that are thinking outside the box when it comes to blight elimination. They are proof that it can be done. Their mayors have provided the leadership necessary to make it happen.

If elected, so will I.

If you would like to learn more about my stance on this and other issues, please visit either my website, goodwinforterrehaute.com, or my Facebook page, Goodwin For Mayor of Terre Haute. Additionally, over the next six months I will continue to have forums where we discuss this and other challenges our city faces. Enough excuses. Action, not words.

— Pat Goodwin, Terre Haute

An incompetent in White House

I am one of the people who do not believe Trump should be president. I cannot believe there are still people that think he is almighty. After all the lies, womanizing and corruptions he has told and done, they still believe in him. Do these people have blinders on, or are they just dense?

Although I do think that if he wants to build a wall at the U.S. and Mexico border, let him. If he wants to go trillions of dollars in debt, let him.

But I believe if he does these things, he should pay for the wall out of his own pocket. Or if he wants to go in debt, he can pay it back by himself.

Otherwise, impeach him. He is not competent to be president.

— Bill Simpson, Paris, Illinois

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