City council voted recently to reinstate a public-shaming program aimed at irresponsible landlords.
The new law requires the city’s Bureau of Building Inspection to identify the 10 most dilapidated structures and the Department of Public Works to put up signs with the owners’ names, addresses and phone numbers.
Under the “Operation Red” program, the signs will say, “Don’t Come Here. Don’t Invest Here.”
The signs are intended to shame landlords, but some critics predict they will embarrass tenants more. Other critics say the signs may hasten the demise of particular streets or neighborhoods.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Next year Berks County property owners can expect the first county tax increase in eight years: between about 5 and 8 percent.
The amount will depend on negotiations with labor unions that represent county workers, county commissioners said Tuesday during their workshop session.
Budget Director Robert J. Patrizio Jr. said that in a worst-case scenario a 2.5 percent increase in wages would cost the county $3.2 million in 2013. Covering that, plus an expected deficit this year of $9.5 million and cuts in state funding would require an 8 percent increase in taxes, he said.
Property owners currently pay a rate of 6.935 mills, or $693.50 annually on a property assessed at $100,000.
Our mission is to provide and maintain superior municipal services in a safe and controlled community setting, keeping within the designated financial constraints as set forth in our annual budget, in order to attract and retain responsible property owners, businesses and community leaders that will continue to assist in our improvement and growth for the future, while remembering our P.R.I.D.E.
P.R.I.D.E. Core Values
P – Plan - We will accept that change is inevitable, and PLAN accordingly for the future.
R – Responsible - We will manage our financial and human resources in a RESPONSIBLE manner.
I – Interests - We will consider the INTERESTS of the entire community in decision making
D – Deliver - We will strive to DELIVER superior services to the tax and rate payers.
E – Equity - We will treat everyone and every situation with EQUITY and fairness.
Adopted and approved by Pottstown Borough Council October 11, 2011.