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Everett Verner

1213 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Rebecca Williams , Everett Verner , Debbie Blankenship 1213 days ago
Policy and Legal Solutions to Combat Blight
Rebecca W Community Land Trusts
  • Community Land Trusts 
  •  Existing in Macon?
Everett V
  • East Side Land Trust - Ocmulgee National Park & Preserve
Rebecca W
  • Where would they go? You must own all the land in the trust
  • Village Green?
Habitat for Humanity: more collaborations on neighborhood redevelopment 
  • Looking to College Hill as an example 
Debbie B Need for merger of existing government and quasi-government agencies with similar goals? Can County Commission look at funding one all-encompassing group instead of multiple smaller groups?
Rebecca W Partnerships as policy?
Mayor/Mercer/Housing Authority 
2 Neighborhoods getting all the attention on different models
  • Lynmore aka Peach Orchard 
  • Beall's Hill 
Banks are investing in NewTown (see: http://www.newtownmacon.com/about/board/)
Chat later? Policies to prevent displacement? 
Everett V Partnership is asset management. 
Rebecca W Advocating at the State Level
State Policy -- making sure $ goes to housing and not just economic development 
Example, Hardest Hit Funds, 
Look to what Michigan did w/ their Hardest Hit Funds. 
Planning Policies
Rebecca W
  • Business Improvement Districts 
  • Smart Growth 
Policies for Commercial Blight?
  • Apply Residential Code Enforcement rules locally 
Accountability for Repeat Blight Offenders
  • Letter writing campaign of shame?
Debbie B
  • Media partnership to frequently publish names/pictures of property owners with blighted property similar to Cuffed.
Rebecca W Open [Code Enforcement] Data Policy 
Debbie B
  • Searchable database of open code enforcement cases using public information.
Rebecca W
Debbie B
  • Get raw property ownership data and search for patterns of ownership.
  • Want help email: local@sunlightfoundation.com 
1213 days ago
angai@sunlightfoundation.com Blight Remediation Task Force and Coalition for Macon
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  1. Dianne Fuller (dfuller@dfullercenter.org): creating a listserv based on emails/participants/attendees
  1. FaceBook/Twitter Group (Josephine Bennett jbennett@gpb.org) 
  1. CCJ/Andrew will invite everyone to a meeting about Groundsource 
  1. Flush out this notes!
Everett V Unrepresented Organizations:
Macon Housing Authority/InFill Inc.
Rebuilding Macon
City/County Tech department
angai@sunlightfoundation.com Keep Macon/Bibb County Beautiful 
Neighborhood watches- how to find the active ones (Judy Gordon) 
Neighborhood Association (Judy Gordon) 
Debbie B Mary Alice Morgan, Mercer service learning: https://community.mercer.edu/service/
Everett V How do we use a map as an asset?
Other places with large blight problems see blight problems in the urban core as well as unincorporated county regions. The people are spread out. 
Shutting down services to extraneous neighborhoods to save money via services in the long run.
Sins of the past; road projects that physically split neighborhoods apart. i.e. East Macon's Jeffersonville Hwy, and Pleasant Hill's I-75/I-16 creation.
East Macon (Shirley Hills/ N. Highlands) is using an app called Next Door
angai@sunlightfoundation.com Have we identified all the neighborhood watch organizations (Judy Gordon with the sheriff's office is the person to get in touch with on this. She deals with Citizens on Patrol and Neighborhood Watch groups). 
Lots of questions about Andrew/Groundsource engaging with the community to help map locally. 
What Data do we have in Macon?? 
Debbie B
  • Code enforcement datasets (?) 
Debbie B
  • Demolition orders (On old website that showed where orders had been signed and where the structures were in the process of being torn down).
  • CfA- Homestats (code status) 
Everett V
  • Neighborhood websites 
What other data might exist/City Agencies could have that's helpful? 
  • IT Dept 
  • Business licensing Data 
  • New website: allows city to rate structures (Historic Macon's A-F grades). Inspectors are filling in that data 
  • data is not yet online (John Baker) 
Mike S
  • Census data (vacancies, home ownership, population changes from earlier years) - mstucka@macon.com
angai@sunlightfoundation.com How can we use housing data
  • Overlay data with crime stats
  • show code enforcement violations, show crime 
  • Overlay with school performance 
  • Asset mapping 
What are we missing? 
  • what are the little things/projects we can start doing now? How do we remove some blight tomorrow?
  • $5 trash bag programs
  • James (Village Green)- existing projects for beautification right now. But really just maintenance but need resources to move forward, at a standstill (Funding and Resources) 
  • Need more awareness (radio can help!)
  • filter information into a community level (both often times that's not the pressing problems of the community- residents need to pay the water bill!)
  • need supplies (lawn mowers, weed wackers, garbage bills, once you remove debris where to go) (Existing partnerships but still limited resources). 
  • Business donations- Home Depots, Lowes 
  • Community level
  • Need to feed positive stories from revitalization projects (to negate some of those crime stories)
  • Major PR problem in Macon 
  • perception that Macon is dangerous, especially downtown.
Debbie B
  • Not sharing the good news or making hands-on effort with people who hold negative perceptions
angai@sunlightfoundation.com What needs to be done: 
  • what do the organizations around the table do, what can you do, what is the next step 
  • figure out way to organize- need a layered approach 
Everett V
  • Can people be fined for littering? Yes, you can take a warrant out if you witness it. It's unlikely to be something focused on by the BSO since we have much more significant crimes they are more focused on.
  • Clean up vs. changing the mindset of people to not litter or providing resources so people know what the law is to remove furniture, etc. 
  • Can laws be enforced?
  • Can we increase signage on laws/littering? 
Pittsburgh examples: 
  • Got $32m in HUD money
  • ALL hands on deck- legislators (city, state, fed). 
  • Inspired from Larimarr 
  • Placed based inception- and it grew 
  • Took 7 years!! 

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