(St.Joseph,MO) Monday the City Council took sometime to meet with residents during the first City Talk of 2018. Dozens of people packed the Downtown Abbey to talk with councilmembers about their concerns about the city.
“I didn’t talk hardly at all tonight. I really want to listen, and write down what people are saying and then follow up on it.That’s customer service, that’s how I grew up in business and that’s how I’m going to be as Mayor,” St.Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray said.
Several residents were concerned about the growing number of vacant buildings in the city and the lack of property maintenance oversight on out-of-state landlords.
Donna and David Clayton came to the City Talk to share how they feel lack of property maintenance and property surveillance leads to crime in their neighborhood at Museum Hill.
“I feel like City Council doesn’t want to say no to people, they want to please everybody. There are things that they can put in place on landlords to fix issues,” Donna said.
McMurray said the council will continue pushing for the state approval to establish a Land Bank during the next legislative session.McMurray said the Land Bank would allow the city to purchase vacant and run-down properties to be rehabilitated and resold into the community.
“If there is a tax deduction, someone who is just sitting on a piece of property that is declining in value, would be well served to give it to the Land Bank and get a tax deduction. The Land Bank can then work on doing something with these properties,” McMurray said.
The next city council meeting is slated for Monday, July 2 at 7 p.m.