By way of the Universal Hub, we find that Ross Levanto has good news–MA Governor Patrick has signed into law the Green Ticket Law:
The law that is now in place (whoo hooo!) will allow the City to better penalize trash scofflaws. The City will now be able to put in place procedures that attach unpaid trash violation fines to a property’s tax bills. This will give those violations weight. It will also wake up absentee landlords throughout the city (building owners who rarely visit their properties and check on their tenants).
What’s critical about these liens is that you can’t sell the property without paying off the lien. Since 45% of those who are currently ticketed for environmental infractions don’t pay, this will add some serious teeth to enforcement.
But what I really like about the Green Ticket Law is that it also applies to assholes who don’t shovel their sidewalks. There are a couple of houses that never shovel their sidewalks.
Lien on them!
Seriously, while this is hardly the defense of liberty type stuff, penalizing people who degrade the quality of life by violating housing codes, leaving garbage out, and making walking difficult* (keep in mind that around forty percent of Boston residents are ‘mandatory’ pedestrians–we don’t own cars, so shoveling sidewalks is like shoveling roads)–and making those penalties stick is one of those things that makes neighborhoods better places to live.
And a hearty well-done to those involved including my state senator, Marty Walz.
*The real problem isn’t snow, it’s when the snow gets packed down into ice. When an entire stretch of sidewalk is a sheet of ice, that’s not good, particularly since most houses have, at most about 150 square feet of shoveling to do in my neighborhood, anyway.
Update: Matthew Yglesias describes what happens when people don’t shovel out.