The City of New London is an Absentee Landlord


The Gods know we have our share of problems in this little-big city of ours. We have all of the trials and tribulations of a Big City but on Small Town resources. Kinda sucks. Be nice if we stopped shouldering the burden for surrounding towns, let them take care of themselves, and then maybe we could take better care of ourselves. Sounds reasonable but…what the hell do I know? Along with our major problem of the town housing somewhere near 50% non-taxable property (hospital, churches, colleges, the USCGA yada yada yada) we have another problem called the Absentee Landlord.

Popular thinking is that if the taxable property in the city was actually lived-in by its OWNER well there might be some more pride or something. Properties might look better if their owners had to LOOK at them rather than just kickin’ back in say, Florida, and collecting rent checks every month.

Ok. I suppose there could be something to that. BUT, I think the real problem is that the City of New London, is itself, an Absentee Landlord. The City has no pride in the City unless it has something to do with something so outrageously ridiculous it makes you lose your lunch. Hold on, listen; we spent GOOD money to send people around checking NUMBERS on HOUSES. We spent GOOD money sending people around to see if everyone’s property was nice and pretty…if it wasn’t you got a nasty note. We spent GOOD money to send people around to see if anyone had a junk/unregistered car/vehicle on their property and if they did they got a bill! Didn’t matter if the vehicle belonged to the property owner or not. Yeah. Gotta love this town. Really, ya do, if ya didn’t, like any bratty child you’d smack it once or twice, then send it to its room. If we’re not spending money on idiotic things like that we’re tossing it away on ‘art’ in the form of the Fudgy the Whale-Tail Fountain or murals destined to be hideous painted on buildings downtown that we’ll all have to look at for the next decade.

We NEVER spend money on something reasonable. Something sane. Something that might actually better the City and not just be a pretty Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

Case in point: Today my hubby complained to me about our sidewalk…again. He doesn’t understand. He really doesn’t. He wants to do the work himself…hey! So do I! But if we do that, and help the City out a bit, we’ll get fined and we’ll have to dig it up. If we bitch/whine/moan and complain to the City long enough we might get somewhere so long as we pay ‘our end’.

Yeah. Somewhere along the line it seems I purchased half the sidewalk! Imagine that! I don’t even remember doing it but, according to the City I must have because they want ME to pay for half the cost of replacing the sidewalk. Several years ago that cost came waltzing into my life to the breezing tune of $4,000.00….that’s my HALF of the cost of fixing/replacing the SIDEWALK. (Is the new one gonna be gold plated???) OR, being ever magnanimous and truly moronic, the City will let me do Community Service to work off my HALF. When was I arrested? Tried? Convicted? Or did I plead out? I…I…I can’t remember!

OK, so we’re all on the same page here….


This is my driveway. Like the ditch at the end? I’ve displayed these pics in “large” size so you can get a good idea of what’s going on here. BUT feel free to click any of the images to make them MUCH bigger and get a bonzer idea of what I’m talkin’ about.


This is the thing hubby is complaining about most and I don’t blame him. It just gets bigger year after year. When it rains it’s a small pond. When it snows it ices over and you could skate on it.


Nice, huh? As you can see it spreads out into the street, of which as far as I’m aware, I do NOT “own” half. You’ll notice my cat Harry in some of these shots, he was kind enough to walk along with me this morning to help give some ‘depth’ to the problem.


Shot from the driveway to round out the problem. Or this particular one anyway.

Let’s take a walk. I want to show you my lovely sidewalk. You know, the one that’s been deteriorating for the last 40 years..well it’s longer, more like fifty but let’s just use 40 it makes me feel younger. The sidewalk my PARENTS tried to get the City to FIX and the one the City wanted to stick ME with a bill for repairs. The City’s theory on this is that their property (the sidewalk) is ‘adjacent’ to my property so that, somehow in La-La Land, makes me, the homeowner, half responsible for any ‘neglect’ that need repairs.

Hummmmm.

Ya know, it’s really difficult for a home/property owner to ‘neglect’ something they do not own and, by City Ordinances, they are not ALLOWED to repair in any fashion. The only thing a property/home owner is ALLOWED to do to ‘maintain’ “their” sidewalk is; shovel it and, in my case, I mow it every weekend in the summer. I know that because when my Dad put down some hot-top to cover the really nasty holes one year, someone from the City came by and bitched at him, wanted to give him a fine and make him dig it up. Needless to say, my Dad never again tried to ‘fix’ the sidewalk. So, would someone please tell me how this ‘neglect’ falls on any shoulders other than those of the City of New London? Please? I’m beggin’ ya here. Kindly remember, I pay just about $4,000/year in TAXES just to have the privilege of living in this city. I was under the impression TAX MONEY was supposed to go to FIX things like THIS. I know, I know…silly me.


Nice, right? Wow! Who wouldn’t be proud of THAT! I’d like to say this is isolated but the fact is sidewalks all over the City of New London look just like this.

Do you remember that old game some of used to play; Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother’s Back? Wow, I can’t tell you how much “fun” we had as kids playing that game on my sidewalk. Yes, that’s 40 years ago. It was a hard game then. It’s even harder now. I have (roughly) 100 feet of property along the front of my house. You will now see what I do every day when I walk out my door and what my neighbors see and what the poor people who try to walk down the street see. Now, let’s stroll without words.

WOW! That was nice, huh? Aren’t you glad you stopped by my house today??? I’m tellin’ ya it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen and I really am hoping and praying that I’m the one that trips and falls so I can sue the shit out of them. If I weren’t such an honest person I’d have faked a fall by now.

Ok, so if that’s not bad enough. The City of New London, all those years ago when they attempted to get my entire neighborhood to pony up for new sidewalks included in MY “bill” a charge to “replace curbstones”. Check it out.

See any curbstones or remnants thereof? Me either. Know why? They were never there. That’s why I have that lovely long ditch now. You can see where the City was SUPPOSED to put them but…they never did.


If THAT’s not an accident waiting to happen, I really don’t know what is. One day someone’s going to slip off that, twist their ankle, break their legs, or God forbid, their neck, and…well….I have insurance. I hope the City of New London does too.

Sweet, huh? And, yes, that long ditch runs about half the length of the sidewalk. One more shot for ya, just for a little ‘depth’.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to try to SHOVEL that sidewalk in the winter? Do you have any idea how many shovels we’ve BROKEN on those damn craters? Or how many times my teeth have gnashed together when hitting one and the jolt went from the tip of the shovel, through the handle, up my arm, sometimes forcing the handle into my chest? Seriously. Do you?

I WOULD LOVE to FIX this MYSELF. But…I can’t. In most spots, it wouldn’t cost more than $50.00. As far as the sidewalk itself goes, hell, throw a few pounds of soil on it, cover it with grass seed and I’ll keep happily mowing it in relative safety. OR we could do like the town of Waterford did when faced with a similar problem. They got SMART! They hot-topped entire sidewalks in less than TWO DAYS and it looks GREAT. It was cheap as hell too.

When you look at all of the above, I don’t know what you think but I conclude that the City of New London is an “absentee landlord”. It doesn’t care about its citizens or the property it owns and is supposed to maintain. In fact, nearly everything in this city as been left to “citizen’s groups” to pick up the slack. So where’s my TAX MONEY going???? To fund crap schools that graduate kids that can’t spell? To pay Board Members who do nothing but argue so much the STATE told them to “sit down and shut up”? To put up works of ‘art’ that…well..aren’t very artistic at all? Certainly don’t do anything to add real value to the city. They may (or may not) look pretty but so does a super model, difference is the model EARNS MONEY. Fudgy the Whale-Tail Fountain does not.

It’s time the City of New London stopped funding bone-head projects and got down to brass tacks. Down to actually taking care of the nuts and bolts of the city. But in New London, just like in most of the rest of the country we “just fix what shows” (Gallagher). Oh well, sorry, my mistake. Obviously we can’t fix the IMPORTANT things ‘that show’ just the bullshit that makes it ‘look pretty’ in the hopes no one notices the major stuff.

Yes, please, don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. Just look ahead of you be…I’d say dazzled but that’s so not the right word. Just look ahead of you and be bewildered by the ‘wonder of it all’. (Foxwoods)

It’s a wonder all right. If you wonder on it too long you might just lose your mind.

************

I am a life long resident of the City of New London, CT. You can read more posts about my hometown by Clicking Here

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 17/05/2012, in Life, new london, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. What do they use the money on taxes again for? Oh yeah to line their pockets with… shit I keep forgetting, that’s exactly what it will take someone getting hurt and suing them… I hope it happens soon. Funny how you inherited more property though scumbags… and yet if you fix it you’d get fined… dee dee dee’s in New London…

    • It’s NUTS! It’s a freakin’ SIDEWALK. It’s not like I’d be building UP or something. Either hot-top it or throw down some soil and seed! OR the city could always nut-up and do the job it’s supposed to be doing, that’d be a refreshing change!

      • I think just to fill up the hole at the end, I’d just throw in those little rocks..before you get hurt, or before your cars end up w/major damage… that way you can just shovel em out if they say anything but yet still have a somewhat leveled entrance –cs

  2. The decision was announced late Thursday in a news release issued by the city manager’s office after city and state officials shut the recycled water off because it had been contaminated by a homeless man washing his soiled clothing.

    • This is old news, it happened last year. But, yep, it’s why the Whale-Tail Fountain is affectionately known as ‘Fudgy’ by some residents…myself included.

  3. ‘It’s sad. It’s two steps forward and three steps backward. There are people in the city who don’t care, and they need to be dealt with,’ Mr Buscetto said at a New London City Council meeting this week.

  4. It’s a shame that your city, like so many around the country, suffers from the same infrastructure problems. Money being spent on things that aren’t relevant instead of maintaining things that actually need repair. We don’t seem to have the problem here in my town of Winter Springs, FL. My street does not have sidewalks but we do have a sort of ditch that holds rain run-off on both sides of the road. They don’t look like ditches though, they look nice and have grass on all of them so you don’t even realize they are ditches until you see them full of rain water. Every few years they come through and rip them all up, replace, or clean out, the pipes under them that help funnel the water off so they don’t overflow, AND the city pays to repave the apron at the end of every single driveway they have to rip up in the process. Doesn’t cost us an extra penny either. That’s how it should be. I have to say that I may not like everything my city does but at least they keep it from looking like crap, which has helped to keep the property values from completely tanking during the mortgage crisis. They even spent millions putting in decorative medians with wonderful trees, flowers and other foliage, all new street lights going through the center of town, etc. We even have a downtown area now, which is really pretty.

    It sounds to me like the time is well overdue for New London to replace the leaders with some new blood, people that are forward thinking, people that are thinking of the future, property values, better education, and so on and so on. I do realize that property tax revenue is a problem for many cities around the country with so many empty houses that have been foreclosed on, but it is my opinion that if a bank forecloses on a house that bank should be responsible for continuing the property tax payments. Maybe it is time cities all over the country start suing banks for those back property taxes!! They should NOT be exempt!!! That would make a difference in city revenue right there! Just sayin’.

    Anyway, I wish you guys/gals luck in battling the City of New London to force them to take responsibility. Maybe all of the residents in the city should take up a class action suit against the city to force them to make repairs? Just an idea. Good luck and keep fighting!

  5. I keep saying that there’s something in the water or the town is built on an Indian Burial Ground…something like that. It seems no matter who gets elected that whenever they get into City Hall they just turn…weird. This City would rather spend money on ridiculous projects of “art” than to take a hard look at what NEEDS to be fixed and do that instead. The City loves to make the shell pretty, paint it as vibrantly as possible, but the turtle inside is long dead. They just hope no one notices because the shell is so dazzling.

    I’m a writer, I have nothing against “art”. I love “art”. However, II think that before you start painting your work of art you make sure the wall isn’t going to fall down and neither is the floor at your feet. Ya know, it would suck if you went crashing into the basement, ruining your lovely work of art, as you break your neck or something. Once the wall is straight and strong, the floor sturdy, then you can I put “art” on it and people will rightly ‘oooo’ and ‘ahhhh’ over it.

    Does that make any sense to you? To anyone? Honestly, I know most of the time it’s just me so feel free to tell me.

    Those goddamn banks better be paying the property taxes! Bastards!

    New London’s biggest problem is that it is somewhere around a 50/50 tax base. 50% tax exempt (USCGA, Conn College, L&M, every puky ‘church’ that comes down the pipe) leaving the other 50% to pay ALL of the cost to run the City. If we were The Hamptons that wouldn’t be a problem but we’re New London and our average income per household is somewhere around $43,000.00/year. You do the math.

    We’re screwed to the max so long as our ‘leaders’ keeping throwing our very hard earned money away on useless projects designed solely to make us ‘look good’.

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