The comments of Brunswick Town Manager Gary Brown and Councilors Margo Knight and Joanne King are off base. Knight says that policies should not be set that have,”unintended consequences like creating financial hardships for a property owner.” King states, “In this economy how are you going to tell somebody they need to do something to their building.” Gary Brown says the criterion for action on an uninhabitable building is that it must be ready to fall down.
These statements set the bar as low as it can go for protecting neighborhood property values. Rather than supporting and defending the rights of homeowners that are contributing to Brunswick, the Town Council and town manager are protecting those that are creating a negative impact on neighborhoods.
That a homeowner has neglected a property for so long that it will cost a lot to fix is no excuse for inaction. They chose not to keep up their property. If a residential building becomes unfit for habitation it should not be left as a scar on a neighborhood’s landscape.
The council and town manager are not looking out for the majority of homeowners. The council has granted the Inn on Maine Street property tax-free status for five years, while raising the rest of our taxes, sat idly by as the train depot gets ready to destroy a neighborhood, raised our property taxes when values are way down, and ignored the affects of urban decay.