Last Thursday Sal Panto took the media on an inspection walk. In fairness to Panto, he didn't invent the Mayor's Walk, actually he doesn't invent much. These walks always single out a very small percentage of properties for scrutiny, and scrutiny is expensive for the property owners. A code officer on Panto's publicity stunt estimated that half the properties viewed would be cited. Violations included peeling paint, cracks in the sidewalk, and weeds. Although, now a days, paint starts to peel ten minutes after it's applied, the cost of application is $thousands of dollars. Sidewalks crack and weeds grow. Although there may be some credence to the Broken Window Theory, there is also the empty taxpayer wallet reality. In Allentown, former Mayor Heydt took walks every summer, but never succeeded in inspecting Quality Of Life into the city. Allentown's program now is amuck, with hundreds of tagged houses actually contributing to the blight. These walks never get out into the more expensive residential areas, where paint also peels and sidewalks crack.
photo:Ed Koskey Jr./The Morning Call/June 8, 2012