525,600 Minutes to Keep your Word

How do you measure a year? In school days? In seasons? In council meetings?

At the most recent meeting of the common council for the City of Charlestown, held on Monday, November 6, Council Member Tina Barnes made a motion for the City to send a letter to Pleasant Ridge Redevelopment, LLC to request that all boarded up and vacant properties owned by the company in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood be removed. Ms. Barnes based her motion on a letter sent from PRR partner, John Hampton. In this letter, dated October 24, 2016, the company lists their responsibilities for 104 homes previously subjected to fines for violating the City’s recently revised property codes. Item #5 on Mr. Hampton’s list states:

“Upon the City giving PRR a sixty (60) day notice, all vacant and boarded up properties will be razed and removed.”

This letter and the proposed responsibilities were approved by the Board of Public Works on November 7, 2016 in a 3-0 vote.

Tina Barnes asked her fellow Council Members to support her in holding Pleasant Ridge Redevelopment, LLC accountable for the responsibilities they placed on themselves for properties they have purchased. 

Yet her motion died without support from even one other council member. 

You can hear the awkward silence following her motion here (skip to 17:15 to go right there): 


We can speculate all day about why no one else, not Mike Vaughn, not Ted Little, not Brian Hester, nor Eric Vaughn would second Tina’s motion…but that isn’t the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is to draw your attention to the fact that the City and Pleasant Ridge Redevelopment, LLC reached an agreement over one year ago…525,600 minutes ago...to tear these homes down…yet our City refuses to hold their partner to the agreement. Instead the homes look worse every day. They attract squatters, provide haven for rats and stray animals, and become more of a safety hazard.

If you live in Charlestown, you should be angry that your council members are placing the financial interests of an outside business entity over the needs, safety, and interests of their own residents. You don’t have to be a resident of Pleasant Ridge to take action on this. Many people in Charlestown voted for these council members because they wanted some action on Pleasant Ridge…well now what? Hold them accountable, that’s what.

Contact your council person today. Let them know you want them to do their jobs and put Charlestown First. There is no reason why, ONE YEAR after the agreement was reached that the City should not hold Pleasant Ridge Redevelopment, LLC (aka John Hampton and John Neace) to their agreement.

District 1 – Mike Vaughn – (502) 558-9567 – mikervaughnsr@gmail.com

District 2 – Tina Barnes – (502) 598-9403 – tinamdean1@yahoo.com

District 3 – Ted Little – (502) 396-0603 – ted.little7217@aol.com

District 4 – Brian Hester – (502) 643-6878 – chscoach24@gmail.com

At Large – Eric Vaughn – (502) 773-7296 – vaughnatlargectown@gmail.com

Copy of full letter here: Agreement with PRR, LLC and City


Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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