A number of years ago John D. Rockefeller Jr. offered a great statement about what it means to be a citizen and the role of civic duty in our daily life: “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” The concept of being an active participant in our community is not new by any means, it dates all the way back to the Greeks who would require all (not just the politicians) take the Athenian Oath promising to leave Athens a better place for their children. The concept of each generation leaving a legacy for the next generation is great way to keep all of us accountable for our actions as citizens. That was the deal we signed on July 4, 1776. We are entitled to certain inalienable rights and we have a duty to participate in building our community stronger. One small (but not insignificant) measure of how well we’re doing at holding up our end of the bargain as citizens can be found in our 2007 Code Compliance Report.
Below you will find the 2007 Code Compliance Report that we provided to City Council that summarizes the data for Code compliance incidents in the course of 2007. We often hear a lot of frustration about the upkeep in rental properties in Kent because there are so many of them but perhaps a bit surprisingly, you will see that owner occupied properties actually topped the list for most violations last year. That’s a discouraging trend that we hope to turn around in 2009. Just like a rising tide lifts all boats, I’m afraid that declining pride in ownership sinks all ships as well.