Expanded version of the article printed in the Pittsburgh weekly    Pulp     Volume 01 Issue 12      6 June 2002
WeHav, Neighborhood Improvement Districts, and No-vote_ing

I've been thinking.. about the WeHav (West End Home Assurance Value) controversy rampant among those who are aware of it, in 12 targeted southwestern Pittsburgh neighborhoods/communities:

Chartiers City    Elliott       Oakwood         West End (Temperanceville)
Crafton Heights   Esplen        Ridgemont       Westwood
East Carnegie     Fairywood     Sheridan        Windgap

..as described in [Section 3: PURPOSE] of the WeHav text which was part of a multi-page Bill No.5 Public Notice mailed to street addresses in the targeted neighborhoods in February 2002:

"The purpose of establishing a Home Assurance Value district in the western neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh, shall be to guarantee that the value of the dwellings of each property owner in the District who chooses to participate shall not fall below the fair market value established at the time the homeowner chooses to register, provided that the participant remains in the program for at least 5 years, keeps the dwelling well maintained, continuously occupies the dwelling as his or her principal residence, or a family member continuously occupies the dwelling as a principal residence, and adheres to this Plan enacted by City Council."

-put aside for the moment the fact that not every homeowner or residential-unit owner in even the targeted neighborhoods is aware of the Bill No.5 legislation due out of committee for City Council discussion and potential vote around June 8, nor of details of the WeHav program emphasized in
Bill No. 5.          (   the Public Notice is posted at:   http://www.pauljsentner.com/no_wehav   )

-put aside the fact that not every owner received the multi-page Public Notice mailing, that there seems to be no confirmed number as to how many actual residential properties/housing units there are in these 12 neighborhoods, and that since the Public Notice was not mailed to owners' names, there is no way to be sure the mailing wasn't discarded as junk mail, or disregarded by tenant residents. -This number and reliable control conditions are highly important aspects of the passage or defeat of Bill No.5.

-put aside the ambiguities of the ownership numbers and various questioned aspects of the WeHav text itself; put aside the details of various issues raised at the March 19 public hearing and at scattered neighborhood gatherings regarding non-industry, unregulated "assurance"/insurance; accountability of funds; levying and collection of a neighborhood-specific tax; and questionable rationale for, and claimed "services" and "benefits" of, this WeHav program --especially as applied to these 12 targeted southwestern Pittsburgh moderate-higher-income neighborhoods and communities.

-put aside for now, the larger and perhaps more profound issue of whether Bill No. 5 is an intentional attempt, camouflaged by the WeHav diversion, to test the imposition of "Neighborhood Improvement District" designation upon these City neighborhoods, before going on to other areas of the City.
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(c) 2002 -paul j.sentner- Iíve been thinking about...Wehav, Neighborhood Improvement Districts, and No-vote_ing : 4 -13 June2002
Feedback to paul sentner  The URL of the homepage is: http://www.pauljsentner.com/no_wehav   13June2002 / 21Feb2003 -pshome-