Let’s face it, we are living in hard economic times right now. Yet, in spite of this, The City in the Park is determined to make us look Pretty and Upscale and, well, Park-Like. That takes a lot of money, and with the lawsuits and new signs and new logo and buying real estate for inflated prices they are just scraping by, and going through our savings at an alarming rate. But how are we going to become Upscale and Desirable if we don’t do all these things?

They need our help. They need ideas on how we can save money. They’ve already:

  • fired employees
  • reduced city services
  • increased taxes
  •  increased revenue from traffic and code violations
  •  … what can they do next?

I know that the City Council is delighted with Code Enforcement, and their “attention to detail” and would like to hire 2 more Enforcers. Just think – if 4 people can write 8000 notices in a year, 6 people could write at least 12000. WOW – how Upscale and Desirable is that.

Of course I have an idea. Instead of hiring more Code Enforcers, we should appoint Block Leaders, like they used to have in Germany. They could take care of all of the attention to detail and report to a central unit who could go after the violators. Just think – we could use all the CE trucks for other things, we could have fewer employees, and the block leader would be someone who knows the area and can find all the hidden violations. It was very successful in Germany in the 1940’s. Here’s a description, with slight adjustments to fit our situation:

In Nazi Germany, a Blockleiter (block leader) was responsible for the supervision of a neighborhood or city block and formed the link between the government and the general population. Also colloquially known as a Blockwart (block attendant or warden), he was charged with planning, spreading propaganda communications and developing an acceptance to the policies of the government  City Code of Ordinances among the households (typically 40 to 60) in his area.

It was also the duty of the Blockleiter to spy on the population and report any anti-government activities code violations to the local office. This was helped by keeping files on each household (Haushaltskarten).  Other duties included allocating beds in homes for visiting NSDAP demonstrators counting decorative items in Front Yards, the collection of subscriptions and charitable donations especially for Winterhilfe for the legal defense fund, and organising the clearing of rubble after air-raids making sure no one put their trash out too early.

It is thought that there were nearly half a million Blockleiter. The Blockleiter was appointed to keep an eye upon the activities and political attitudes of the families under his control and to keep a card index system, containing Haushaltskarten, providing detailed information about them. Regular reports were sent from the Blockleiter to the Zellenleiter Code Enforcement Office who in turn reported to his Ortsgruppenleiter Municipal Court and so on up through the chain of political leadership. Any unrest was dealt with swiftly and at source. Small wonder therefore that the Party City Council found it necessary to state on repeated occasions that the Blockleiter was not employed as a Party spy.  doing a great job in beautifying the city, and to be applauded for their Innovative and ProActive Service and Attention to Detail.

Well – there is a downside, but not for the government:

 

 Due to such activities, Blockwarts were particularly disliked by the general population. Today, Blockwart is a colloquial German insult word for a person who feels the motivation to keep people in line, esp. by reporting them to officials or pressing the enforcing of rules (esp. petty rules) upon people. 

Wouldn’t our Sister City of Garbsen, Germany and our  Friendship City of Schonebeck, Germany be proud of our ProActive and Innovation Code Enforcement?

Or maybe we should ask them how that worked out for them, and what they have learned from the experience, and what they would NOT repeat, no matter how Patriotic, or Innovative, or ProActive, or Desirable someone told them it is.

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