State Representative Aaron Michlewitz attended this week’s NEWRA Clean Streets Committee meeting to speak about the Green Ticket Bill. Code Enforcement issues “Green Tickets” to trash violators with $25-$40 fines. Currently, the tickets are not very effective because so many are not being paid. Violators simply don’t take the tickets seriously. Michlewitz estimates over $5 million in uncollected green ticket fines.

GreenTicketThe new State bill would add some teeth by automatically adding all Green Ticket fines to the next property tax bill of the responsible owner. The bill was passed last year by the State legislature, but pocket vetoed by Governor Patrick. Speculation is that the Governor did not want to sign the bill because it had attached provisions for snow and ice removal that could be unpopular. The new bill does not have the snow/ice removal provisions so it stands a better chance of becoming law.

Not only will the bill help enforce existing trash regulations, but the increased fine collection would modestly help the State’s struggling budget in the current economic environment. If passed by the State legislature and signed into law by the Governor, each municipality would have an “opt-in” to the program. Aaron indicated his view that the City of Boston would opt-in.

Michlewitz is co-sponsoring the bill, known formally as House Bill 3588. He is asking residents to send letters in support of the new Green ticket bill with copies to Governor Patrick, Senator Petruccelli and his office. The Clean Streets committee will create form letters and email it out to members with contact information.

NEWRA’s Clean Streets Committee was enthusiastic regarding the bill’s potential and thanked Representative Michlewitz for attending the meeting. Additional information on the Clean Streets Committee can be viewed at www.newra.org and clicking the Clean Streets tab. You can contact the committee chairs, Naomi and Patricia, at cleanstreets@newra.org.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Matt, it’s great to know that Rep. Michlewitz is a visible and influential leader in neighborhood affairs. Below is the text of my e-mail to him, Sen. Petruccelli and Gov. Patrick urging support of the Green Ticket Bill:

    Greetings.

    As a resident of Boston’s North End and an elected member of neighborhood government, I know from my personal experience and from conversations with my friends, neighbors and constituents, that trash code violations are one of the most visible, enduring and seemingly incurable blights on our quality of life. The ripple effects of rats, odor, germs and the ensuing decline in property values carry a clear and burdensome economic price. The resulting tarnish on the neighborhood’s reputation as the wellspring of our proud colonial tradition, is beyond value.

    I endorse and applaud Rep. Michlewitz’s co-sponsorship of H. 3588, the Green Ticket Bill, that will harness the revenue collecting power of the Commonwealth in the effort to hold property owners, many of them absent and dismissive landlords, accountable for their violations of city code and for their complicity in diminishing our enjoyment of the nation’s iconic neighborhoods. I also thank Sen. Petruccelli for his sustained support of the concerns of his district’s vitality, cleanliness and livability, and for his support of measures that will support those values.

    I have copied Gov. Patrick’s office under separate cover, using his office’s secure e-mail system. Thank you for moving this important legislation toward his desk and to timely enactment.

    Regards,

    Bill Lane
    10 Thacher St.
    Boston

  2. Bill, This is an excellent letter. I will use it myself and copy the Clean Streets Committee as an example they can use for their form letter that they will be distributing to residents and businesses. Thanks for writing it. –Matt

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