Dear Baltimore… if I were mayor…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Built This City.”

I truly do love my city. I love the good and the bad about this place. You can’t really say you love a place (or anyone or anything for that matter) if you don’t take the bad as well as the good.

We have great sports teams here in Birdland. I love my Baltimore Ravens and I love my Baltimore Orioles. We have a soccer team that I love just because it exists.

I love the Inner Harbor. I love all the neighborhoods we have. This truly a city of distinct neighborhoods.

That being said, I do see a bunch of areas that we can improve.

If I were the mayor for a day I would start by cleaning house. The city government is so inefficiently run. Take the time to weed out the slackers and get people in who care about positive outcomes for the whole city and not just their friends.

I would revamp the school system. Get new people in at headquarters. Get experienced principals in the schools. Upgrade buildings. Offer gym and art as regular everyday curriculum and not just an every so often class.

I would rebuild the recreation center system. There is a problem with kids starting fights and committing crimes because they don’t have much else to do. Open those places back up and offer programs that will help the kids make better decisions. Expose them to positive things. Piggyback on what they are learning in school.

I would claim every vacant house in the city. If the owner cared they would have done something with it. Tear down what needs to be torn down. Sell what can be rebuilt. Create as much affordable housing as possible.

I would offer ticket fee amnesty for a week. Then I would abolish the system that allows your parking tickets to grow from a $32 ticket to owing thousands of dollars. City can’t make any money if people don’t pay because there are too many fees.

I would probably start all of that in my first week. If my fellow politicians didn’t have me impeached by the end of the week I would start on a new list of things.

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