Waverly gets city promise to aid in fight vs. blight

Officials reaffirm pledge to clean up neighborhood

May 08, 2002|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

City officials reaffirmed their commitment to work with Waverly residents to rid the neighborhood of blight - from boarding up vacant houses to cleaning trash-strewn lots and alleys - at a meeting last night of the Waverly Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

About 30 residents gathered in Faith Deliverance Church on Fillmore Street and called on city officials to help them combat blight - problems they contend that the city had been slow to respond to until February, when ACORN members blocked Harford Road with piles of debris from a neighborhood lot they claimed the city had failed to clean.

City workers hauled away the debris, which included old tires, broken windows and dilapidated furniture.

"You shouldn't have to go through extremes to get your trash removed," newly elected ACORN co-chairwoman Addie Bryce said to Reginald Scriber, ombudsman for the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The session occurred two weeks after ACORN escorted city and state officials on what they billed as a "tour of shame," highlighting trouble spots.

"The city of Baltimore has a lot of problems," Scriber told the gathering. "We know that we're not going to be able to solve all the problems, but we can put a dent in them."

Scriber declined to sign a pledge of action proffered by ACORN. "I'm not here to sign a document," he said. "I'm here to offer services."

Scriber jotted notes and instructed representatives from other city departments to do the same as residents as spoke of problems ranging from vacant, termite-infested rowhouses to the need for speed-bumps and stop signs to slow traffic on Homestead Street.

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