The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A "certain level" of incompetence?

So Detroit is tearing down abandoned houses, and more power to 'em. But the business plan seems to have included the notion that the owners of said houses would respond to invoices from the city for doing the demolition. I can't put it better than the author of this article did:

"Officials have acknowledged Detroit is unlikely to recoup full costs from owners who have walked away from their properties, but they also say collections is an important source of funding for future demolitions.

It's an understandably difficult process, but it appears a certain level of incompetence is marring the city's efforts: 20 of the 213 invoices the newspaper reviewed were sent to the same vacant lots where the razed homes once stood. The city also sent an invoice to itself for a property it owned."

A little under ten percent of the time, they're billing the houses themselves, apparently missing the point that if no one was living there when the house was up, it's not all that likely that they're on-site now that it's down -- or coming back around to check the mail box.

So far, the city is getting about a half-cent on the dollar of the invoices they send out - amazingly enough, people who have abandoned a house are not manning-up to pay for having it torn down. Of course, some of those people may be, what? indigent? In jail? Dead? Otherwise unable to pay? Who knew?