Regular commenter Thomas Lord has some thoughts on the city council agenda, if it wants to turn from “ineffectual statements about world affairs”:

There are a heck of a lot of unoccupied, neglected properties around my neighborhood in West Berkeley. Some are empty, foreclosed places. One is an 8(?) unit condo that was never even completed – just boarded up after most but not all construction was completed.

One of the foreclosure homes recently had a tree fall down in its back yard. The tree is diseased and so the crown, which is now on the ground, contains a lot of dry wood – a bonfire waiting to go off.

I’ve called the City a few times about this and have yet to get more than a promise someone will call me back in a few days (which doesn’t happen).

Who can I get in touch with to see to it that the City ensures the hazard is removed and dings the bank which owns yet neglects the place?

(Or, should I fix it myself and in exchange take adverse possession of the house in question? Has any reader ever obtained ownership of a Berkeley property by that means?)

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...