April 16, 2013 2:49 pm ET
North Point Community Association President, Dave Patro, with the assistance of his wife, Brenda, is on a mission to clean up our neighborhoods and I will tell you this―he means business! A first order of business will be to reduce landlord blight by getting landlords to comply with the laws that require them to keep their properties in good repair.
How will the Patros accomplish this, one may ask. With the long arm of the law in the form of the
2010 Maryland Code
TITLE 14 – MISCELLANEOUS RULES
Subtitle 1 – Miscellaneous Rules
Section 14-125 – Nuisance actions within Baltimore County
In addition to this state law, Baltimore County has its own code dealing with nuisance landlords, which was passed by the Baltimore County Council in 2010 The county bill, number 63-10, was introduced by then council members Vince Gardina and Kevin Kamenetz.
Patro’s proposal is to bring together police and community leaders to deal with underlying problems, such as landlord blight, that lead to crime and destabilization of our neighborhoods.
Will it be that simple? Not exactly, but the North Point Village couple are fully capable of formulating a plan of action that, based on their previous experiences as community leaders, will certainly challenge any of those intent on breaking the rules.
Patro’s plan is first to become the Assistant Director of the North Point Police Community Relations Council (NPPCRC). He will then work to bring the various community groups together under one umbrella to join forces with the police department, utilizing the nuisance law to not only combat crime but clean up the area as well.
In discussing the application of the law, Patro said, “I will walk them through the system.” Patro lamented that too much of law enforcement’s resources is spent on responding multiple times to the same complaint. His new approach will not only deal with these repeat violators but will also aid the police in the number of man hours and amount of resources spent on these violations
“It takes a minute to do the right thing, instead of months,” Patro said.
Patro introduced his concept at the last NPPCRC meeting, which was attended by Baltimore County State’s Attorney, Scott Schellenberger. Patro said that Mr. Shellenberger seemed very receptive to the idea and believes it can work. Patro said Schellenberger was receptive because the plan had the support of not only the police but the community as well, which by all accounts is a winning combination.
While Dave does the crime fighting, Brenda will focus on her Youth Drop-In Program which began in January of 2010 with about 20 youths and now has grown to over 200.
Brenda said the idea is to keep the kids off the street corners by providing them activities. The programs are held at the South Eastern Recreation Center and include everything from sports to arts and crafts.
About the Patro’s
Dave and Brenda Patro have been married for 33 years. They have spent 24 of those years living in North Point Village. Dave has been the president of the North Point Village Community Association (NPVCA) for the last seven years.
The Patro’s were recently honored at this year’s Dunalk Renaissance Milestone Awards, where they received proclamations from Governor Martin O’Malley, Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamanetz, and numerous other government officials.