Drawing the line on landlord-tenant ordinance for city

Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana says he was told by residents at a recent town hall meeting to do whatever he can to put slumlords out of business.

We agree with him – almost.

A lot of Williamsport’s crime problems have their root in tenants who aren’t here to live and work, but rather to become involved in some way with illegal drug trade.

So we want to see laws passed that will make it more difficult for evildoers to set up shop in rental properties.

But we agree with City Councilman Don Noviello on where to draw the line between solving the problem and invading privacy.

Noviello says he won’t vote for the proposed regulations if it is proven the city can’t protect the personal information being requested of landlords and their tenants and the information is subject to the state’s Right-to-Know law.

Constituents have told the councilman they are concerned about information being available to the public.

We share those concerns.

We want better tracking of tenants and believe landlords should be held accountable by the city on an ongoing basis for providing an accurate census of how many people are living in their dwellings. And beefing up the codes department to inspect rental properties with that concern in mind is a good priority.

But we don’t want personal information of private citizens in the data banks at City Hall.

Everything up to that, we understand and support.