To the editor:

The increasing violence and graffiti within the city’s older neighborhoods appears to be the fruit borne by the city’s longtime neglect of these areas and the city’s laissez faire attitude toward allowing lower-income, Section 8 type rental housing to proliferate.

Recently, I saw on City Channel 7 that the Police Department’s resources are being stretched because more lower-class welfare element are moving into Independence. Many of these rentals are owned by affluent, absenetee landlords who live in Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit or Independence outside the Independence School District. They are being allowed to profit at the expense of property owners and taxpayers of Independence.

The citizens of Independence recently voted for change in western Independence by shifting the area into the Independence School District. We are tired of our school district and city being a dumping ground for criminals and slumlords. The city must become more aggressive by regulating rental properties and their tenants.