Tonight Belleville is set to vote on its controversial crime-free housing ordinance -- a proposal that either will solve the city's crime problems, or will cause hardships for landlords and renters alike, depending on who's talking.
Despite the split opinions, we think everyone can agree that there should be a path to getting rid of the bad people without hurting the good people. It's the City Council's responsibility to decide whether this ordinance, as it is currently worded, is the vehicle to accomplish that.
If the ordinance is approved, it's important for the council carefully monitor its implementation and use, to ensure that the city does strike the right balance between individual rights and the community good.
There are no magic cure-alls in the fight against crime; with or without the ordinance, it will continue to be an ongoing process.