PARMA -- The city begins misdemeanor ticketing of neglected properties on Monday (Sept. 23).

It's all part of the"Good Neighborhoods Initiative."

The ticketing program, pushed by Mayor TimothyDeGeeter and City Councilenables property inspectors to begin immediately ticketing property owners who show neglect for their properties.

Examples include high grass, non-working autos parked in a yard and excessive trash on a property.

While the tickets would be similar to those issued for minor traffic offenses because they are issued immediately -- "a snapshot in time," Assistant Building Commissioner Don Graves calls it -- the property owner has the option to choose a court appearance rather than pay the ticket outright.

"If you take care of your home and property, you should be happy about this program,"DeGeeter said. "Nobody likes to see the high grass and trash that collects at neglected properties. We are hoping that this program will help cut down on those types of homes."

City officials are hoping that the program will cut down on repeat offenders. DeGeeter called the ticketing program "one more tool in our toolbox" to help protect property values and increase quality of life for city residents.

In an effort to recognize property owners who invest in and maintain their properties, DeGeeter's administration is developing a program that would recognize homeowners who do an exceptional job of beautifying and caring for their homes and property. Under the new program, properties would go through a nomination process and winners would be publicly recognized by the administration.

The Good Neighborhoods Initiative also includes programs administered by the City's Community Service & Economic Development Department. These include streetscape, sidewalk and storefront improvements, and nuisance property demolition programs.