The NC League of Municipalities includes on their legislative agenda the empowerment of government bodies to procure an order of abatement on property that “may have some legitimate use, but is also the source of regular criminal nuisance activity.” One not hip to the history of the request must wonder what regular criminal activities are immune from regular law enforcement actions. They can’t be talking about drug problems, because by the time criminal activity is established as regular, a case worthy of federal prosecution should have been built. Visions of opportunities for abuse, however, abound.

Perhaps my patternistic subconscious was stirred by reading another recommendation that the legislature allow local government to “establish vacant housing receivership programs” to transfer substandard housing “to responsible ownership.”