Sunday, September 25, 2016

WDT: Despite Editorial Backing, It's, Time to Pause on Inspection Law and Let Voters Have Their Say

     It's no surprise the rental inspection proposal championed by Councilman Stephen Jennings got editorial support today from the WDT.  What's not known is whether the proposal will move forward given what seems the lack of public support.
     Forget the public hearing. That is only a part of opinion. When you talk to people....real landlords and others, the support is just not there.
    It is viewed as intrusive, expensive, duplicative and most of all unlikely to accomplish its stated goal of  reducing blightt.
     It is portrayed as a harmless start to addressing what is seen as substandard housing.
     I am not sure it is so benigm, and there is no demonstrated desire to spend the kind of money needed to implement such a widespread crackdown.
      Council members say they want to tweek the proposal and are hesitant to oppose the Councilman widely considered to be the next Mayor.  One such tweek is to eliminate inspection and only pursue registration.
       One also wonders why the issue stops at the city line. Isn't this a regional issue as well ?
       I don't know if this will pass, but for now it's in limbo and with Mr. Jennings term in office up next year, it seems a valid election year issue where voters can weigh in.
      For now, no hasty action is needed.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/we-can-live-with-this-councilman-jenningss-rental-inspection-plan-worth-pursuing-20160925

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

One significant fact that the bureaucracy advocate editor failed to mention, is that the majority of those people speaking in favor of the stupid proposed law, were there as paid government bureaucrats. They were not there speaking as city citizens, instead, they showed up to speak at this "public" meeting, dressed in their business attire, because they were "on the clock", advocating for bureaucracy from which they suckle from.

Ironically, or more accurately, hypocritically, it is these same bureaucracies who created or augmented the problems at hand. They pushed for and funded new housing outside the city and pushed for the tax break PILOTS as well. They seek grants and administer the programs that spend our tax dollars on homes outside the city. They build unneeded dorms on campus using our tax dollars.

It seems these bureaucrats keep moving the goal. In the public forum, much emphasis was put the quality of the rental from the renter's POV. But from a Jennings POV, the goal is to reduce blight in the city.

We had a previous mayor Butler who passed a city maintenance code. Yet there is no enforcement of that code. No doubt because the citizens who own homes would not stand for it. Now they are taking another approach by going after landlords. But at the same time it is clear that the goal of the bureaucrats is to reduce competition to their "not for profit" rental business, by raising the costs of doing business for the private landlord.

Make no mistake, they are all going after the same taxpayer funded/assisted renters, and there is nothing that bothers or threatens those highly paid bureaucrats more, than possibly losing a renter to a cheaper mom and pop.

Anonymous said...


Next Mayor? You have got to be kidding me. He is not even a good councilperson yet along mayor. His lack of insight, social awkwardness, whiney demeanor and failure to get his facts straight before he talks should prove enough to oust him with the next election. From where I sit he has been on the wrong side of nearly all issues since he has been in office. Good Riddance!!!!!

Anonymous said...

From where you sit 10:16 you obviously are on the wrong side of things.

Anonymous said...

I think Mayor Butler has proven to be a strong mayor that doesn't buckle easily on tough subjects, or let his political ambitions influence the decision making process. Would definitely reelect him over Jennings. Jennings is a smart guy, good ideas and trying to make good on the promises he made when running, but doesn't have the type demeanor to deal with the public.

Anonymous said...

10:16, I agree 100%. Can not stand this guy. Hopefully he is a one term wonder. Why not try enforcing the codes already on the books before you create more levels of bureaucracy. That would decrease blight greatly, but no one is asking why our current codes department is not doing their job. Fix what you have before adding more

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

Public support - ha .. "We don't need no stinkin' public support." /s/ City Officials...or so it seems.

Anonymous said...

Who cares how the voters feel? You didn't listen during the last election regarding the ice rink, and it cost you the mayorship.

Anonymous said...

So the WDT supports yet another 'big brother' gov't position. Say it ain't so.

Anonymous said...

I don't follow 1:03. When the house next to me was imploding, Jennings was the only Council member who helped. Followed through, stayed on it, kept connecting with me until the issues got resolved. He does an outstanding job dealing with constituents and the public. I'd re-elect him in a heartbeat, and I can tell you me neighbors feel the same.

Anonymous said...

Jennings for Mayor...???? What the hell planet are you on???
He can't even speak without the baby, sissy whine in his voice. He has done nothing right so far and even with Mr. Sligar. He approves it?? ITs how many months after HE approved the budget and didn't even know it was in there. Its a hot topic and he should have been aware of what is going on. Then Mr. Sligar didn't respond to the September 16 deadline??? How much are we paying him for this, and he can't remember deadlines??? He surely sounds like a consultant.
I bet if you ask the Fire Chief what date he responded , it was on or before the 16th. GUARANTEED..

Anonymous said...

A penis pump was found at a Thompson park lookout this weekend. I wonder what Perry's thoughts are on this development? The sad state of our park...

Anonymous said...

As a long-time watchman of Watertown politics, I've seen my fair share of malarky that's gone on. But now, we have in Mayor Butler and Councilman Jennings two professional and energetic leaders who are to me, getting some things done in this town long overdue. It is unfortunate and sad really when people make nasty uninformed comments. I for one am glad we have Mayor Butler at the helm, and if Mr. Jennings chooses to follow in Mayor Butler's footsteps we should all be very grateful.

Jeff, it is disappointing that you fan such nastiness in the discourse on this blog. It really is.

And to the naysayers out there panning Councilman Jennings's proposals or criticizing the Mayor on the job he's doing, what are your solutions? Without making petty attacks.

Anonymous said...

7:15, the only real perception is when Jennings is interviewed, or from seeing him at council meetings, and I've watched several of them. Maybe my opinion is not valid, and I hope I'm wrong. But he does come off a bit smug and condescending, maybe it's just his way of speaking. I do feel that Joe Butler has a better leadership style.

Anonymous said...

12:01, What specific problem are you interested in a solution for? So far Jennings has bait and switched two problems and his solution does not improve either problem.

Something is not always better than nothing. Ask Owens. He voted for Obamacare and then had to retire before he wanted to because he believed something is always better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

We need a Blarney Stone up at the park for the Members of City Hall to kiss on special days.