Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WDT: Council Throws Jennings a Bone and Scampers Away from Inspections

    Call it a retreat or was it the camel getting his nose under the tent....City Council reportedly opted to require apartment registrations starting in 2018 but no mandatory inspections.
    Even this watered down proposal brought skepticism and concern over just what it accomplishes and what it will cost and who will pay.
     Three years ago when this discussion started, I recall telling Councilman Jennings registration was likely the most he could hope for.
      Those with concerns over an apartment have always been able to file a complaint and invite a codes officer into their home.
      When the regstration component takes effect in 2018, the corporate, government and NFP owners will comply and those with apartments in old homes will likely not want to codify their business venture.
       In the end, it was Councilman Mark Walczyk who carved out the best position, by opposing it all on the grounds that in the end nothing will be accomplished.


http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/rental-inspections-out-apartment-registrations-remain-intact-20161004

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course you are in line with Walczyk Jeff, as doing nothing is the best policy of all for professional pols like you two.

Anonymous said...

Hitler first registered the Jews. Deportation and murder only came later.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a very poorly marketed and administered proposal. Mr. Jennings appears to have just conceived this whole ting and then just shot it out there without really doing his homework. In a community where a majority of the housing is rental, he should have anticipated this backlash against yet another governmental expansion into their lives. This program was unique in that it was very invasive. Other communities inspect vacant units before re-rental. This is a less invasive approach. He way overshot this one. Future Mayor? I don't think so Steve.

Anonymous said...

The camel got his nose under the tent, and that's a good thing. You have it all wrong 7:10. Jennings did his homework well, and in all probability is the next Mayor. Even Mayor Graham concedes that. All in all, very well done Mr. Jennings.

Anonymous said...

Does walchyk even live in the cow..

Anonymous said...

7:59, no.

Jeff is hoping to ride the "Republican wave" back into office. If Dems were in control of this area, he'd be riding Horbaz's coat tails. We've seen this dog and pony show play out over the last 25 years.

Anonymous said...

When They cut the. Teeth out of this proposal this council shows exactly how timid and impoverished they are as so called leaders. This is a wimp's play not the stuff of transformational leadership . The council is pedestrian not forward thinking at all. They are a reflection of exactly why the city is in the shape it is , tired , run down and listless.

They deserve defeat next time around as they are OWNED By special interests and lack the courage to represent those who seek to move the city forward toward a better image and appearance....SHAMEFUL !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

He did his homework 749? He better go back to school then. If he did it due diligence, then why did it fail? Others on Council could see the issues so why not him? Why would he choose to violate the right of Americans by forcing the government into their homes and private spaces? Has he he ever heard of the Constitution? He is hardly Mayor material.

I suspect that once the issues at the Fire Department (and other departments) come to light, including the actual cost and waste of taxpayer monies, that he will not only NOT be Mayor, but will also be out of his Council seat. The taxpayers are getting sick of paying for the games that are being played. There is a storm brewing and he will left at account for his actions. He has been on the wrong side of so many issues, and is so hard to listen to, that he should be out. I believe that he has already tried for Mayor once and was BADLY defeated in the primaries.

By the way, which relative of Jennings are you?

Anonymous said...

Doing something...even something stupid that will cause market forces to further deteriorate the city, is better than doing nothing.

Yes the camel nose is under the tent. Or perhaps the council is just helping the three bureaucracies who pushed for this law, to save face, by passing a toothless useless law.

You have to love those laws that don't become effective for over a year. I guess that gives them over a year to repeal it.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Mr. Jennings for trying to better our community. Don't forget, if you are not approved by the dozen or so commenters on the Graham blog than you are not fit to serve us here in Watertown. On a good note, the Ex-Mayor is second guessing and arm chair QB'ing some of your ideas...and that's a good thing for you. Seriously, keep trying to better this community, that's why you were elected!

Anonymous said...

They passed the law,now they can quietly amend it to however they want it to read.Good luck landlords.

Anonymous said...

Now the city will send out letters to all the absentee landlords to register their rental properties. Must be they really do have that info already on file. How else do they plan on getting this new law to them. Watertown has a sickness - create something new and it will make things all better. What ever happened to - take care of what you have and it will last. Now we will to spend more money on a new system and a data entry person to input all of the rental property owner's information, not to mention an IT person to make the system work when the city buys the wrong software for the job (which is how their other ideas have come to pass).

Also, shame on Councilwoman Macaluso saying it is ok to abate a park fee for Ohio St School for a children's party and not a church for a function in the same spot because "The Church Doesn't Pay Taxes". The parishioners of said church Do pay taxes and they would be the ones supporting the function. Fees applied by council should apply equally to all. You cannot pick and chose (which apparently has gone on in this city for years). The council did agree to make a personal donation of the fee for Ohio St School which I applaud. By doing this we will at least know who and what they truly support. Thank you Councilman Walczyk for being the first to support a donation to the school and for standing up and again making your choice known regarding equal fees for everyone (group or organization).

Anonymous said...


I don't understand what was actually gained. The city website has a link to RPS (Real Property Service) that will tell anyone who looks who actually owns the property, how long they have owned it, the property classification, what was paid for it, etc.... If Jennings had simply gone to the city's website he would have seen all of this for himself. Registration is useless, especially when we already have this information. There is simply no teeth to this program. This whole thing has been another waste of time, money and energy. Couldn't this time have been better spent looking for a new City Manager?

Anonymous said...

Now the city will send out letters to all the absentee landlords to register their rental properties. Must be they really do have that info already on file. How else do they plan on getting this new law to them. Watertown has a sickness - create something new and it will make things all better. What ever happened to - take care of what you have and it will last. Now we will to spend more money on a new system and a data entry person to input all of the rental property owner's information, not to mention an IT person to make the system work when the city buys the wrong software for the job (which is how their other ideas have come to pass).

Also, shame on Councilwoman Macaluso saying it is ok to abate a park fee for Ohio St School for a children's party and not a church for a function in the same spot because "The Church Doesn't Pay Taxes". The parishioners of said church Do pay taxes and they would be the ones supporting the function. Fees applied by council should apply equally to all. You cannot pick and chose (which apparently has gone on in this city for years). The council did agree to make a personal donation of the fee for Ohio St School which I applaud. By doing this we will at least know who and what they truly support. Thank you Councilman Walczyk for being the first to support a donation to the school and for standing up and again making your choice known regarding equal fees for everyone (group or organization).

Anonymous said...

He was smart enough to get something. The program will only expand. In five years Jennings will have his full grown government oversight program. It will come with more bureaucracy, more regulations and more costs. Of course the real reason for the program, and Jennings will not admit it, is that he thinks the renters are too dumb to protect themselves from the slumlords.

As a tenant, and at times a tenant on a limited budget was always able to inspect the property and decide which property I did not want. My experience is that my neighbor tenants were always harder to deal with than the landlord. They left garbage, destroyed property etc.

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

Jennings is a grandstander, simple and direct.

Anonymous said...

Right on 10:13. I guess I should not be surprised by the rancor spewed forth by the bar flies and basement bloggers who post here. Councilman Jennings is to be commended for trying to improve things, and actually achieving a measure of success. I will also add Mayor Butler is doing a fine job, and working hard in a challenging role. Both of these young men are forward thinkers, and we ought to be a hell of a lot more thankful for their service and efforts to improve the city, and that includes you too Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jennings made a mistake with this wasteful Ordinance that will end up costing Costing Watertown residents who don't have income property pay more in property taxes down the road. You have property maintenance laws that have been on the books for years , you know exactly were all the run down long vacant homes are located in the city you Just choose for years to turn a blind eye on them as long as the taxes were paid up to date. When the fire Dept did inspections Every fall the properties seemed to be kept in better condition.

Anonymous said...

1034 is correct. Some of the problem with declining homes is the landlords knowledge that no one is really looking at them anymore unless a complaint is filed. The inspection program in the fire department was the only pro-active property assessment being conducted and it served as an incentive to maintain some levels of suitability and safety.

Strange tho that Jennings would prefer to hire more inspectors rather than just give the function back to the fire department. Is this good judgement on his part, or is he letting his "agenda" against the FD dictate higher costs for the taxpayer? This does not look like good leadership to me; just politics as usual. So tell me all you Jennings Boosters, is this really the way we want him to be "looking out" for the taxpayer? Where is his common sense? He would rather pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire people when the function could be performed for no additional costs. This is not good leadership. Time to replace him with someone with some good ol' fashion horse sense.

Anonymous said...

Who is this dimwit teacher type that keeps saying that Jennings should get credit for trying???

No!!! this is the real world, not your classroom. You don't get credit for trying in the real world, you get credit for results. This registration program does not improve the city one iota. Instead, it discourages property investors from buying city properties. Jennings gets a big fat ZERO for this one.

Anonymous said...

Simple action for most of you (I plan on it) is to vote him out next year. Done.

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot 2:35

Anonymous said...


235 has every right to vote his conscious. If he does not feel that Jennings represents him or his interest then he should vote him out. This does not make him and idiot this makes him part of the democratic process. We all know who the real idiot is huh 916?

I also plan to vote against Jennings in the next election and have plenty of friends and family that are with me. He is a snob that looks down on the average citizen. This program achieves nothing but places additional administrative burdens on an already understaffed department. He would have know this if he had taken the time to adequately research this proposal. Another loss for Mr. BIG Government! Thank God!!!

Anonymous said...

Well 235 and 903, vote the way you need to. I know PLENTY of people that think the guy's a hero. Should be an interesting election.

Anonymous said...

I can see Jennings winning easily. It all depends who runs against him. If you get someone of equal caliber, it would be interesting, but he'd be difficult to beat. If it's the same cast of characters the last go around, forget it.

Anonymous said...


Hero's actually accomplish things. What did he actually accomplish? A useless registration of people that we already know own the property. A person who jumps into the water to save a kid is only hailed as hero if he is able to come up with the kid. If he or the kid drown he is merely a good samaritan. This guy is no hero just a self-promoter who does not have a clue. We need fresh ideas and fresh people in this town if anything is ever going to change.