Print Page | Close Window

Property registration proposal

Printed From: MiddletownUSA.com
Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: City Council
Forum Description: Discuss individual members and council as a legislative body.
URL: http://www.middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4562
Printed Date: Dec 16 2017 at 9:32pm


Topic: Property registration proposal
Posted By: Vivian Moon
Subject: Property registration proposal
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 4:47am

Property registration proposal draws opposition from landowners

By http://www.middletownjournal.com/services/staff/1317913.html - Michael D. Pitman , Staff Writer 10:50 PM Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    MIDDLETOWN — The city this week will begin to form a panel to develop a program to register rental and vacant properties, but opponents say the program is a bad idea.
    More than 100 people packed council chambers Tuesday night. Some were turned away as people dressed in red inside the room voiced opinions against the proposed registration program, which is designed to make property owners and landlords more accountable.
    As it stands now, the proposal is offensive to landlord Missy McCall.
    “It’s not us,” she told city officials. “We’re the investors, we’re your friends. We’re the ones that are going to improve the blighted properties.”
    The idea of registering vacant and rental properties was first presented to council in January, and a progress report was given early this month.
    Landlords and property owners say the program as discussed two weeks ago adds unnecessary bureaucracy and is a blanket that will address the core issue, but will also hurt those who follow city regulations.
     “I really don’t want you to punish the masses for the mistakes of the few, and that’s what this type of legislation would do,” McCall said. “We’re investors and we’re a financial benefit to your community. We are your largest small business.”
    But near the end of Tuesday’s meeting, and about 90 minutes after the red-clad group left, City Law Director Les Landen said, “One of the things that is important is the information we got tonight.”
    Landen plans to meet with Community Development Director Doug Adkins — who presented the registration program May 1 — to form the committee that will address a proposed rental and vacant property registration program and help develop legislation council will consider. Adkins said any proposed legislation could be presented to council in August and - if approved - implemented by Jan. 1.
    Landen said the input from the landlords, property owners and their supporters “will help that committee start to define both sides of the concern out there. Just because people initially respond to something negatively doesn’t mean there’s not a solution.”
    The program that has landlords and property owners so upset would require them to register — something they say they already do with the Butler County auditor — and pay a fee that could be as much as $25 per mailbox. Some said that fee would simply be passed on to the tenants, which Janie Quinn said she can’t afford.
    “I’m doing all I can to make it,” the tenant said. You have people that makes money; I’m retired. I’m broke down, so please don’t raise my rent.”
    Adkins said the city has various programs and ways to work with homeowners to get voluntary or forced compliance with the city’s regulations. However, he said gaining compliance with owners of vacant and rental properties has been an issue in recent years.
    There are 15 cities and one county in
Ohio
that have rental property registration and 25 cities that have vacant property registration, Adkins said. In those communities, penalties for rental property registration range from imposing a fine to making it a misdemeanor charge in municipal court. In addition, vacant properties not in compliance could have penalties and registration fees are assessed as a lien.
    “We want to have a process that gives us everything we need and be as minimally intrusive as we can to the business owners in the city,” Adkins said.
    Rachel Lewitt, a property owner and real estate agent, said this is not the time to impose such a program.
    “In this unstable economic climate, investors and property owners are either running at a loss or stabilizing and hoping for a brighter future,” she said. “Property values are down 30 to 50 percent, and tenants face similar issues and are on a limited income and are simply maxed out.”
    Lewitt said the city doesn’t maintain many downtown properties it has acquired in recent years.
    “I was told by a city staff person if you can’t maintain a property, don’t own a property. I repeat the same words to you,” Lewitt said. “As the city acquires more real estate and a land bank portfolio, you too should be on a budget and should maintain the same level of standards as you require all property owners.”
    McCall said if the city goes forward with the program that resembles any part of the May 1 presentation, she and possibly other landlords and property owners will simply leave the city and county.
    “I object to registration,” she said. “Sex offenders are registered. I’m a landlord. I’m a business person. I don’t need to be registered.”
    Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2175 or michael.pitman@coxinc.com. Follow at twitter.com/mdpitman.

 




Replies:
Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 6:16am
Don't understand. If the city's only need is for registration of properties around town, sit someone down at the computer at the city building, get on the Butler County Auditor's site, do a property search and compile a rental/vacancy list for Adkins. Hell, get on the phone and call the landlords to get verification. The city already knows where the apartments and vacant properties are. Why does the city think they need to charge the landowners a $25 fee and set up another paperwork ladened system to verify their properties when they can get the info. free? The only conclusion one could come to is that it is yet another attempt to concoct another revenue generation scheme for a cash strapped city. Those folks in the city building refuse to generate revenue the old fashion way......through company and payroll taxes. That would require an effort on their part to start bringing companies and jobs into the city. We can't have that, now can we. Between council's rubber stamp decision making and the circus in the city building, this town has got to have the most inept collection of city leaders of any town in Ohio.


Posted By: Observer
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 9:05am

Let me play devils advocate for a moment as I'm not convienced either way on this one.  If I had to read between the lines on this one I suspect this is one way that Adkins and the admin is trying to run off some of the section 8.  Whats one of the fastest ways to deter a business to leave or not come to your town...tax it.  Since Middletown can't just call up HUD and give back vouchers they have to show that the demand isn't there.  If landlords don't want to pay the $25 or be  have an aversion to being registered then take your business to another city.  I haven't talked to anyone with knowledge of the situation but that's my guess as to the real reason behind this plan.

Most on this board feel that MiddletownUSA drove the section 8 problem to the front burner a few years back.  This may or may not be true but lets say that the city is using this fee and registration as a deterent to potential new or existing landlords (the bad kind).  Shouldn't we at least give them some credit for trying to reduce the numbers? 


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 10:25am
Originally posted by Observer Observer wrote:

Let me play devils advocate for a moment as I'm not convienced either way on this one.  If I had to read between the lines on this one I suspect this is one way that Adkins and the admin is trying to run off some of the section 8.  Whats one of the fastest ways to deter a business to leave or not come to your town...tax it.  Since Middletown can't just call up HUD and give back vouchers they have to show that the demand isn't there.  If landlords don't want to pay the $25 or be  have an aversion to being registered then take your business to another city.  I haven't talked to anyone with knowledge of the situation but that's my guess as to the real reason behind this plan.


Most on this board feel that MiddletownUSA drove the section 8 problem to the front burner a few years back.  This may or may not be true but lets say that the city is using this fee and registration as a deterent to potential new or existing landlords (the bad kind).  Shouldn't we at least give them some credit for trying to reduce the numbers? 


If as you say, I commend Adkins and company for reducing all Section 8. I'd like to see it gone for good. Good observation on the intent. What is puzzling is that the city did everything they could to invite as much Section 8 blight to the city while helping drive the city to ghetto status for the almighty fed dollars......now, a change of heart on reducing it??? What happened? Did they finally see the error of their ways?


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 11:02am

Gentlemen

This has NOTHING to do with any HUD program or Section 8…and by the way Mr Adkins has NOT reduced the Section 8 vouchers program.

This is about charging to inspect each and every piece of rental property in Middletown no matter how large or small. This is about the City and Mr Adkins wanting control and power over privatey owned property. The City already has laws on the books to deal with any rental property problems.

Take a look around the City at all the property that the City now owns and tell me why they won’t clean up their own property before making demands on the citizens. Tell me again how well they used the millions of dollars in NSP and CDBG funds. I can tell you where it wasn’t used….It wasn’t used in the high poverty high crime areas.

This is all about money and power…..This is about feeding the BEAST called City Hall.



Posted By: Observer
Date Posted: May 16 2012 at 2:22pm
Like I said initially.  I have no inside information and I'm not disputing whether Mr. Adkins has reduced the number of section 8 to date.   What I am saying is that he has said he/ admin. have expressed a strong desire to reduce the number over several years and I'm merely saying this maybe one way to do so.  Yes the city did get us into this problem but I don't think any of the current council members were part of the group that allowed this explosion to happen in the early 2000's. 


Posted By: TonyB
Date Posted: May 20 2012 at 9:45pm
Observer,

The city has expressed many "strong desires" in recent years. Actions speak louder than words. All you have to do is look at the track record of Middletown in the "desires" vs actions category to see where this is headed. This will do what the "Master Plan" has been unable to accomplish to date: reduce the population to around 25,000! When property owners can't rent without the consent of government, more houses will be abandoned and demolished. High taxes, no jobs and overpriced and over regulated housing will insure the continued death spiral. BTW, doesn't the already have housing inspectors? Aren't their already laws on the books to deal with this problem?


Posted By: Citizen123
Date Posted: May 21 2012 at 2:27pm
I am close to this issue and the $25.00 fee that is being thrown around is not going to be the fee, not even close. More like $100.00 to $250.00/year per mail box. With 2 new salaries, about $80k/year with benefits,
2-vehicles and computer software. This cost will be passed on to the tenants.


Posted By: Observer
Date Posted: May 21 2012 at 3:13pm

Tony,

We all know we can sit here and lambast city hall all day long but that has nothing to do with what i was saying.  We all know past performance is a strong indicator of future behavior but it doesn't have to be.  All i was trying to convey was what i saw when reading the tea leaves.  Nothing more nothing less....not saying a $25 fee will solve or won't solve our problems with section 8, merely taking what I've heard some in the city admin say and applying it to this situation.  As i said initially, i'm plyaing devils advocate.  I'm certainly not taking up the cause to establish this fee.


Posted By: Middletown29
Date Posted: May 23 2012 at 6:35am
Vivian Vivian there you go again. Why can't you address the issue at hand instead of just constantly trashing the city?
I am no great fan of the city, but you throw mud at everything the city tries.


Posted By: rngrmed
Date Posted: May 23 2012 at 7:23am
Why single out the landlords?   Why not all property owners?  There are plenty of property owners that don't mow their grass or take care of their houses as well.  
 
Again, what about businesses?  I've seen several shops that rent that property looks run down


Posted By: rngrmed
Date Posted: May 23 2012 at 7:26am
I thought Republicans were about less Government....or is that only when you ask them to do something for you?  When it comes to taking your money..We need another layer


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 26 2012 at 10:36pm
Vivian,

You mention that there are already laws on the books to deal with any rental property problem. With that said, I have a question: "How does the city compel Badlandlord, LLC to comply with building code violations if the only contact information they have is an out of state PO box and the property owner refuses to accept any correspondence from the city"?

The same is true of out of state banks. Let say that JPMorgan Chase makes a determination that the value of one of their properties in Middletown insn't worth the cost of needed repairs and ongoing maintenance. What do you think that they are going to do? What law on the books allows the city to compel their compliance?

The registration process is the "tool" that they need to enforce the existing laws. I do think that there is some merit to the belief that money and control are a motivation, I just don't think that it the primary driver.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 26 2012 at 10:48pm
VietVet,

I couldn't agree more with your statement. For ten years, they pursued these vouchers like there was no tomorrow and now they are doing everything in their power to get rid of them. Like you said: "it is puzzling". Do you know what year Mr. Adkins took on his current position with the city?


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 9:17am

Vivian,

You mention that there are already laws on the books to deal with any rental property problem. With that said, I have a question: "How does the city compel Badlandlord, LLC to comply with building code violations if the only contact information they have is an out of state PO box and the property owner refuses to accept any correspondence from the city"?
Well Greygoose
In order to discuss and or solve a problem I believe one must have all the facts and numbers before them to evaluate. So please provide me with the following information.
How many rental units or homes does
Middletown have that are NOT Public Housing and or on the Section 8 program?
Out of this number how many rental units or homes are owned by an out of state Badlandlord LLC?  Are we talking about 1, 10, 100 or 1,000 rental units?
Does this number also include the ongoing legal problems at the trailer park? How many rental units are from trailer parks?   


The same is true of out of state banks. Let say that JPMorgan Chase makes a determination that the value of one of their properties in
Middletown insn't worth the cost of needed repairs and ongoing maintenance. What do you think that they are going to do? What law on the books allows the city to compel their compliance?
Greygoose
I see this as a totally separate issue. These are not rental properties.

The registration process is the "tool" that they need to enforce the existing laws. I do think that there is some merit to the belief that money and control are a motivation, I just don't think that it the primary driver.



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 10:08am
Ms. Moon

The most current numbers that I can find are two years old and are "approximate" because they were derived from percentages:

1. 3,600 subsidized rentals
2. 5,400 non-subsidized rentals
3. 2,100 non-subsidized rentals with out of town owners

I have no information concerning the trailer parks.

I do not see banks as a separate issue. They my not be rental properties but their abondoned properties are an eyesore to our community and they are related because the city has the same issue with them as they do with out of town landlords....."they can't be compelled to comply because they can't be served"


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 11:21am

Ms. Moon
The most current numbers that I can find are two years old and are "approximate" because they were derived from percentages:

1. 3,600 subsidized rentals
2. 5,400 non-subsidized rentals
3. 2,100 non-subsidized rentals with
out of town owners
Greygoose, that was not my question. We know that the majority of the rental property is owned by people that live in surrounding areas. My question was how many are out of state Badlandlord LLC that the City can not contact because they only have a PO Box number?
Then I have a few more questions.
How many homes are in
Middletown?
What percentage of the total housing stock are rental properties?
What about the commercial properties?


I have no information concerning the trailer parks.

I do not see banks as a separate issue. They my not be rental properties but their abondoned properties are an eyesore to our community and they are related because the city has the same issue with them as they do with out of town landlords....."they can't be compelled to comply because they can't be served"
Are you sure you have been in Middletown over the past twenty years?
I just drove by the old library this morning. Has the owner been ordered to make repairs on that property? City now owns empty lots all over town with grass four foot high.
I believe you need to start with the problem property owners that you can serve and where improvements can be made before we impose more laws.



Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 12:07pm

Just another way for our deadbeats in city hall to make up money that they have threw away.Sorry but I refuse to give in to them.Be a cold day in hell before I register my properties to satify  the idiots in city hall.



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 12:43pm
Vivian,

I am not here to serve as your personal statistician. You asked me a question and I did my best to give you a legitament answer. I'm not sure why, because after checking some of your posting history, I can tell that it wouldn't matter what I said.

The use of "Badlandlord LLC" was nothing more than a silly metaphor and I could have used a PO box in Springfield,Ohio just as easily. What is your point? If you know that a large percentage of landlords are from out of town, why did you ask the question? If you know this, then you should understand the difficulties in gaining compliance.

Rentals represent 40% of the city's housing stock. You do the math.

I am not saying that I like what I see in Middletown. I don't! But griping about the decisions of "past" city leaders and opposing EVERYTHING that is proposed from current leadership is not going to solve anything. I happen to think that Mr. Adkins has a better plan for the city's future than any city official that has been around in the past 20 years.

Now it's my turn to ask a few questions. I noticed in a prior post that you stated that Mr. Adkins hadn't reduced the number Section 8 of vouchers:

1. Do you think that it for the lack of effort on his behalf?
2. Do you think that he is in favor of 40% of our housing stock being rentals?
3. Did he cause the poverty & blight?

I do agree that the city needs to be held to the same standards. At the last council meeting, I thought that Walter Leap did a good job of getting that message across.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 27 2012 at 4:05pm
thanx 4 the insight, mr.goose
hope that u don't get cooked
Informative and thought-provoking.
40% rentals in a town of this size is incredible.
Even more incredible is the metamorphosis that brought us to those figures.
I have lived here for my entire life--went through the public school system k-12,
and have been in business locally throughout.
 
I can't accept the concept that our own local govt. has long-term led us into this situation
simply to pad their pockets, their cronies' pockets, and to provide long-term job/bennie security.
 
I also rate the current and last Councils as being the most destructive in my memory.
Add in the direction of Admin, and we have a very citizen/business unfriendly situation
If you are small, local or retail, Economic Development doesn't exist. You are merely here to pay the city piper for countless over-regulatory legalities and little to no support or services.
 
I am the owner of an 86yo business that has thrived locally until the last decade.
I have survived every kind of competition imaginable, however I can no longer win vs. the current levels of small crime and the demographic rate of poverty. Living wage jobs don't exist here. Quality of life shopping/entertainment options are few and far between here. No one with anything going for them is going to move here.
 
I live in a reasonably upscale neighborhood, yet the home next to me has been vacant for over two years.
It is in serious dis-repair and completely over-grown. The city has ignored the situation.
 
I operated two businesses in  once-thriving strip centers.. The first went vacant, and I operated there 30 years as the only business in a center that looks like something out of bombed-out Baghdad. I went through countless ED directors who promised tenants within 6 months. Never heard from any of those ED people again. All packed up and left.
 
I also operated in another once-thriving retail center which is currently following the same course. Didn't like what I sensibly had to do, I took my losses and vacated both locations. Didn't need to go through the decline twice. Local businesses are on their knees like never before, and competition has nothing to do with their problems. Thefts, break-ins, vandalism,and low-income demographics are more than small businesses can over-come when it goes on for as long as it has(and will continue) here.
 
I have had enough of our Council and Administration.
I have no faith in either of them.
I don't trust them, and don't agree/approve with their actions.
My only method of recourse is to starve them into submission via the ballot box.
I will not support them on any issues until I see serioua about-face change(I don't see it coming from this group). Tear this system down, and re-build from the ground up. Painful but necessary.
 
Mr.Adkins?
Maybe what he is doing now is necessary to begin the journey back to where we need to be.
]I don't see anything else moving us towards prosperity. It surely won't be art galleries and property giveaways and a pipe dream about an area that no longer has any significance in our recovery.
 
A few years ago, we were told that the east end was our salvation.
That situation has blown apart, and never gets a mention any more.
An embarrassing entrance to our community, now book-ended by the never-ending re-do on the western front.
 
Can we stick with something until we get it right?
 
jm bitter o
end of rant


Posted By: TonyB
Date Posted: May 28 2012 at 7:13am
sj,

A thought provoking rant that has a solution with which I am in complete agreement. The only way to change the current direction of this city is to change everything about it from the ground up. I would say you have reason to be bitter; it's not like this city government has done anything to help you and your business. I only hope your business will survive until the rebuilding takes place.

greygoose,

It really isn't a matter of opposing EVERYTHING this council offers; it's more about the mixed messages that this council offers. If you listen to them, we have vague "problems" but are "moving forward". Nothing could be further from the truth in that regard; the region around Middletown is moving forward. This city is reaping what has been sown for the last 30 years of myopic vision and is now reeling from the effects of overtaxation and poor execution of previous economic development plans. While Mr. Adkins plan might look good on the surface, the track record of city government makes trusting any plan they come up with problematic. As for the out-of-town property owners, if you can't get them to clean it up under current laws, charging them a "registration fee" isn't going to motivate them to do anything more than they are doing now. It's just another revenue generator for the city which will be wasted on another half-assed attempt to maintain the status quo. Why not try boycotting those out-of-town landlords who won't repair their properties? Maybe that will motivate them to either sell or repair.


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: May 28 2012 at 3:40pm
Can Middletown File Chapter 9 Bankruptcy and get out from underneath the section 8 contracts with the feds and force the public employee unions back to the table to renegotiate their contracts much like the city of Vallejo in California did?

PacmanCool


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 30 2012 at 11:17am

Vivian,

 
I am not here to serve as your personal statistician. You asked me a question and I did my best to give you a legitament answer.
Greygoose
Thank you so much for providing and posting these numbers for us.
In this case numbers, not pictures, are worth a thousand words…and they clearly show what has happened to our once proud City.

I'm not sure why, because after checking some of your posting history, I can tell that it wouldn't matter what I said.
You might be correct in this statement. It is difficult for me to defend the actions of the City when their actions and the numbers tell a very different story.
I sit and watch the council meetings and I’m amazed at the misleading and sometimes down right untruthful statements that are made during these meetings. Then I wake up the next morning and this same misinformation is printed in the
Middletown Journal...and the spin begins.
I’m not against what the City does as much as the means they use to manipulate a project. The latest example is the
Cincy State project.     
So show me the numbers and prove your point.   

The use of "Badlandlord LLC" was nothing more than a silly metaphor and I could have used a PO box in Springfield,Ohio just as easily. What is your point? If you know that a large percentage of landlords are from out of town, why did you ask the question? If you know this, then you should understand the difficulties in gaining compliance.
Again are we talking about landlords that live out of town in Monroe, Lebanon, West Chester and West Middletown or are we talking about a landlord that lives in California or Florida?
How many of these landlords that own property in
Middletown live OUT OF STATE?

Rentals represent 40% of the city's housing stock. You do the math.
I have been told that we have about 23,000 properties in Middletown.
As per your numbers we have 11,100 rental properties.
If these numbers are correct… then why did the City just approve an additional 216 rental units to be built on property that was once zoned commercial?
If in fact over 40% of the properties in
Middletown are owned by these landlords then they are paying over 40% of the property taxes in Middletown. Why on earth is the City hell bent to put them out of business?

I am not saying that I like what I see in Middletown. I don't! But griping about the decisions of "past" city leaders and opposing EVERYTHING that is proposed from current leadership is not going to solve anything.
Really?...From where I’m sitting the CURRENT City leadership is following in the same footsteps as the past leaders. They don’t want to answer the difficult questions about where did all the money go that was set aside for the street and sewer funds either?
When are we going to face the real needs of this City?
The only answer we have gotten to date is “ We were asleep at the wheel” and “We don’t have the funding”.
 
I happen to think that Mr. Adkins has a better plan for the city's future than any city official that has been around in the past 20 years.
Well I guess that would depend on whether you are among the 150 “Special Friends of the City Hall”.  I have great concern when so much power and money is placed in the control of one person and one office at City Hall. I’m really concerned when the need for power and control is greater than the freedom of the citizens of this city.  

Now it's my turn to ask a few questions. I noticed in a prior post that you stated that Mr. Adkins hadn't reduced the number Section 8 of vouchers:
1. Do you think that it for the lack of effort on his behalf?
I remember the quote from Mr. Adkins as he stood before City Council that night. He said “Give me the power and I will make it happen”. The City Council voted and gave him anything and everything that he requested. I believe that it is a matter of record that I and Nelson Self clearly stated on this blog that HUD would not reduce the number of vouchers in an area with such high poverty numbers. That Mr. Adkins could not impose undue regulations and hardships on Section 8 landlords or tenants.
2. Do you think that he is in favor of 40% of our housing stock being rentals?
I do not know the personal views of Mr. Adkins on this and many other subjects other than what he has stated at public meetings.
However I do have a little food for thought question...
What should the percentage of rental property be in
Middletown to make it a healthy balanced community again?
3. Did he cause the poverty & blight?
I have stated my views and the numbers many times on this blog about the wasted government funding of NSP and CDBG. I believe we got very little bang for our buck.
Example: I believe the city purchased the
Mission on Central Ave for $120,000 so they could demo. They then purchased the Mid-Towne Cabinet for about $90,000 to demo…
However the City sold a newer larger building, known as CG&E for $220,000 and even gave CS the old
Senior Citizens Building for free.
I may only have three little grey cells but even I can tell that something is terribly wrong with the numbers involved in these deals. And then we have the Duncan Oil deal...mercy!


I do agree that the city needs to be held to the same standards. At the last council meeting, I thought that Walter Leap did a good job of getting that message across.
I agree that Mr. Leap, Rachel Lewitt and several others did a wonderful job of stating their position on this subject.



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 30 2012 at 10:34pm
Vivian,

I appreciate your response to my post. It is now clear to me that you are very "tuned in" to the happenings within our city. I may be wrong, but your response leads me to believe that what I perceived as constant negativity is really a release of many years of frustration with our city's leaders and their poor decision making history. You've raised several interesting points that I would like to chime in on:

1. Because of the city's poor history, you and many others on this board are leary of the positive "spin" that city leaders put on projects that they support. It's understandable but, to be fair, isn't it to be expected. Would you follow a general into battle if he told you that that odds of survival were 1 in 100?

2. You mention Cincinnati State as an example of the city's manipulation of the facts. Can you tune me in on why you feal this way. I'm not disagreeing, I just don't know. To me, the third party feasability studies looked good and the risk to the city appears minimal.

3. There are approximately 9,000 rental units in the city but, according to the city's 2010 Section 8 Report, we should "strive" to reduce that number to around 3,600 (a 60% reduction!!!!!!). If the city approved the building of 216 rental units, it flys in the face of their own recommendation. Can you provide more info on these proposed new rentals?

4. I don't see $25.00 per mailbox putting any landlord out of business unless they are already headed that way. Don't get me wrong; I don't like the added expense, but will support it if it benefits the city as a whole. Quite frankly, much of my support for the registration program is the hope that it will help reduce the number of sustainable rental units toward the 3,600 goal. To date, my support for Mr. Adkins is due to his recognition that the city has too many rentals and reducing that number is a primary objective of his (that's why I would like more info on the proposed 216 new units).

5. Conceptually, I understand your concern over a single individual having too much power and control. However, the problems that Mr. Adkins is dealing with are monumental and if he needs additional "stroke" to get it done, I'll support it (as long as individual freedoms are not truly encroached upon).

6. In my prior post, I asked you questions about Mr. Adkins because I have, what I believe, to be the answers. You are absolutely right about HUD not permitting Mr. Adkins to reduce the number of Section 8 vouchers, but it was not due to a lack of effort. The 2010 Section 8 Report that he prepared was so full of spin, it made me dizzy reading it. However, HUD isn't going to allow it until poverty related numbers drop enough to justify it. I think that it is imperative that the number of rental units in this town be reduce to have any chance of economic recovery. If you can't reduce that number by taking away vouchers, the only choice that you have left is to take away the actual rental units. I believe that to be Mr. Adkins' strategy and support it. It's going to be painful but I feel that it must be done. This support is not coming from someone sitting on the sidelines with nothing to lose. I have many rental units in this town and this strategy will cost me much more than most residents.

7. I see that you mention the Duncan Oil deal. I happen to know the president of that company (unless he recently retired). What deal are you speaking of? I can probably get the inside skinny on it if I know what you are referring to.

8. I thought that Walter Leap did the best job of stating his position. I loved it when he pointed out a couple of city owned properties that were not be maintained. Rachel Lewitt lost some credibility with me when she stated something to the effect of "many landlords are opporating at a loss". This might be technically true, but anyone in the "landlord business" knows that demand is higher than normal and we all know what happens when demand is greater than supply.

I look forward to your reply. I am curious to see how much we do and don't have in common.


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 4:39am

Vivian,

I appreciate your response to my post. It is now clear to me that you are very "tuned in" to the happenings within our city. I may be wrong, but your response leads me to believe that what I perceived as constant negativity is really a release of many years of frustration with our city's leaders and their poor decision making history. You've raised several interesting points that I would like to chime in on:
Greygoose
I don’t need to be patted on the head and told that you understand that I might be frustrated with the poor decision making of past leaders...I’m not impressed with the current leaders either.
It is evident from your post that you are NOT a resident, business owner or a landlord in the city of
Middletown. However I do believe that you are part of the city’s spin machine.
I believe that I and others on this blog have voiced our opinions on all the subjects that you seem to be concerned about. Sooo let your fingers do the research.
Yep that’s what we need to give City Hall is more money and more power..
 
1. Because of the city's poor history, you and many others on this board are leary of the positive "spin" that city leaders put on projects that they support. It's understandable but, to be fair, isn't it to be expected. Would you follow a general into battle if he told you that that odds of survival were 1 in 100?

2. You mention
Cincinnati State as an example of the city's manipulation of the facts. Can you tune me in on why you feal this way. I'm not disagreeing, I just don't know. To me, the third party feasability studies looked good and the risk to the city appears minimal.

3. There are approximately 9,000 rental units in the city but, according to the city's 2010 Section 8 Report, we should "strive" to reduce that number to around 3,600 (a 60% reduction!!!!!!). If the city approved the building of 216 rental units, it flys in the face of their own recommendation. Can you provide more info on these proposed new rentals?

4. I don't see $25.00 per mailbox putting any landlord out of business unless they are already headed that way. Don't get me wrong; I don't like the added expense, but will support it if it benefits the city as a whole. Quite frankly, much of my support for the registration program is the hope that it will help reduce the number of sustainable rental units toward the 3,600 goal. To date, my support for Mr. Adkins is due to his recognition that the city has too many rentals and reducing that number is a primary objective of his (that's why I would like more info on the proposed 216 new units).

5. Conceptually, I understand your concern over a single individual having too much power and control. However, the problems that Mr. Adkins is dealing with are monumental and if he needs additional "stroke" to get it done, I'll support it (as long as individual freedoms are not truly encroached upon).

6. In my prior post, I asked you questions about Mr. Adkins because I have, what I believe, to be the answers. You are absolutely right about HUD not permitting Mr. Adkins to reduce the number of Section 8 vouchers, but it was not due to a lack of effort. The 2010 Section 8 Report that he prepared was so full of spin, it made me dizzy reading it. However, HUD isn't going to allow it until poverty related numbers drop enough to justify it. I think that it is imperative that the number of rental units in this town be reduce to have any chance of economic recovery. If you can't reduce that number by taking away vouchers, the only choice that you have left is to take away the actual rental units. I believe that to be Mr. Adkins' strategy and support it. It's going to be painful but I feel that it must be done. This support is not coming from someone sitting on the sidelines with nothing to lose. I have many rental units in this town and this strategy will cost me much more than most residents.

7. I see that you mention the Duncan Oil deal. I happen to know the president of that company (unless he recently retired). What deal are you speaking of? I can probably get the inside skinny on it if I know what you are referring to.

8. I thought that Walter Leap did the best job of stating his position. I loved it when he pointed out a couple of city owned properties that were not be maintained. Rachel Lewitt lost some credibility with me when she stated something to the effect of "many landlords are opporating at a loss". This might be technically true, but anyone in the "landlord business" knows that demand is higher than normal and we all know what happens when demand is greater than supply.

I look forward to your reply. I am curious to see how much we do and don't have in common.



Posted By: Richard Saunders
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 4:49am
Mr. Goose:
While I don't mean to answer for Ms. Moon, I would like to speak to the points numbered in your post.
Your item 1: Our city's leaders are not supposed to put "spin" on projects.  They are supposed to tell the truth.  It is certainly not understandable that they mislead us, nor is it expected.  It is, in fact, deplorable that they do so.  If they cannot be honest, they should quit, be fired, or be prosecuted.
I would sooner follow a general into battle that honestly told me that the odds were 100 to 1 against us, than a general that told me that the odds were in our favor when any moron could plainly see that the odds were 100 to 1 against us.  Didn't you learn anything from the Revolutionary War, the assault on Normandy, the Alamo?  Did the leaders in those (and similar) conflicts tell their "troops" that the odds were in their favor?  In contrast, consider how Der Fuehrer kept telling his troops that the odds were in their favor.  How did that work out for him?
It is interesting that you believe that is is correct for our city's leaders to "spin," that is, lie to or mislead us.  It makes me wonder why I should even bother to answer the remaining points of your post.

If you believe that it is okay for our leaders to deceive us, why should we believe anything that you have to say?  Won't anything that you write just be "spin" as well?

I have logical, well-reasoned replies to each of your other points, but why bother typing them out?  Why should I earnestly try to rebut your "spin" with sincere logic and reason.
You, Sir, are obviously nothing more than a cheap tout.  You are simply someone out to "spin" for the "spinners."
I shan't waste any more time on you.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 11:58am
Mr. Saunders,

You've taken way too much liberty with the interpretation of my words. I can tell you categorically that I am NOT advocating that the city leaders lie to it's citizens. City leaders should possess "leadership" skills (leadership is a process by which a person influences others). "Spin" is a favorable interpretation of words (a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of others). You've "chosen" to interpret the term "spin" negatively where as I think that leadership skills and "positive spin" are to be expected. If you want honesty, answer this question: Who, in their right mind, would support this city if it's leadership was "touting" that it had no chance of recovery and property values were going to continually decline for the next 10 years? In "my" opinion, that type of communication would be irresponsible, even if the city leader believed it!

I am new to this on-line community. I am not a city "tout", but I just don't buy into the blanket argument that all of our city leaders are self serving crooks that have no real interest in our city. I think that our leadership has done a horrible job over the last 25 years, but I don't "automatically" condemn the current leadership for the mistakes of their predecessors. I truly believe that, in addition to the poor management of the past, much of our city's problems are a result of when it "came to be". In it's day, having a large steel mill in the center of town was a good thing. Small, two bedroom houses were a good thing. Water lines, storm sewers and sanitary lines were a good thing. The problem now, is that these things are "now" 100 years old. Newer communities like Springboro, West Chester & Mason never had to deal with these issues. Granted, forward thinking leadership could have helped with these issues, but they are still "issues" that are unique to "old", "industrial", cities like Middletown, Hamilton, Springfield, etc.

With that said, I am still forming my opinion of the current leadership. To date, my judgement of them has been positive and "primarily" shaped by my personal interaction with them. Since I discovered this message board, I have found many thought provoking posts that have me "questioning" some of my beliefs (most recently, the post from spiderjohn, above).

In summary, you don't know me, my thoughts, or my intentions. If you have logical, well-reasoned rebuttals to my post, I would truly like to hear them. I just don't want to hear the blanket statement of "they are city leaders, thus, they are bad". I hope to hear from you.



Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 12:28pm
greygoose 4. I don't see $25.00 per mailbox putting any landlord out of business unless they are already headed that way. Don't get me wrong; I don't like the added expense, but will support it if it benefits the city as a whole. Quite frankly, much of my support for the registration program is the hope that it will help reduce the number of sustainable rental units toward the 3,600 goal. To date, my support for Mr. Adkins is due to his recognition that the city has too many rentals and reducing that number is a primary objective of his (that's why I would like more info on the proposed 216 new units).
MR/Mrs/Miss Goose....Why should us landlords have to give our lieing,cheating crooks of a council 25 bucks to register our properties when  they are already registered in the County?As some has mentioned on here,they have lost the respect of alot of citizens for their lieing on certain things and before you ask what do your own research since you think you know it all.


Posted By: Observer
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 2:02pm
I'm rather surprised at the intentionally insulting ways people are responding to greygoose.  He seems like a thoughtful poster that is respectful of others.  I thought the point of these forums was an exchange of ideas and not throwing insults at people that happen to have a different opinion.


Posted By: Neil Barille
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 2:47pm
I'm not surprised at all.  Just look who is posting.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 2:54pm
Observer,

Thank you for your comments. I thought that I conveyed that I am "open" to other opinions. Actually, I am anxious to hear them. I just "tune out" when I get a "they're all crooks" comment like I just got. However, the topic of our city's leadership sparks a tremendous amount of passion in just about every post. I learn from those like spiderjohn and ignore the ones like LMAO.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 3:44pm
Ok greygoose, I'll make an attempt here, albeit civil, to provide my input since you asked for it in your post from people on this forum.

greygoose-"City leaders should possess "leadership" skills (leadership is a process by which a person influences others"

Unfortunately, very few past and current city leaders have demonstrated leadership skills. Few have had a vision, game plan or offered any positive direction for this city. Past embarassments such as the City Centre Mall, Lake Middletown and the Bicentennial Commons, as well as the once all important East End, now taking a backseat to the downtown area, have hurt the city and contributed to the lack of trust from what I believe to be the majority of the citizens. IMO, we have no dynamic leaders who possess any common sense whatsoever nowadays. There is a game they are playing in this town. It is a game of exclusion for the majority of us. Attention seems to be directed to a few of their friends, who they seem to bend over backwards to please. I have lived here since 1948 and have seen it all. Good times and bad. Since the 70's we have been in a downward spiral as to city growth, econ. development and clear path thinking which has resulted in what we have now. Stagnation, mis-focus, little hope in the job market, little hope for the people raising their standard of living and little trust in our city government.

I agree with you that the dynamics of the city are changing. Started in the 70's with AK (always Armco to me) downsized from the 9000+ working in the 60's to ~ 3000 today. Like the town, AK is a shadow of it's former self. Paper mills all gone. Town looks deserted/desolate and ghostly. People were proud to live here in the 50's and 60's. Now, not so sure. Has become a joke to neighboring communities and known for it's inept "can't seem to get anything done correctly" thinking. While Springboro, West Chester and Mason were cow pastures when I was young, they have now bypassed Middletown and have exploded with growth while Middletown was treading water or sinking into the abyss.....all being allowed to happen by the past/present leaders. Sad for me to watch, knowing what this city used to be.

You need to understand that some of us have a basis of comparison. We were here when times were good and the town was a GREAT place to raise a family, had ample employment in the good job category, run with some degree of competency/trust, people didn't feel excluded from the operation of their own town and we were proud of our town. Now......



Posted By: ground swat
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 4:24pm
Heres a simple question- how many out there in MUSA land have every worked for or with the city leadership specifically the city manager??


Posted By: Bocephus
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by ground swat ground swat wrote:

Heres a simple question- how many out there in MUSA land have every worked for or with the city leadership specifically the city manager??
 
I used to work for a Janitorial company when they cleaned the City building (high school) does that get me anything ? LOL


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 5:33pm
Swat,

I've never had any personal dealings with any of the council members, but have had plenty of interaction with the City Manager, the Community Revitalization Director, and the former Economic Development Director. My interaction with these folks have definitely helped shape my current opinion of city leadership; an opinion that continues to evolve.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 5:42pm
Originally posted by greygoose greygoose wrote:

Swat,

I've never had any personal dealings with any of the council members, but have had plenty of interaction with the City Manager, the Community Revitalization Director, and the former Economic Development Director. My interaction with these folks have definitely helped shape my current opinion of city leadership; an opinion that continues to evolve.
Enough said.LOL


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 6:49pm
Viet Vet,

I would like to thank you for the time, thought, and civility given in response to my questions. Now that I've had time to digest it, I'd like to share what "I" got out of your post:

There are good reasons for your frustration. You, and others like you, have been here long enough to have seen the city at it's best and have sadly witnessed its decline over the last 50 years. During the same time frame, former "cow pastures" such as Springboro, West Chester & Mason have developed and are thriving by comparison.

The city has a history of poor leadership and well publicized mistakes. Current leadership is status quo at best and their current, myopic, vision with the downtown area is to the detriment to everyone but a select few. In fact, their downtown "obsession" is contrary to the opinions of most Middletown residents, who have been excluded from the process.

Again, these are my words. They represent what I "got" from your post. How did I do? If I'm accurate, I'd like to ask a couple of questions. Again, thank you.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 7:01pm
LMAO,

I put it out there because I inferred from your prior post that meeting with a city official was "out of line". Imply what you wish; if you conduct business in a city over a span of years, it is not "unusual" to communicate with some of its leaders.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 7:08pm
Originally posted by greygoose greygoose wrote:

Viet Vet,

I would like to thank you for the time, thought, and civility given in response to my questions. Now that I've had time to digest it, I'd like to share what "I" got out of your post:

There are good reasons for your frustration. You, and others like you, have been here long enough to have seen the city at it's best and have sadly witnessed its decline over the last 50 years. During the same time frame, former "cow pastures" such as Springboro, West Chester & Mason have developed and are thriving by comparison.

The city has a history of poor leadership and well publicized mistakes. Current leadership is status quo at best and their current, myopic, vision with the downtown area is to the detriment to everyone but a select few. In fact, their downtown "obsession" is contrary to the opinions of most Middletown residents, who have been excluded from the process.

Again, these are my words. They represent what I "got" from your post. How did I do? If I'm accurate, I'd like to ask a couple of questions. Again, thank you.


Good assessment. Questions?


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 8:01pm

Greygoose - I've never had any personal dealings with any of the council members, but have had plenty of interaction with the City Manager, the Community Revitalization Director, and the former Economic Development Director. My interaction with these folks have definitely helped shape my current opinion of city leadership; an opinion that continues to evolve.

Greygoose
  If you know the City Manager, Community Revitalization Director, and the former Economic Development Director then you should already have the answers to all your questions because these were the people involved in the majority of the hot button issues discussed on this blog.
  If you had watched every City Council Meeting and Planning Meeting over the years maybe you would have a far different opinion of the issues and the people involved.
  This City does not need more rules, regulation, fines, taxes or power over private property. It is the City’s need for absolute power that has strangled the business community to death in this town. This is not a business friendly town. 
      



Posted By: ground swat
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 8:06pm
Evolve- I understand that but am curious in what way? Meaning do you have confidence in this city manager? Do you feel she is able to think and make decisions on her own. I realize this is going a tad off topic but I feel this is a issue that the council must look at. IMHO.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 8:29pm
Vet,

I have three questions (and a couple of questions within a question):

1. You view current city leaders with the same esteem as our "failed" leaders from the past. Can you honestly state that its not "guilt by association"? If so, is it the council or the administrative leaders that you dislike? I understand your broad viewpoint; can you give me a couple of specific examples of poor or "shady" decisions and by whom?

2. Would you agree that much of the growth seen by our neighbors can be attributed to nothing more than the fact that they had undeveloped acreage available? If you agree; was the available undeveloped acreage more attributable to their growth than the decisions made by their leadership?

3. "Why" do you think that our leadership is so focused on developing the downtown area? Is it the geography or the type of development that they have in mind that you object to? Do you think that the city purchased downtown properties so that they could dictate the type of development that occured?

Remember, I'm just asking questions. I'll share my thoughts later.



Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 8:37pm
thanx goose
I try to relate to everyone who posts here
I judge the message, and have little concern about the screen name or proper name.
It is about what is being said--not really who is saying..............
 
The business sector(those that depend on local business) is a shell of what used to be.
The exodus of white collar management has lead to the recruitment of the dependent  , un-educated and un-skilled. Primarily so city admin can get their hands on fed subsidies to protect themselves and their enablers.
Very sad--very desperate--very true.
From every perspective, I have watched it evolve.
 
Go out of town--introduce yourself to someone
Tell them that you live in Middletown, then comes the silence and the look.
Pretty depressing to be so stereotyped today.
 
And we have well-earned our current reputation.
 
I have lived and operated businesses in every area of the city, and am comfortable on any street corner of the city at any time--day or night.
 
Still--most people are neither comfortable or safe.
My current business location is suffering badly from a perception of the location, and the surrounding area.
We built the building 50 years ago, where it became a centerpiece for our population. Beautiful well-kept homes, honest hard-working families, quality schools and youth. A far cry from what we experience today.
 
The crime and poverty is like the ocean.
Overwhelming--keeps pounding relentlessly.
Eventually wears you down and swallows you in.
Takes you away from your priorities and purpose.
Changes your attitude about a lot of things, especially when you travel a short distance in any direction.
 
This was fast-tracked by our commissions, councils and adm inistrations.
We were sold out for decades, and here we are today.
Can't really blame those who take advantage of what is offered, can we?
 
Ok--your turn to ask the ?s
Many here are capable of providing answers


Posted By: TudorBrown
Date Posted: May 31 2012 at 8:54pm
why in the heck are you so grouchy vivian (full) moon?


Posted By: Richard Saunders
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 5:09am
Originally posted by greygoose greygoose wrote:

Mr. Saunders,

You've taken way too much liberty with the interpretation of my words. I can tell you categorically that I am NOT advocating that the city leaders lie to it's citizens. City leaders should possess "leadership" skills (leadership is a process by which a person influences others). "Spin" is a favorable interpretation of words (a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of others). You've "chosen" to interpret the term "spin" negatively where as I think that leadership skills and "positive spin" are to be expected. If you want honesty, answer this question: Who, in their right mind, would support this city if it's leadership was "touting" that it had no chance of recovery and property values were going to continually decline for the next 10 years? In "my" opinion, that type of communication would be irresponsible, even if the city leader believed it!

You are stating that city leaders should NOT tell us what they believe to be true, if it is bad.  In other words, they should lie to us?  Sorry, but I believe that our elected leaders and the paid municipal employees owe us the truth, whether it is good or bad.  To mislead the public is to lie.  You can call it "positive spin" but that does not make it so.
 
For years we have been hearing from THIS city manager and THIS mayor things such as "Downtown is booming!" and "Exciting things are happening downtown."  Yet, go downtown any day or night except those few days every summer when there is a "Bash" and it is obviously untrue.  Still, we hear the "booming" and "exciting" comments over and over.  It is insulting that they think we are so stupid that we willl believe it.
 
Fire a shotgun down Central Avenue at 10 pm this Saturday.  You'll likely not hit a single soul in our "booming, exciting" downtown.
 
72% of the students in our school district qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program, yet our city leaders keep trying to sell our town as a city of brain surgeons and rocket scientists.  Is it any wonder that no one else believes them any more than we do?


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 6:55am
greygoose. You ask, I respond.

1. Not guilt by association at all. The past leaders had different agendas and had their moments of failure. The current crop of city leaders are running a new game. I dislike both council and city administration. Think both are inept, focused on the wrong things, refuse to interact with most citizens, have an agenda that is governed by MMF, pathetic as to performance and in general, failures. Examples? Sure. How about the oversaturation of Section 8 and the further onslaught of lowering the standards in this city, for the purpose of receiving HUD fed money for city revenue. Another example...no effort at all in seeking decent jobs for the people of this city in years. Periodic announcements of 10 or 20 jobs created, paying $10-$15/hour doesn't cut it and is no eye-opening revelation. Another example of promises in the dark? Duncan Oil. Tore down active businesses to make room for Duncan Oil, which never materialized. Poor planning. Pathetic execution. More failure. Oh, and what is with the entrance to the city out by I-75 on the east side? Looks unfinished, crude, deserted, and non-inviting to people at the Exit 32 getoff. Nothing there. Not even a gas station. The east end was the focus a while back. Now, no interest. All of it is going downtown, away from the visibility factor discussed. Wrong decision again by city leaders. Why do the citizens get stuck with such ineptness? The only way to improve this city is to fire all in the city building, rehire competence. Recall all council members, re-elect competence. Otherwise, this city is going nowhere. JMO We are dealing with clueless people both in the city building and on council.

2. Growth by undeveloped acreage? Partly. Also development in Mason, Springboro and West Chester simply due to their reputations as more "upscale", higher class visibility, (AK Steel moved to West Chester and Black Clawson moved to Mason-Montgomery Road for higher visibility and to entertain clients in a more professional, upscale climate). Middletown leaders have screwed up everything they have touched, and, lastly, because, as Vivian and other business folks have stated, Middletown leaders have put up so many roadblocks toward inviting businesses to locate here, the word is out that this town is business unfriendly, stubborn and out-of-touch with modern developmental thinking.

3. Focused on downtown development. Word on the street is that if the downtown shows favorable growth (Cinci State and an arts district), it will enhance property values along the S. Main St. corridor, which, ironically is where the mayor and Marty Kohler (and I'm sure other influential people live). Imagine that! It goes to show you how weak-minded council is that they could be influenced by a small minority of artzy people who got them to support the PAC and other functions. Because Middletown is a blue-collar town (ie- more NASCAR and burgers than arts, cheese, wine and the "finer things in life" crowd), the arts theme downtown will attract few from Middletown. They must rely on out of town traffic to stimulate this idea. Don't see overwhelming interest in PAC so far.....not enough to envoke notice. No, IMO, logically, if you want to attract people to downtown in any numbers, you have to offer something the MAJORITY would be interested in.(like the chance to win some money) Now, no one on this forum, nor in the community wants to talk about it, but I still maintain that if we place a casino downtown, it would draw locals and out of town traffic. They would need a place to stay for a weekend. That stimulates hotel and living accomodations to be built. (Reason for a Manchester Hotel upgrade perhaps?). Also need restaurants and entertainment.....golf (Forest Hills) and tennis (Middletown Tennis Club or whatever its called now) and theatre (reason for a Sorg upgrade perhaps?) Pipedreams? Perhaps, but the Banks in Cincinnati is receiving a casino now, aren't they? How about Lawrenceburg Indiana? They're doing ok, aren't they? Making money to upgrade roads, new building going on? Why wouldn't we want what a casino might bring to the downtown area.....far better, IMO, than the current "small campus/artzy district" theme, that will attract only students and people interested in the arts occasionally. Just not enough to keep the downtown stimulated full time. City leader thinking is small minded and not advanced enough to shoot for bigger and better things that would enliven the town at a faster rate. We need some rapid rate growth injected into this town to play catchup with everyone else, but before we can do that, we need to clear out the deadwood in the leadership ranks. THEY are the problem.



Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 7:42am
goose--I realize that my posts in this thread have somewhat of a downer tone.
However I am ok living here--but ready to spend more time elsewhere.
Long term, this city has been good to me
Short term--not so good and holding that trend.
 
I know pretty much everyone on Council and in Admin to some degree.
All good people away from their jobs.
Can't say much negative about any of them, and I know that they want to make it right.
All good human beings, enjoyable to be around, with most being pretty open to honest discussion.
 
Why such disconnect and mistrust of the group collectively?
 
Dunno--but watch them in action to understand why.


Posted By: acclaro
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 8:41am
This discussion with GG is taking on academic dimensions. Simply put, this is the worst council in 30 years, not by education, intelligence, but focus on themselves, and a small number of individuals, than the city at large. This council is far worse in that regard, than any council I can recall in memory, even though really bad ones, that could not articulate well nor clearly.

It doesn't take much review under the hood to also see the similarities with past councils. First, the current group opposes any dedication to road funds, the same as those before it---there gg, is your guilt by actionable association. Secondly, by fact, is another factual point. In virtually every city council, there has been a police chief, and a few council members whom had a tight association with city leadership. The fact resonates presently. You have two Mulligans whom had a father retire from the city, a police chief who did retire, and a woman who ran campaigns for virtually all of the above. Their natural allegiance would be to the city that gave their father a retirement pension, or the citizens? Face facts gg, its with the city agenda. Same with Mr. Becker. Picard is just along for the ride, and lines up, with the 3, and the political "rightness" of supporting public servants, even though it is financially wrong.

If the openness and greenfield space is what brought the spoils of the rich and wealth to Springboro as you suggest, why has the east end failed gg? That's a simple answer. No one wants to live in Middletown. AK and the Atrium moved out, because they did not ant to be associated with Middletown and was tarnishing their brand. That simple. No spin, no high speed data network needs, just image, high taxes, bad schools, and time to close shop, period.

You are offering excuses gg, instead of factual perception. Again, go deep under the hood. Why did Picard and Becker change their outlook on downtown Middletown, which they adamantly opposed? Because they fall in line with the clique, when a few mandate they want something done, but spread wealth to get what they desire. That's the Middletown way, and it has been, for at least 30 years. As sj stated, the citizens have been raped, sold out, screwed, burned at the stake, of a few.

Corruption? Look at the termination or rather, resignation of Mike Robinette. He is hired back as a consultant and selling commercial real estate out by the interstate. Some would say that's a conflict of interest, especially for his past sins. In city hall, its a way of doing business.The money downtown and why? That question has been answered many times. Main Street property valuation firewall, although there will never be an increased demand for Main Street housing. But, they needed a new ballroom to replace the Manchester and the Moorman's were ticked off they were the only anchor. So----$$$ go out, fed $$$ come in, all using this nonsense about the magic of Cincinnati State. A culinary presence will never materialize downtown, never. Middletown bought a Cincinnati State franchise. The interest and enthusiasm of Cincinnati State and HEP has been very lukewarm. They expect Middletown to drive the numbers. HEP needs 3500 for break-even. It will never happen.

Excuse after excuse has been made about Middletown for 30 years. The most powerful evidence it is a failure is by the Atrium and AK moves. When they moved out, it was for a reason. I'll let you spin it your way, but the fact is, they just did not want to be in a town going down the drain and taking everyone with it. Look at Briehel Blvd. 90% of the businesses are moving out, same on University. Forbes got it right. Middletown is in the death spin. Those with a brain, left. The others are awaiting the final nail to be hit within two years.

I have a dissertation to get back to, but the excuse of brownfields, a new beginning for a new council, the same rubbage used for 30 years gg....it just doesn't sell. Not even a newspaper, as much as they try. And that's a memo.


-------------
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 5:53pm
Greygoose - 3. There are approximately 9,000 rental units in the city but, according to the city's 2010 Section 8 Report, we should "strive" to reduce that number to around 3,600 (a 60% reduction!!!!!!). If the city approved the building of 216 rental units, it flys in the face of their own recommendation. Can you provide more info on these proposed new rentals?

Here is the link to the discussion of the 216 Units that were approved..page 63

CONTINUATION OF DISCUSSION

Wellington Manor – Planned Use Modification

Preliminary Development Plan Amendment

Multi-family Development on <비؊>S. Towne Boulevard

Mr. Brickey introduced this case petitioned by Robert Wieneke on behalf of Adam Cristo, Trustee, property owner. The proposal is to construct 216 apartment units on 22 acres on the CP (Commercial-Professional Office Park) District wherein multi-family development is identified as a modified use. The property is located on the west side of Towne Boulevard between Hendrickson Road and Lefferson Road. http://www.cityofmiddletown.org/docs/council/06052012_w.pdf - http://www.cityofmiddletown.org/docs/council/06052012_w.pdf



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 6:23pm
Vet, Spider, acclaro,

I want to thank all of you for the well thought out & well communicated responses to my questions from last night. As you know, I am new to this on-line community. I joined about two weeks ago after a friend told me that it would be a good source of information for the due diligence that I was performing on the proposed landlord registration legislation. I have several rental units that would be affected by this type of legislation so I was making my best effort to learn all that I could on the subject. Upon entering this web site for the first time, I was dumbfounded by two facts:

1. This sight has a multitude of members that that have an intimate knowledge of the “goings on” in this city; much more than I even want to know (there are also a few idiots).

2. For the majority of the members of this site, there is an intense anger and/or frustration with the city’s leadership, both past and present. The intensity jumps off of the screen when you read the posts.

Initially, I was a little angered by the posts. I felt that folks were unfairly using general statements to take shots at the city’s “current” leadership. Statements, that they couldn’t defend if challenged. After asking a few more questions and a little “prodding”, I got the type of thought provoking responses that I had hoped for. The viewpoints were specific in nature and their authors are anxiously waiting to defend / debated their position.

The problem that I am struggling with is this. Over the last three years, I have had the opportunity to directly communicate with Judy Gilleland, Mike Robinette, and Doug Adkins on a few, primarily real estate related, issues. They have been professional, responsive to my needs, and come across as “Pro Middletown”. Upon reflecting upon those interactions, Judy, for the most part, delegated to her staff and was always seemed focused on the city’s “Master Plan”. Mike Robinette (former ED Director) and Doug Adkins had a more “hands on” approach. Their actions (in my experience) fly in the face of all that I am hearing on this board. Most recently, I have corresponded with Mr. Adkins about three times concerning the landlord registration issue. He answered all of my questions on the subject, heard my concerns and basically put me at ease concerning the subject. I will be happy to share the details of those conversations if anyone is interested. I believe that his long term solutions are “spot on” with what needs to be done and, in my opinion, shares most of the solution based strategies that I have read from members of this board.

Upon reflection, my positive views toward current leadership are probably based, primarily, on my interactions with the administrative staff as I have described. I really can’t speak with any real knowledge concerning the city council but you guys are accelerating my learning curve about them and I don’t like what I am learning.

I now have a much better understanding of where many of the folks on this board are coming from and I hope that this post will give you a “feel” for my position as well. I can tell you that I have a solutions based mindset on most matters. You will seldom here me b-tch about a problem without trying to offer a solution or request a solution from someone else. In the future, I will be less of a cheerleader and spend more time identifying problems & solutions or responding to same that are brought up by this on-line community. Thanks again for tuning me in.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 10:14pm
Viv,

The follow paragraphs come straight out of the city's June 2010 Section 8 Report. Although it allows for the construction of new apartments, I interpret it as though "new" apartments are to be built as replacements. Have we torn down 216 old rental units yet? It also states that we should strive to reduce total rental units to 3,600 to avoid high vacancy rates (that is 5,400 less than we have now). The development of these apartments would be a direct contradiction to their own report.... a BIG contradiction.

Rental Units as a Percent of Total Housing Stock          Vacancy Rates     

Middletown                                         40.0%                                7.2%
Butler County                                     28.4%                                5.2%
Warren County                                   21.5%                                4.6%


The high level of rental units and corresponding high vacancy rates suggest that there are an excessive number of rental units available. As of 2006, the City of Middletown listed total rental properties at just over 9,000 housing units. Market projections suggest that the sustainable rental housing market for the City is somewhere between 3550 and 3600 units.

Replacement of rental units that have come to the end of their economic lives is important to maintain the vitality of the renter-occupied housing inventory. We should strive over time to phase out older rental units to be replaced with a market-appropriate number of new construction options. We should strive to reduce the number of overall rental units to the 3,600 units that can be consistently filled


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 2:39am

EXHIBIT “A”

CHAPTER 1436 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

1436.01 INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE ADOPTED.

(a) Pursuant to Article IV, § 6, of the City Charter, there is hereby adopted by and for the

City, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations and providing minimum maintenance standards for all existing structures and on all existing premises, that certain code known as the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition, promulgated by the International Code Council, Inc., save and except such portions as may be hereinafter amended or deleted.

(b) Any conflict between the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01, and the existing sections of these Codified Ordinances, shall be resolved in favor of the more restrictive provisions. However, nothing in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, shall be construed to limit or reduce the power of any official of the City or the State in the enforcement of other codes of the City or the State, including, but not limited to, zoning codes, fire codes, health codes and building codes, or to reduce the requirements imposed by such codes.

(c) All references in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, to the “code official” shall be construed to be the Chief Building Official of the City. All fees to be charged in connection with the International Property Maintenance Code shall be those set forth in the specific sections of these Codified Ordinances. All appeals from decisions of the Chief Building Official shall be in the manner and form set forth in the specific sections of these Codified Ordinances.

(d) At least one copy of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01 shall be on file in the office of the Clerk of the City Council for inspection by the public.

(e) The International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, is hereby

amended as follows:

Section 101.1 Title: Insert: City of Middletown.

Section 304.14 Insect screens: Every door, window and other outside opening

required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or

any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are

processed, manufactured, packaged or stored, shall be supplied with approved fitting

screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm) and every swinging door

shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.

Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellants fans, are employed.

Section 602.3 Heat supply: Every owner or operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guestroom on terms,

either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat to

maintain a temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms

and toilet rooms.

Exceptions:

1. When the outdoor temperature is below the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality, maintenance of the minimum room temperature shall

not be required, provided that the heating system is operating at its full design

capacity. The winter outdoor design temperature for the locality shall be indicated

in Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code.

2. In areas where the average monthly temperature is above 30°F (-1°C), a

minimum temperature of 65°F (18°C) shall be maintained.

Section 602.4 Occupiable work spaces: Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be

supplied with heat to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (18°C) during the

period the spaces are occupied.

Exceptions:

1. Processing, storage and operation areas that require cooling or special temperature conditions.

2. Areas in which persons are primarily engaged in vigorous physical activities.

Chapter 8 REFERENCED STANDARDS: The referenced standards are in the

following codes adopted by the City:

1. Ohio Building Code, 2007 edition (adopted in Chapter 1404 of the

Codified Ordinances).

2. Residential Code of Ohio, 2004 edition (adopted in Chapter 1402 of the

Codified Ordinances).

3. Ohio Fire Code, 2007 edition (adopted in Chapter 1604 of the Codified

Ordinances).

(f) The following sections of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01, are hereby specifically excluded from adoption: 103.1, 103.2, 103.3, 103.5, 111.1, 111.2, 111.3, 111.4, 111.5, 111.6, 111.7, 111.8, 302.4, 302.8, and 308.

1436.02 DECLARATION OF NUISANCE.

All structures in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in

1436.01, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated as provided in the

International Property Maintenance Code and this chapter.

1436.03 APPEALS.

Any person adversely affected by a decision of the Chief Building Official under this chapter or the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, may appeal to the Board of Building and Minimum Housing Standards and Appeals, as provided in Chapter 1460.

1436.04 REPAIR OF BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES.

(a) The Chief Building Official is hereby authorized within this section and any applicable

provision of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), as adopted in § 1436.01, to order the repair of any building or structure that is determined by him or her to be in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code.

(b) If an owner and/or occupant fails to make a repair as so ordered by the Chief Building

Official, the City may, as a remedial measure, enter the premises and make the repair and seek recovery under either § 1436.06(a)(1) or (a)(2) hereof. The owner and/or occupant is subject to all remedial action available to the City under § 1436.06 of this chapter or the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01.

1436.05 EXTENSIONS OF TIME.

The Chief Building Official is authorized to grant an owner and/or occupant an extension of time to perform repair and/or demolition work required to be performed under this chapter or the International Property Maintenance Code, (IPMC), as adopted in § 1436.06. No request to extend the time for repair and/or demolition more than 15 days beyond the date set for such demolition and/or repairs set forth in the original notice under § 107 (§ 107. Notices and Orders) of the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01, shall be granted unless the property owner and/or occupant posts with the City either:

(a) A performance bond issued by a licensed surety, in a form acceptable to and approved by the Director of Law of the City, in an amount equal to the estimated cost of the repair and/or demolition of the property; or

(b) An irrevocable letter of credit issued by a licensed financial institution, in a form

acceptable to the Director of Law of the City and in conformity with Ohio R.C. Chapter 1305, in an amount equal to the estimated cost of repair and/or demolition of the property. In the event the owner and/or occupant fails to complete the repair and/or demolition of the property in the period of time permitted by the extension, the City may exercise its remedies, as described in § 1436.06, and use proceeds from the performance bond, letter of credit or cash bond to offset costs incurred in abating the existing nuisance. In no event shall the Chief Building Official grant an extension or series of extensions exceeding 60 days from the date to repair and/or demolish set forth in the § 107 notice sent to the owner and/or occupant.

1436.06 REMEDIAL ACTION.

(a) If the owner and/or occupant of a structure subject to abatement of a nuisance under §

1436.01 fails to comply with the notices and/or orders issued by the Chief Building Official in accordance with the IPMC, the City may:

(1) Prosecute the owner in accordance with the IPMC; and/or

(2) Enter the premises and take remedial steps to abate the violation. If the abatement

requires repair, closures, placarding or other temporary safeguards, the City shall charge

the owner and/or occupant of the structure, who failed to comply with the notices and/or

orders issued in accordance with this section, an amount equal to two and one-half times

the actual costs of abating the nuisance. If the abatement results in demolition of a

structure or structures, the charge shall be equal to one and one-quarter times the cost of

demolition. The City may either:

A. Seek and recover judgment against the owner for the costs of the action

necessary to abate the nuisance; or

B. Certify the cost of said abatement, including cost of service or publication

of notice, by the Clerk of City Council to the County Auditor to be placed on the

tax duplicate as a lien upon the premises, to be collected as other taxes and

returned to the City, as provided in Ohio R.C. 715.261.

(b) The remedies provided in this section are cumulative except where specifically stated

otherwise, and are not intended to preclude or waive other remedial actions available to the City under the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01, local ordinances, State law, or the common law.

1436.07 INSPECTIONS BY HEALTH COMMISSIONER.

The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, is hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units and the premises on which these are situated, in order to safeguard the health of the public. The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, is hereby authorized to enter any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or the premises on which these are situated, at any reasonable time, or at any time in case of emergency, for the purpose of performing the duties of such office.

1436.08 ACCESS TO DWELLINGS.

The owner, operator or occupant of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit shall give access to such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit to the Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, for the purpose of inspection at any reasonable time, or at any time in case of emergency. The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, shall present official identification to the owner, operator or occupant before demanding such access.

1436.09 REPORT OF DEFECT TO CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL.

If, as a result of an inspection of any dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit by the Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, there is discovered any condition enumerated in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in Section 1436.01, the Health Commissioner shall report such condition to the Chief Building Official within 24 hours of his or her inspection.

1436.10 HEALTH VIOLATIONS.

If, as a result of an inspection under § 1436.07, a violation of the Health Regulations of the Middletown Health District is discovered, the Health Commissioner shall have the responsibility to proceed forthwith under such regulations.

1436.99 PENALTY.

(a) Whoever violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), or imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues.

(b) The application of the penalty provided in division (a) hereof shall not be deemed to

preclude the enforced removal of prohibited conditions or the application of any other equitable remedy.



Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 4:23am

Greygoose - I have corresponded with Mr. Adkins about three times concerning the landlord registration issue. He answered all of my questions on the subject, heard my concerns and basically put me at ease concerning the subject. I will be happy to share the details of those conversations if anyone is interested. I believe that his long term solutions are “spot on” with what needs to be done and, in my opinion, shares most of the solution based strategies that I have read from members of this board.

Ah yes Greygoose….it’s just a little law for a landlord registration fee so we can clean up rental property and get rid of the slumlords.
However the devil is in the details…How much will the City charge for the yearly inspection, for each inspection of the rental unit each and every time the property becomes vacant? And then we have those money making fines.
On Tuesday night the City Council will be voting on
1436.01 INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE ADOPTED

I believe this is the same law that got Mr. Kohler of the City into trouble several years ago with Judge Valen, Mr. Ellis and Harry Finkelman.
I believe this law has been challenged before the
Ohio Supreme Court.

Don’t think that City Hall would abuse these powers and use these laws against you in a vindictive manner? Well we have seen it happen several times to local residents and business people in recent years.
This is about absolute power over private property and feeding the beast.
We do not need to live in a Police State to clean up the property in Middletown.
WARNING…What they say and what they do-do-do are not the same thing.





Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 5:06am

Greygoose
Here is the link from Aug 19, 2010 where we had the full discussion of the new 5 Year Plan of Mr Adkins
http://middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3223&KW=HUD - - http://middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3223&KW=HUD



Posted By: ground swat
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 7:49am
Are we really thinking about the future or putting out fires?? Whos really in charge?


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 12:08pm
Miss Vivian,

First, I want to thank you for the wealth of information that you provide and link us to. As I’ve stated earlier, my due diligence began with the “registration” issue but, as I am learning, there is a long history associated with it. I often don’t agree with your conclusions but I appreciate your involvement and your willingness to share what you find.

You are correct. The devil is in the details. If the fee is nominal and meant to cover expenses (as I expect), I will be supportive. If it is punitive, I’ll be the first to object. If the city has 9,000 rentals and 1,600 are handled through the Section 8 program, a balance of 7,400 units would need to be registered. At $25.00 per unit, the annual income to the city would amount to $185,000.00. This is enough to cover the expenses that Mr. Adkins spoke of in his initial presentation to council. I prefer the program administered by the city of Centerville. Their program provides the landlord a checklist of what is going to be inspected. The inspections occur every two years at no cost. If the landlord fails the inspection, he/she is charged $70.00 per hour for a re-inspection.

From my viewpoint, landlord registration and “money making fines” are two separate issues. Being a locally based landlord I would receive those code violation fines regardless of any registration program. However, it will allow the city to take action against a very large number of “out of town” landlords & vacant property owners that, historically, have snubbed the city’s efforts because they couldn’t be compelled to comply. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have a problem with that result of the program.


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 12:22pm
To all,

Don’t get me wrong. As a landlord, I get very frustrated with some of the notices that I get from the city’s inspection personnel. I remember an instance when I got a letter to repair a minor amount of peeling paint on the front soffit of one of my rentals. It really “bugged” me because the house next door was in total disrepair and had been for a very long time. Upon reflection, I now know that I was “noticed” instead of my neighbor because there wasn’t a damn thing that the city could do about that bank owned property next door.

I remember another instance, about 3 years ago, when I purchased a bank repo in Mayfield that had been sitting empty for a very long time. My intension was to rehab it into a home that someone would be proud to live in. Two days after the closing and during my first visit to the property after I purchased it, I ran into a city inspector with a clipboard. Instead of a “thank you” for purchasing a blighted home to rehab, I was given a two page list of what she wanted done and a time frame in which to get the work completed.

I now know that it is because there was nothing that they could do about that property prior to my purchase (it was still handled poorly.....lol).


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 4:45pm
goose--pretty disappointing to realize that you are only here over saving a few bucks on this rental property thing.
 
most here are more broad--long-term big picture
 
do you live in Middletown?


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 6:49pm
Spider,

I said that due diligence on the registration topic "brought me here". Until about two weeks ago, I didn't know that this forum even existed. I had "heard" that there was a Middletown based web site but had no idea that it contained this forum. I was just being honest when I stated that, to date, my knowledge of city affairs has been narrow in its scope but I am definitely long term focused and want the best for Middletown.

I now know about this board and have learned a great deal in the short time that I have been here. I think that the exchange of ideas is healthy for all. I enjoy the interaction and expect to be part of this community for years to come. If you haven't already noticed, I have an optimistic nature and don't do well accepting "we can't", "this wont", they will never" type of statements. Like the rest of you, I am saddened by the city's slow decline but I do hold out hope for a brighter future......but I'm not sure that I will see it in my lifetime.


To answer your question, I was born in Middletown but was raised just south of Dayton. I returned to the city upon graduating from college about 28 years ago. Although I grew up elsewhere, both sides of my family are from Middletown. I am very familiar with the city and its past. I grew up with my father telling Jerry Lucas stories and my uncle telling me that his (Middletown) high school football team was not only undefeated, but un-scored upon (a very long time ago).



Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 7:27pm
my bad, goose
you obviously have the genes to know and care about this place
and you seem to be on the good side of the power brokers
true Middie heritage is bringing up the glory days of athletics
pretty much mirrored what was going on in the rest of the community during those times
 
but--the middies have risen from the bottom--so why shouldn't the rest of the community do the same?


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 9:11pm
GreyGoose,

If you want a good read, do a search on this forum for section 8.  There are probably hundreds of posts, many by me that go back 3 or 4 yrs. 

PacmanCool


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 10:49am
Pacman,

Thanks to you, and your suggested reading, I will spend today walking around in a sleep deprived funk. I took you advice and started reading "posts from the past". The problem was, once I got started, I couldn't stop. Although the read was entertaining, it was also very eye opening on a multitude of subjects (I had no idea that a dog catcher earned over $80K). There is still plenty to read; I'll be playing "catch up" for quite some time. By the way.... who is Nelson Self? Can you or someone else enlighten me?


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 4:13pm
Grey Goose,
 
Nelson Self use to be a city employee.

PacmanCool


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 5:57pm
Pacman,

That explains his access to so many city related statistics. I also learned that it was Vivian that took on the city leaders over the cemetery. I now have a better understanding of her attitude toward the city. I'm still reading.

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 7:48pm
A little Sunday evening humor... at the city's expense


Mr. Adkins with his new badge.......



For landlords starting January 1, 2013........



I'm surprised that this hasn't happened.....



I think that Middletown started this........



Ain't that the truth.....



I think that the odds are stacked in the City's favor



Mr. Owned is the best Realtor in town......



This game isn't as fun as it used to be.....



If you own a house, you'll take a bath.......



I've hidden my identity.........



It looks like a problem with the foundation.........


-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 9:11am
Greygoose
Thank you so much for bringing up a few past complaints from 2005 against the City since you think the City needs MORE LAWS to clean up the City of
Middletown.
We don’t need more laws…what we need is LEADERSHIP.

1. The Hydraulic Canal – A major health and EPA problem. No action has been taken.
2. The
Middletown Cemetery is still not in compliance with ORC
3. The CSX Dump Site located at
1st Ave & University has still not been cleaned up.
4. The rear of Denny Lumber Co has not been painted for 30 years.  
5. The
Duncan Oil property between Central and 1st Ave is an absolute eye sore.




Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 10:14am
Vivian,

I have been looking into the landlord registration issue being used in other cities. Without exception, the problem of non-resident landlords is stated as one of the reasons that the law is needed. As I have stated in earlier posts, locally based landlords are already within the control of city ordinances. I was told that we are being included in the proposed legislation to avoid constitutional issues that non-resident landlords could raise stating that they are being "singled out". However, the state of Rhode Island appears to be doing it without any constitutional issues (however, theirs is a state law). Also, if it was a constitutional issue, couldn't landlords argue that they are being singled out from owner occupied properties? Just throwing it out there for thought.

The city of Raleigh, NC has had a landlord registration in place for about three years. I'm assuming that there was some abuses of power because there is now new legislation that will limit the powers of the city. Again, I'm just throwing it out there.

At this time, I am still in favor of the legislation. That support will change if the registration fee is punitive or the involvement of the city it punitive. All of my research shows that other municipalities are charging $30 a year (on the high end) and inspections are no more than once a year. I would consider anything more as punitive and not in line with what other cities are doing.



Out-of-State Landlord Registration Requirements

Many real estate agents and property managers are aware that some Rhode Island municipalities require nonresident
landlords to register with the municipality by providing their out of state addresses. The two primary
purposes are to hold the landlord responsible for its tenant’s actions, and also, for notification of housing code
violations. Few agents or managers might be aware that hidden in the state landlord/tenant act [R.I.G.L. 34-18-
22.3] is a law, passed in 1996, requiring all non-resident landlords to register with the secretary of state’s office and
the city/town clerk’s office where the property is located. The law requires the nonresident landlord to provide an instate
agent and in-state address for service of process and notice.
The most important provision of the law is the penalty sections for noncompliance. If a landlord does not file, the
tenant’s obligation to pay rent STOPS until the form is filed. The tenant could raise the landlord’s non filing as a
defense in an eviction action for nonpayment of rent. In addition, the statute imposes a $500.00 fine per violation
which is paid to the municipality. Presently, there are no court cases interpreting the law, so there are unanswered
questions, such as, is a tenant entitled to a rebate of rent paid if the landlord has not filed?
The secretary of state’s office has a form entitled, “Designation of Agent For Nonresident Landlord.” On the form the
nonresident landlord must list its name, out of state address, the in-state agent’s name and address, and list all the
properties in Rhode Island for which the agent is responsible. If the landlord has properties in different
municipalities, or more than one agent, it must file separate agent designation forms. If the landlord has only one
agent, but more than one property in different municipalities, it has to file the form with the secretary of state, and
with each municipality. The landlord must sign the form prior to filing, and under penalty of perjury, swear to the
truth of the information contained in the form. If the information on the form changes, e.g., property is sold or
additional property is purchased, a new form must be signed and filed.
There is a note on the bottom of the form advising the landlord to file the form with the municipality and to check
with the municipality for additional filing requirements, if any. The secretary of state’s office does not charge a filing
fee. The landlord should check with the municipality to determine if it charges a filing fee.
Clearly, it is in the best interests of the real estate agents and property managers to advise their out of state
landlord clients to comply with the law and file the form with the state and municipality. If a landlord is fined or
loses rent as a result of its noncompliance, it will most likely look to its Rhode Island real estate agent or property
manager and ask why it was not informed of the filing requirement.



New Law Would Limit Landlord Registration Fees, Rental Property Inspections

Three years ago, the city council of Raleigh, North Carolina passed a measure that was unpopular with landlords.
It required all rental property owners to pay to register their properties with the city, and to submit to routine property inspections to uncover building code violations.
While safety was the stated focus of the program, there was no corresponding rule requiring homeowners do the same.
Since that time, a number of cities around the country have passed similar ordinances, requiring recurring registration fees and frequent and costly safety inspections for rental properties.
Now, North Carolina State Senator Neal Hunt has introduced a bill that would severely limit a city’s ability to charge registration fees, or require routine inspections on rental properties. The law would also eliminate the double standard of requiring only rental property owners to undergo inspections.
The bill is called An Act Requiring Counties and Cities to Have Reasonable Cause before Inspecting Residential Buildings or Structures.
After two amendments, the measure now provides that a city’s inspection department may make periodic inspections for unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise hazardous and unlawful conditions in buildings or structures within its territorial jurisdiction, but only when there is reasonable cause to believe that unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise hazardous or unlawful conditions may exist in a residential building or structure.
The term ‘reasonable cause’ means the landlord or owner has a history of more than two verified violations of the housing ordinances or codes within a 12-month period; there has been a complaint that substandard conditions exist within the building or there has been a request that the building be inspected; the inspection department has actual knowledge of an unsafe condition within the building; or, violations of the local ordinances or codes are visible from the outside of the property.
In conducting inspections authorized under this section, an inspection department will not be allowed to discriminate between single-family and multifamily buildings.
If a local government decides to target a geographic area for inspections, the bill would prohibit discrimination in its selection or areas or properties to be targeted and must include a plan to address the ability of low-income residential property owners to comply with minimum housing code standards.
Additionally, the bill prohibits a local government from requiring any owner or manager of rental property to obtain any permit or permission from the county to lease or rent residential real property; require that an owner or manager of residential rental property enroll or participate in any governmental program as a condition of obtaining a certificate of occupancy; or, levy a special fee or tax on residential rental property that is not also levied against other commercial and residential properties except that the county may levy a fee for rental property registration on those properties which have been found in violation of local ordinances within the previous 12 months.
Any fees charged can only cover the cost of operating a residential registration program and shall not be used to supplant revenue in other areas.
The bill is proceeding through the state’s General Assembly and is currently in review in the state senate’s finance committee. Raleigh city council has raised objections, indicating that it needs the landlord registry to keep tabs on rental owners to police overcrowding, loud parties, and untidy lawns. Senator Hunt is a former Raleigh city council member and chaired the city’s planning board.


-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 2:50pm

Greygoose
It is my understanding that the Registration fee would be about $25.
However the Inspection Fee would be $250 per inspection, per visit.
Please remember that Mr Doug stated he would need an addtional two inspectors plus two new trucks and I would bet another $250,000 program to keep tab on all the landlords and a big increase in his salary also to oversee the program.
This is about power over private property and feeding the beast called City Hall.
 
I have NOT researched these laws but I’m sure that those that showed up at the last City Council Meeting have already been advised by an attorney. 
 



Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 5:06pm
Hmm...perhaps we just need to ask ourselves:
 
Is it the purpose of government to serve the people???
 
Or is it the purpose of the people to serve the government???


-------------
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 7:42pm
Vivian,

I'm assuming that the $250 inspection fee that you mention is just your speculation. A fee of this magnitude falls way outside the realm of reasonableness. I understand that the program has to be paid for but 7,400 rental units paying $25.00 per year in registration fees would generate $185,000 in annual revenue. I believe that this amount would cover the expense of two new inspectors with new vehicles, laptops and associated software. With that said, I wouldn't have a problem with the $250 inspection fee if it was implemented like the program in Centerville. There, the landlords are given a detailed checklist of what is needed to comply with their regulations and pass their inspections. Landlords are only charged a fee if they FAIL the inspection.

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: 409
Date Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 9:45pm
If this comes to pass, why in the hell do two inspectors need two NEW vehicles?
There should be plenty of confiscated drug vehicles available for the purpose of tooling around town.


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 5:49am
Vivian,
I'm assuming that the $250 inspection fee that you mention is just your speculation. A fee of this magnitude falls way outside the realm of reasonableness.
I understand that the program has to be paid for but 7,400 rental units paying $25.00 per year in registration fees would generate $185,000 in annual revenue. I believe that this amount would cover the expense of two new inspectors with new vehicles, laptops and associated software. With that said, I wouldn't have a problem with the $250 inspection fee if it was implemented like the program in
Centerville. There, the landlords are given a detailed checklist of what is needed to comply with their regulations and pass their inspections. Landlords are only charged a fee if they FAIL the inspection.
Greygoose
It is a known fact that Mr Doug is going to model this New Rental Registration & Inspection Program after the current Section 8 Program.
So how much do we pay Nelson & Assoc each year to run our Section 8 Program for 1662 vouchers and do the Inspections? How many people do they employ? How much do they charge for each inspection?
Using the Nelson & Assoc numbers…couldn’t we assume that the New Rental Registration & Inspection Program would cost about 4 times what the current Section 8 Program does?
In fact I would assume it would cost even more since we would be using city employees.
Once again I’m having a problem with what is known…and the numbers that have been provided by the city.





Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 6:42am

Miss Vivian,
    First, I want to thank you for the wealth of information that you provide and link us to. As I’ve stated earlier, my due diligence began with the “registration” issue but, as I am learning, there is a long history associated with it. I often don’t agree with your conclusions but I appreciate your involvement and your willingness to share what you find.
    You are correct. The devil is in the details. If the fee is nominal and meant to cover expenses (as I expect), I will be supportive. If it is punitive, I’ll be the first to object. If the city has 9,000 rentals and 1,600 are handled through the Section 8 program, a balance of 7,400 units would need to be registered. At $25.00 per unit, the annual income to the city would amount to $185,000.00. This is enough to cover the expenses that Mr. Adkins spoke of in his initial presentation to council. I prefer the program administered by the city of
Centerville. Their program provides the landlord a checklist of what is going to be inspected. The inspections occur every two years at no cost. If the landlord fails the inspection, he/she is charged $70.00 per hour for a re-inspection.
    From my viewpoint, landlord registration and “money making fines” are two separate issues. Being a locally based landlord I would receive those code violation fines regardless of any registration program. However, it will allow the city to take action against a very large number of “out of town” landlords & vacant property owners that, historically, have snubbed the city’s efforts because they couldn’t be compelled to comply. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have a problem with that result of the program.
Greygoose
Again I’m having a problem with the misinformation coming from City Hall.
Example: Mowing grass at rental, or vacant houses and property.
Let us say that the city cuts the grass at a property and the vendor charges the city $50. The city then places a lien against the property owner for 3 times the amount or $150.
It is a known fact that the city has been making a really nice profit off just mowing grass around
Middletown over the past few years.
What are these profits being used for??



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 10:41am
Vivian,

At Pacman’s suggestion, I went back and read many of the historical posts on this board. In doing so, I learned a great deal more about our city, its issues, and its leaders. I also gained more respect from this board’s participants (I even watched the video of you “torching” city council over their misdeeds concerning the cemetery). However, you lose credibility (at least in my eyes) when you make statements as though they are fact when they are nothing more than an opinion. Quite frankly, I don’t think that some of the statements are even your opinion……. they are meant to “incite” others.

1.     You state that it is a known fact that Mr. Adkins is going to model the program after the current Section 8 program. Who knows about this “fact” other than you? I respect your researching abilities. Where did you dig up this “fact”? It doesn’t make since to me. The Mr. Adkins that I know would like nothing more than to get rid of the Section 8 in our city. He is on record that the “Section 8 model” is costing the city money. Why would he want to duplicate it?

2.     Nobody, including you, thinks that a landlord registration program is really going to cost more than four times the Section 8 program. Common sense tells me that the high cost of the Section 8 program is directly proportional to the subsidy that the federal government pays to support it. It's sad, but that is the way government programs work.

3.     I’m not sure what you are talking about when you state “what is known” and “the numbers provided by the city”. What is there to know that you don’t know? What numbers are you looking for? The program is a concept at this point in time. I feel comfortable that we will learn more as the program is put together. My comfort stems from the fact that there will be a handful of private citizens (landlords) on the committee. I will give you this…… based on what I have learned from reading historical posts on this site, the city has way too many financial accounts and it is way too easy for them to move the money from one to another. I am not comfortable that city leaders always have our best interests at heart when they spend these funds.

4.     You make it sound like collecting money from “deadbeat” property owners is a bad thing. My educated guess is the city is not collecting on many of these charges because, you guessed it, they can’t compel many non-resident property owner to comply because they can't be "served". If you are a local land owner, you deserve to pay 2.5 times the cost of mowing if you are too sorry to take care of it yourself. As for “where does the money go”, I have no idea but assume that this information is a public record and available to you if you really want to see it.

I think that people like you, VV, Pacman, MikeP, acclaro, Spider, etc. are invaluable to a city like Middletown. The city leaders know that you are out there looking over their shoulders and will hold them accountable if they don't “do the right things” for the citizens that they represent. Sensationalizing your viewpoint gets you nowhere in my book and, in my opinion, will cause the city's leadership to take you less seriously.

On a separate note…… does anyone know what landlords have been chosen to participate on the registration committee?


-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 10:43am
ooooops...... respect for this board's participants, not from

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 10:58am
Someone needs to pull their head out of the crooks(city leaders) a$$es.Smile


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 12:18pm
LMAO, I didn't know you were being literal...



Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 8:15pm
I have to agree with GG 100%, As far as the section 8 program and the cost to run it the Federal Government pays, the last time I checked, between $50-$60 per month per voucher in use.  So what it cost to run the program is really immaterial as the feds pick up the bill.  The City is also paid a portion of these funds which last I heard was about 22%.  As far as mowing grass and chargin $150.00, I say good for the city.  Even though I believe they do not get to collect most of these funds.  What the money is used for if it is collected, I do not know, but I'm sure if you enquire The City will tell you where the money goes too. 

GG's above post is spot on. 

PacmanCool


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 06 2012 at 6:11am
Pacman....

"As far as the section 8 program and the cost to run it the Federal Government pays, the last time I checked, between $50-$60 per month per voucher in use. So what it cost to run the program is really immaterial as the feds pick up the bill"

THAT IS CORRECT PAC. THE COST IS THE SUBJECT OF THIS DISCUSSION AND IS IMPORTANT. WHAT IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT, IMO, IS THE ABUNDANCE OF SECTION 8 THAT HAS BEEN INVITED TO LIVE IN THIS TOWN AND THE NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS FROM THAT OVERABUNDANCE. I CAN SEE NO BENEFIT WHATSOEVER, IN INVITING SUBSIDIZED HOUSING TO THIS TOWN OTHER THAN AS A REVENUE GENERATOR FOR THE CITY.........BUT AT WHAT PRICE TO OUR IMAGE, OUR PROGRESS IN CORRECTING ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE WRONG WITH THIS CITY AND AT WHAT PRICE AS IT RELATES TO INCREASED CRIME AND THE ATTRACTION OF THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT FROM OTHER TOWNS? STEREOTYPICALLY, THIS SEGMENT OF SOCIETY CREATES MORE PROBLEMS THAN WHAT IT IS WORTH. THE VOUCHER PROGRAM NEEDS TO BE REDUCED TO THE CORRECT NUMBER FOR THIS CITY. RATHER THAN 1662, IT SHOULD BE MORE LIKE 700 OR SO. WONDER WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE IN CRIME IN THE AREAS OF SECTION 8? HOW MANY DRUG RELATED CALLS, HOW MANY DOMESTIC DISPUTES, HOW MANY WEAPONS RELATED INCIDENTS HAVE THE POLICE BEEN CALLED ON SINCE WE STARTED THIS GHETTO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM? WHY ASK FOR THIS AS A CITY LEADER?


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 06 2012 at 10:36am

Vivian,
At Pacman’s suggestion, I went back and read many of the historical posts on this board. In doing so, I learned a great deal more about our city, its issues, and its leaders. I also gained more respect from this board’s participants (I even watched the video of you “torching” city council over their misdeeds concerning the cemetery). However, you lose credibility (at least in my eyes) when you make statements as though they are fact when they are nothing more than an opinion. Quite frankly, I don’t think that some of the statements are even your opinion……. they are meant to “incite” others.
Thank you Greygoose for thinking that I have such great power of persuasion over others but I believe it was statements made by Mr. Adkins that “Incited” the 100 plus landlords to show up at the last council meeting.

1. You state that it is a known fact that Mr. Adkins is going to model the program after the current Section 8 program. Who knows about this “fact” other than you? I respect your researching abilities. Where did you dig up this “fact”? It doesn’t make since to me.
Because it is what Mr. Adkins has stated.
He has stated that the tracking software will be like the program now being used for Section 8 program. The data base will include all the information on the landlord, property and copies of the inspections as they are completed so he can push the magic bottom and have all the information at his finger tips...
The Mr. Adkins that I know would like nothing more than to get rid of the Section 8 in our city. He is on record that the “Section 8 model” is costing the city money. Why would he want to duplicate it?
This was the opinion of Mr. Adkins in his 96 page report…It is NOT the opinion of HUD in their answer to Mr. Adkins report.
 
2. Nobody, including you, thinks that a landlord registration program is really going to cost more than four times the Section 8 program. Common sense tells me that the high cost of the Section 8 program is directly proportional to the subsidy that the federal government pays to support it. It's sad, but that is the way government programs work.
NO…it is my opinion that a $25 registration fee or $185,000 a year will not fund this rental registration program therefore the city  will need to charge an additional fee for any and all inspections.
First you have the cost of the advanced tracking software.
At a minimum he will need to hire one person for data entry and scheduling of inspections and three inspectors plus autos if they require a yearly inspection of each rental unit if he uses city employees.
.
This is a simple math problem…You have 7,500 units to inspect annually or about 29 units per day. An average inspection takes about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size and the condition of the property. Then you have drive time between each inspection then add in time for any re-inspections.

3.  I’m not sure what you are talking about when you state “what is known” and “the numbers provided by the city”. What is there to know that you don’t know? What numbers are you looking for? The program is a concept at this point in time. I feel comfortable that we will learn more as the program is put together. My comfort stems from the fact that there will be a handful of private citizens (landlords) on the committee. I will give you this…… based on what I have learned from reading historical posts on this site, the city has way too many financial accounts and it is way too easy for them to move the money from one to another. I am not comfortable that city leaders always have our best interests at heart when they spend these funds.
Yep that’s just what we need is another city hand picked committee.
I guess we will meet back here in 90 days and compare notes.

 
4. You make it sound like collecting money from “deadbeat” property owners is a bad thing. My educated guess is the city is not collecting on many of these charges because, you guessed it, they can’t compel many non-resident property owner to comply because they can't be "served". If you are a local land owner, you deserve to pay 2.5 times the cost of mowing if you are too sorry to take care of it yourself. As for “where does the money go”, I have no idea but assume that this information is a public record and available to you if you really want to see it.
No…you seem to believe the city spin that they can do NOTHING to solve many of the property problems. I gave you an example that they do have the tools and have used them and even made a profit from them.
If they want to serve notice on an out of town non compliant property owner they could use a processor server…and it is a matter of record they have successfully used this method in the past.
 
I think that people like you, VV, Pacman, MikeP, acclaro, Spider, etc. are invaluable to a city like Middletown. The city leaders know that you are out there looking over their shoulders and will hold them accountable if they don't “do the right things” for the citizens that they represent. Sensationalizing your viewpoint gets you nowhere in my book and, in my opinion, will cause the city's leadership to take you less seriously.

On a separate note…… does anyone know what landlords have been chosen to participate on the registration committee?
No



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 06 2012 at 12:32pm
Vivian,
At Pacman’s suggestion, I went back and read many of the historical posts on this board. In doing so, I learned a great deal more about our city, its issues, and its leaders. I also gained more respect from this board’s participants (I even watched the video of you “torching” city council over their misdeeds concerning the cemetery). However, you lose credibility (at least in my eyes) when you make statements as though they are fact when they are nothing more than an opinion. Quite frankly, I don’t think that some of the statements are even your opinion……. they are meant to “incite” others.
Thank you Greygoose for thinking that I have such great power of persuasion over others but I believe it was statements made by Mr. Adkins that “Incited” the 100 plus landlords to show up at the last council meeting.
I’m not sure what incited the landlords’ response. I watched the video of when Mr. Adkins first broached the subject and didn’t see anything “inciting”.

1. You state that it is a known fact that Mr. Adkins is going to model the program after the current Section 8 program. Who knows about this “fact” other than you? I respect your researching abilities. Where did you dig up this “fact”? It doesn’t make since to me.
Because it is what Mr. Adkins has stated.
He has stated that the tracking software will be like the program now being used for Section 8 program. The data base will include all the information on the landlord, property and copies of the inspections as they are completed so he can push the magic bottom and have all the information at his finger tips...

I think that it would make more sense to use the same software. The city may have to pay additional licensing fees but fees associated with additional uses are usually nominal.

The Mr. Adkins that I know would like nothing more than to get rid of the Section 8 in our city. He is on record that the “Section 8 model” is costing the city money. Why would he want to duplicate it?
This was the opinion of Mr. Adkins in his 96 page report…It is NOT the opinion of HUD in their answer to Mr. Adkins report.
But it is Mr. Adkins that is trying to put this program together. HUD has no involvement and their opinion is not relevant to this matter.

2. Nobody, including you, thinks that a landlord registration program is really going to cost more than four times the Section 8 program. Common sense tells me that the high cost of the Section 8 program is directly proportional to the subsidy that the federal government pays to support it. It's sad, but that is the way government programs work.
NO…it is my opinion that a $25 registration fee or $185,000 a year will not fund this rental registration program therefore the city will need to charge an additional fee for any and all inspections.
First you have the cost of the advanced tracking software.
At a minimum he will need to hire one person for data entry and scheduling of inspections and three inspectors plus autos if they require a yearly inspection of each rental unit if he uses city employees..
This is a simple math problem…You have 7,500 units to inspect annually or about 29 units per day. An average inspection takes about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size and the condition of the property. Then you have drive time between each inspection then add in time for any re-inspections.

Thank you for stating that the above paragraphs are your OPINION. I invite opinions.
In my opinion….. if you have “advanced” software, you don’t need a data entry person. The simple math to me equates to a maximum of 2 inspectors……each one inspects 15 units per work day. At 20 minutes per inspection (being generous), there is plenty of time for travel and data entry (at the site). In my opinion, the cost of re-inspections should be self-sustaining. If an inspector has to go back due to code violations, the landlord should have to pay that expense. However, I am not advocating that it become a profit center for the city.


3. I’m not sure what you are talking about when you state “what is known” and “the numbers provided by the city”. What is there to know that you don’t know? What numbers are you looking for? The program is a concept at this point in time. I feel comfortable that we will learn more as the program is put together. My comfort stems from the fact that there will be a handful of private citizens (landlords) on the committee. I will give you this…… based on what I have learned from reading historical posts on this site, the city has way too many financial accounts and it is way too easy for them to move the money from one to another. I am not comfortable that city leaders always have our best interests at heart when they spend these funds.
Yep that’s just what we need is another city hand picked committee.
I guess we will meet back here in 90 days and compare notes.

Would you be OK with the handpicked committee if it contained the landlords that spoke out against the legislation at the council meeting?

4. You make it sound like collecting money from “deadbeat” property owners is a bad thing. My educated guess is the city is not collecting on many of these charges because, you guessed it, they can’t compel many non-resident property owner to comply because they can't be "served". If you are a local land owner, you deserve to pay 2.5 times the cost of mowing if you are too sorry to take care of it yourself. As for “where does the money go”, I have no idea but assume that this information is a public record and available to you if you really want to see it.
No…you seem to believe the city spin that they can do NOTHING to solve many of the property problems. I gave you an example that they do have the tools and have used them and even made a profit from them.
If they want to serve notice on an out of town non compliant property owner they could use a processor server…and it is a matter of record they have successfully used this method in the past.

I agree that the city should be doing more, but how do you serve an LLC with a post office box? I’m sure that it can probably be done, but at what time, effort, and expense?

I think that people like you, VV, Pacman, MikeP, acclaro, Spider, etc. are invaluable to a city like Middletown. The city leaders know that you are out there looking over their shoulders and will hold them accountable if they don't “do the right things” for the citizens that they represent. Sensationalizing your viewpoint gets you nowhere in my book and, in my opinion, will cause the city's leadership to take you less seriously.

On a separate note…… does anyone know what landlords have been chosen to participate on the registration committee?
No
I’ve heard that the city is going to invite some of those that spoke out against the legislation to participate as members of the committee. If true, I would think that any thought of “inside baseball” would be eliminated. If it’s not true, the city should consider it.

As you stated, we will have to compare notes in 90 days….. do you want to bet lunch?


-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jun 06 2012 at 10:21pm
Vet,
 
I Agree with you 100%.  The actual # of vouchers in the city should be between 400-500.  I also believe this was a money generator for the city as you state.  But my above post delt with the cost to administer the section 8 program and who pays for it.

The section 8 program in Middletown which far exceeds the # of vouchers this city should have, has many detriments that go along with it.  This city schools have a reduce lunch program in which about 72% of the students participate.  this is a measure of the poverty in the school system.  The last time I counted,  about 1850 students came from the 1662 vouchers.  This amounted to about 1/3 of the schools population.  The other 4500 students came from the remaining what(?) 20,000 homes.  I am just as frustrated as you by the fact that we are inudated with section 8 properties.  The last time I checked we had about 1 section 8 voucher for every 30 residents.  I have yet to find any other city in the US that has a ratio of this magnitude.

PacmanCool


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 07 2012 at 4:00am
Pacman
It is both the number of Public Housing Units, Section 8 and our declining population that have upset the natural balance of our city. Then the City made the areas even worse by diverting the money away from the areas that needed it most.
We need our population to increase by 10,000 with high wage earners to stop the decline.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jun 07 2012 at 1:40pm
greygoose: As you stated, we will have to compare notes in 90 days….. do you want to bet lunch?
Hey I will bet you Breakfest,lunch and Dinner that I wont pay this "GREAT" City a single dime to register my properties since they are already register with the county.Be alot cheaper dont yea think if they just look them up on the County website?Smile


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 07 2012 at 5:17pm
LMAO..... you will register.

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 07 2012 at 5:19pm
oooops..... you will register or they will register you. You will be registered.

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jun 07 2012 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by greygoose greygoose wrote:

oooops..... you will register or they will register you. You will be registered.
They might do that but trying to get the fee will be hard to do.Wink


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jun 08 2012 at 10:14pm
Vivian,

The amount of funds that HUD gives the city will never make a dent in the problems of wards 1 & 2.  I agree with the rest of your post, the only way Middletown will save itself is to draw in Middle income residents.  The city has no focus, no vision, and no sense of direction.

PacmanCool


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 09 2012 at 5:44am

Pacman
I’m not sure that I agree with your dent statement. I believe if these funds had been focused on the areas of need we could have made a BIG DENT in these problem areas. 
You would be shocked at the total amount of HUD Funds that have flowed through the doors of City Hall since 2000.
The rest of the problem occurred because of poor city planning by placing too many large low income properties in a saturated area.  

NO LEADERSHIP, NO PLAN, NO VISION, NO FOCUS = FAILURE



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 09 2012 at 10:58am
No brain matter = stupid     No heart = coward

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jun 23 2012 at 8:21am

Acting City Manager’s

Weekly Briefing

June 18, 2012

Rental Property Registration and Vacant Property Registration

Two committees consisting of City staff and community members have been

formed to discuss possible solutions to recurring problems with some rental

and/or vacant properties in the City. By including property owners and City staff cooperative work can be done to deal with these issues. Both committees are scheduled to have their first meetings in the next few weeks

Why would you need two separate committees to discuss this problem?



Posted By: greygoose
Date Posted: Jun 23 2012 at 11:39am
Ms. Viv,

I agree that a single committee could handle it. I can only assume that the city is looking at it as two issues; landlord registration being one and abandoned properties being the other. The committeee dealing with abandoned properties may not have any local landlords on it. Just a guess on my part.

GG

-------------
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jun 23 2012 at 6:15pm
Originally posted by Vivian Moon Vivian Moon wrote:

Acting City Manager’s

Weekly Briefing

June 18, 2012

Rental Property Registration and Vacant Property Registration

Two committees consisting of City staff and community members have been

formed to discuss possible solutions to recurring problems with some rental

and/or vacant properties in the City. By including property owners and City staff cooperative work can be done to deal with these issues. Both committees are scheduled to have their first meetings in the next few weeks

Why would you need two separate committees to discuss this problem?

They can  form all the committees as they want but I still wont pay the crooked,spineless ones a dime.Doesnt make a bit of sense cos as I have said before,my properties are registered with the butler county.Cant help it that the crooks cant manage their money.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Sep 05 2012 at 6:12am
Hey Middletown 29.....here's some positive news!!

Landlords, city come to an accord on rental registration

MIDDLETOWN —
Landlords in the community and city officials have agreed a rental property registration ordinance — which would have charged fees — won’t be necessary.

A committee of city staff and landlords have met a few times since May to discuss middle ground that will allow the city to keep track of unresponsive property owners and not require what landlords had called unnecessary bureaucracy that would have harmed those who follow city regulations.

“It became apparent that to meet the needs that we were looking at, a full-blown rental registration-type legislation that had been seen in other places was not needed to meet the goals that were identified by the committee,” said Middletown Law Director Les Landen.

The committee agreed: there would be no comprehensive local rental registration ordinance; lists of rental property owners would be formed through utility bills; the city would promote the county’s registration program; stakeholders and the city will encourage property maintenance; and there will be an ongoing communication bridge between landlords and the city.

A key recommendation is the communication bridge.

“If we communicate on the front end, we may be able to prevent some of the back end problems we see every year,” Landen said.

There you go 29. Ole Leslie Landen and company made a good choice. Positive feedback for the city from your old "Negative Nemesis"....The Vet.


Posted By: Middletown29
Date Posted: Sep 05 2012 at 6:23am
I knew you could do it Vet.
Keep up the balanced perspective.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Nov 14 2017 at 3:53pm
Spider John -

Your timely post of 5/27/2012 sadly rings true 5.5 years later.  During this time, owner-occupied dwelling units
declined, population declined, renter-occupied dwelling units increased, residential property demolitions
mushroomed, "downtown" redevelopment deals expanded because of virtual give-away's of city-owned real
estate/tax abatements/direct financial subsidies plus an increased number/percentage of poverty level
income households.  One important remaining question is:  what will Middletown look like five years from
now in 2022 or ten years from now in 2017?

Originally posted by spiderjohn spiderjohn wrote:


thanx 4 the insight, mr.goose
hope that u don't get cooked
Informative and thought-provoking.
40% rentals in a town of this size is incredible.
Even more incredible is the metamorphosis that brought us to those figures.
I have lived here for my entire life--went through the public school system k-12,
and have been in business locally throughout.
 
I can't accept the concept that our own local govt. has long-term led us into this situation
simply to pad their pockets, their cronies' pockets, and to provide long-term job/bennie security.
 
I also rate the current and last Councils as being the most destructive in my memory.
Add in the direction of Admin, and we have a very citizen/business unfriendly situation
If you are small, local or retail, Economic Development doesn't exist. You are merely here to pay the city piper for countless over-regulatory legalities and little to no support or services.
 
I am the owner of an 86yo business that has thrived locally until the last decade.
I have survived every kind of competition imaginable, however I can no longer win vs. the current levels of small crime and the demographic rate of poverty. Living wage jobs don't exist here. Quality of life shopping/entertainment options are few and far between here. No one with anything going for them is going to move here.
 
I live in a reasonably upscale neighborhood, yet the home next to me has been vacant for over two years.
It is in serious dis-repair and completely over-grown. The city has ignored the situation.
 
I operated two businesses in  once-thriving strip centers.. The first went vacant, and I operated there 30 years as the only business in a center that looks like something out of bombed-out Baghdad. I went through countless ED directors who promised tenants within 6 months. Never heard from any of those ED people again. All packed up and left.
 
I also operated in another once-thriving retail center which is currently following the same course. Didn't like what I sensibly had to do, I took my losses and vacated both locations. Didn't need to go through the decline twice. Local businesses are on their knees like never before, and competition has nothing to do with their problems. Thefts, break-ins, vandalism,and low-income demographics are more than small businesses can over-come when it goes on for as long as it has(and will continue) here.
 
I have had enough of our Council and Administration.
I have no faith in either of them.
I don't trust them, and don't agree/approve with their actions.
My only method of recourse is to starve them into submission via the ballot box.
I will not support them on any issues until I see serious about-face change (I don't see it coming from this group). Tear this system down, and re-build from the ground up. Painful but necessary.
 
Mr.Adkins?
Maybe what he is doing now is necessary to begin the journey back to where we need to be.
I don't see anything else moving us towards prosperity. It surely won't be art galleries and property giveaways and a pipe dream about an area that no longer has any significance in our recovery.
 
A few years ago, we were told that the east end was our salvation.
That situation has blown apart, and never gets a mention any more.
An embarrassing entrance to our community, now book-ended by the never-ending re-do on the western front.
 
Can we stick with something until we get it right?
 
jm bitter o
end of rant


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Nov 14 2017 at 4:56pm
more hopeful than bitter now
the "sell-off/shut down" process was painful and I let it show back then

That feeling went away
I will work towards our future and am willing to contribute many ways

Admin/Council??
Hopefully getting it right to make one united town working forward in every corner--but still has to show me(and probably many others still left here)

no rant



Print Page | Close Window