Report on the eerily bizzare near sane Common Council Work Session concerning the city’s budget (and alleged abuses)?
Or speak of an afterglow of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale accompanied by broccoli cheese soup, fried fish, and a lengthy conversation with Landlord Association founder Brian Haeseley topped off with an oversized portion of strawberry cheesecake?
Damn! I hate making these decisions!
OK! Since my good friend and able Tribune reporter Daniel Suddeath was present for the former, I shall leave it in his very capable hands for the moment. I reserve the option of coming back to it later however.
Instead I’ll dwell here on the latter.
So with my partner in crime Mark Cassidy & I having survived almost three hours of Councilmen v Professoress debate, we proceeded to Studio’s for nourishment and medication.
As I was pouring my first beer of the evening in walks Mr. Haeseley calls me by name and says he would like to have a one on one with me concerning rental property issues sometime soon.
I responded that I’d be glad to and Mark & I made our way into the dining room. As I sat down it occurred to me that there was no time like the present. So without further ado I invited Brian to join us.
He began the conversation by saying that although we seemed to be on opposite sides of the fence, he felt that we’d both misunderstood the point the other was trying to make and would like to discuss the issue to find where we could agree.
He seemed sincere and I’m all about finding allies as opposed to making enemies so we dove in head first.
We spoke frankly of registration, tenants rights, owners responsibilities, inspections, the city’s responsibilities, sheriff’s sales, property liens, foreclosures, evictions, rats, trash, weeds, and much more.
In the end although we still disagreed on what constitutes a “business” we did come to terms on cleanups. It is EVERYBODY’S job.
So much so that I think I got a commitment out of him to actively join us this weekend with the Uptown Neighborhood effort.
I also believe we came a better understanding of who is responsible for what at least in broad terms.
I explained to him the hurdles we’ve run into in dealing with city officials and he in turn schooled me on the differences between a tax lien sale and a sheriff’s sale in terms of who gets title when and how. Neither is simple nor quick but both are doable in terms of abandoned housing.
I came away encouraged that the lines of communication had been opened at least. Time alone will tell if either of us will be able to successfully put our money where our mouths are.
But hey! We gotta start some where!
There was much more detail to this first conversation but I’ve been going since 6AM and I’ve got to do it all over again in a few hours.
More to come later!