UPDATED: Director Smith mocked during Land Use Committee meeting

Full-time director, part-time court jester

During the meeting, Dunham asked for a TIF to build affordable housing. After his presentation, Director Smith explains the city’s involvement with affordable housing. (starts at 24:30).

He pretty much admits that the city loses money on the deal, and tries to defend it by saying it is an ‘investment’ because if they wouldn’t build these homes, the city would lose money on code enforcement actions.

While I do understand his argument, no one is forcing the city to help pay to tear down older homes. The property owner should be responsible for those costs, not the taxpayer. If they cannot afford to fix up their property or tear down a home, it should go into foreclosure and become the bank’s problem.

Kermit then says to Director Smith, “So all these houses the city has built, we have lost money on?”

And Smith says, “They are investments.” in which the entire chamber busted up laughing.

Staggers points out, “Most people who invest money and they lose money, they call that a bad investment.”

Darrin reiterates his original argument about code enforcement, and didn’t seem to pleased that no one understood his argument.

Karsky and Anderson defend the practice. Staggers points out that the argument of investment is anecdotal information, because no one knows if we are saving money by making this ‘investment’.

UPDATED: I’m starting to wonder if Darrin even understands his department’s budget and how it works? And does he even understand prevention? Prevention shouldn’t start at demolition. As I have pointed out in the past, there are ways the city can provide assistance to property owners without giving them a handout, such as community development loans and even considering TIF’s to private property owners. By seizing and buying a foreclosed piece of property, all we are doing is bailing out the bank that owns the property. As taxpayers we are not benefiting from this lost CIP revenue that could be better spent on roads, sewers or parks actual INVESTMENTS in our community.


#1 Pathloss on 06.27.12 at 12:05 pm

There’s no code enforcement. The city does not allow itself access to the courts (code 2-66) and cannot collect fines, implement liens, or seize property. The only method they have is buying. It’s a good time to become a slum lord and profit when the city buys you out. The code enforcement angle just doesn’t fly. It’s also a good time to open a nude juice bar. The city has ordinances they cannot enforce without the courts. I enjoyed Art Garfunkle getting laughed at.

#2 Detroit Lewis on 06.27.12 at 12:23 pm

It’s just a bailout for the banks when the places get foreclosed on. Didn’t we learn anything from the national bank bailout? Nevermind.

#3 Pathloss on 06.27.12 at 5:25 pm

We know the city is corrupt and can only watch while Huether rigs contracts and loots from bond money. We can move once infrastructure collapses and taxes rise. Without support from the population and the state, that’s a given. It’s not if but when.

How about a national topic, Obama Health Care (Supreme Court decision tomorrow).

One question: Why would anyone pay health care premiums for years if they can wait till they’re sick and pay one penalty?

#4 Pathloss on 06.28.12 at 11:05 am

Obamacare passed. What’s important is that healthcare finally gets attention. Some is unconstitutional. There should be reform where needed for a long time. Past presidents couldn’t or didn’t respond. Lot’s of dissent. Without realizing it, government has stepped in to benefit citizens. When financials and car manufacturers struggled they also stepped in. Worked then but important they return to private later.

#5 Bond Perilous on 06.28.12 at 3:52 pm

We’re bailin the banks when other cities let banks figure out their own housing stock. Here’s an interesting article on it. Check out the last third of the article:


DS = assclown

#6 l3wis on 06.28.12 at 4:32 pm

I don’t have a problem with banks ‘giving’ us the property, letting us clean it up and resell it to developers.