Tired of the county getting all the good scandals, city of Eureka decides to create a crapstorm all its own

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the guy behind the wheel of the cement truck is probably Larry Glass.

He’s the unstoppable force behind Eureka Municipal Code sections 150.030.001 – 150.030.083—also known as the Rental Housing Program, which seeks to fund rental inspection and enforcement activities by imposing rules and fees on all rental property owners in the city.

Boring? Not a bit! In fact, it’s the best kind of political theater: Rich, fat slumlords pitted against vulnerable (but wholesome!) poor people, who with the city’s wise and beneficent assistance resolve their differences and live happily ever after in upgraded housing stock and quiet, tree-lined communities, possibly with Jesus.

But first things first! Let’s get on down to City Hall and register our rentals!! It’s like sex offender registry, only serious. Really! Have you ever known a child molester out of compliance to be charged up to $1,000 a day? Neither have we, but that’s what grandma would be looking at if she failed to register the other half of her duplex within 30 days.

So now it’s inspection time!! Yay! The ordinance gives the city the authority to enter any rental unit in response to any complaint, real or fabricated, by any person, connected to the property or otherwise, including staff, total strangers, and your ex-wife’s half-brother in Fortuna.

If you’re not home when the inspector arrives? No worries! They can get a warrant and break down your door.

Should any problems be found inside inspectors can order repairs to be completed within as little as 48 hours, and can then re-inspect afterward (“can” being literal here, as the city explicitly gives itself the right, after breaking into your house, to not follow up on their repair orders. They’re busy people, you know).

In some cases you may be able to get an extension on the repairs, if staff feel like granting one. But in other cases you cannot, regardless of the availability of funds, qualified repair people, or materials in stock at Pierson’s.

Failure to comply with the inspector’s schedule will subject you to fines of up to $1,000 per day per repair. And if you don’t pay all those fines, fees and penalties within 60 days, the city will put a lien against your property, even though obviously it’s a piece of shit and who would want to live there, or you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place.

Well fuck-howdy, have we left anything out?

Oh—just this little gem under section 150.030.024 Right of Entry: “Whenever it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of or perform any duty imposed by this chapter or other applicable law, or whenever the City has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any residential rental property any violation of the provisions of this sub-chapter or other applicable building, zoning, housing, fire, nuisance, health, safety or related laws or regulations, the City is hereby authorized to send an inspector to enter the premises at any reasonable time and to inspect it and perform any duty imposed upon the City or authorized representative by this chapter or other applicable law.”

Translation, please? Remember how it was determined code enforcement officers didn’t actually have legal justification to take armed, pot-spotting Sheriff’s deputies with them on building inspections? Well, friends, that paragraph right there is exactly the authority they lacked.

We hope the Eureka City Council will see this compendium of rights violations for what it is. Good intentions are laudable, but they’re no excuse for policy as bad as this.

29 Responses

  1. You tell ‘em, humbug!

  2. We thought it was just for health and safety violations (bad heaters, mold, etc.) and not for anything under the sun, and we also thought it was upon a complaint by the tenant/s only, not everyone under the sun, and we thought it was $6 fee upon complaint plus costs to repair or replace the problem/s — basically, we thought this was a proposal to stop slum lords and his look alikes from supplying sub-standard housing. You go Bugs – nailed it again!

  3. We’ve been sold a bill of goods. That ordinance creates more problems than it could ever hope to solve.

  4. Democrats promise good government in exchange for your money. Republicans promise the same in exchange for your rights. This ordinance wants both. SAY NO.

  5. Let’s see… Construction projects, with short and inflexible turnaround times… Now which hardware store owner in town might this benefit? And didn’t that particular person support Larry’s candidacy? The closer you stand to this pile of shit the worse it starts to smell.

  6. Concerned, that’s just one more reason why we need a Home Depot.

  7. Marky must be drooling over this. Wanna bet he and bon bon have directed Splotchy Chaitin to draft a similar ordinance for the county so they can get the authority they lacked with the earlier Code Enforcement fiasco.

    And what is really absurd here is that if you rent a room in your house, this applies to you. It is not limited to Commercial Rentals as most of us know them. It applies to the room you rent out.

    They are fucking nuts. What imbecile on the City Council or City Staff came up with this? Glass couldn’t be that brain dead. It has to be someone on staff.

  8. If it is staff, betcha’ it is the genius in the counsel’s chair who was infamous for making shit up at her old job that [moderated] people, and freedoms….Cheryl Schafner.

    [Sorry friend! Try not to say things--especially about lawyers--that might get us sued. Thanks!!]

  9. Yeah, I heard she came up with shit so silly at her last job that it made people die laughing.

  10. Has the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project/Bonnie Blackberry weighed in on this?

    Is there an exemption – if you’re growing pot, none of hte above will apply to you?

    Just curious. I’m kinda stunned. I kinda liked Larry, but apparently he is just another liberal fascist.

    But I get it, the cops can’t chase down meth-ed out, probation violating criminals and can’t touch dope growers, but they can go after property owners who loan out their houses to those who have none.

    Larry’s world?

  11. We need a Home Depot to get rid of that damn Pierson’s Building. Financing the progressive candidates completely overshadows all of their contributions to the local community. Heck, they sell mostly Ace products, which is a big box corporation! Hypocrites! If it takes a Home Depot to kill the progressive treasure chest, then I’m all for it!

  12. Wow, you can’t beat a comments section with a reference to that noted social and political historian — Jonah Goldberg. Thanks Rose, now please go back to supporting free speech for the modern Nazi party of Europe.

    Bugs, I’m coming straight for your crib, warrant in hand and backed up by Murl Harpham’s Fire Zouaves. We’ll have armored cars and everything! But wait, doesn’t this still have to be approved by the council? If it does Bugs, you’re damned lucky, cuz I was gonna be there.

  13. Glad you guys are finally coming clean with the true intentions behind Home Depot

  14. I think it’s gonna sell building supplies. But don’t tell anyone!

  15. Jonah Goldberg? Ah, Blue, I haven’t read that one, is it any good?

  16. That’s spooky, Yeah. It’s like you can read their minds.

  17. Normally “fascist” is a word I don’t use, but I have to agree with you on this one. If fascist is as fascist does, Larry, tell me how it doesn’t apply here.

    We’ve been ’round this mountain before, and it didn’t end well last time for the people who wanted to abrogate our rights.

  18. Hey – it this were the 30′s, they would call whoever wrote this and supported it a “brown shirt.”

  19. You can’t bitch about Larry Glass. That’s like beating up on Baby Jesus. Off limits, okay?

  20. I called Larry up the other day and bitched at him for five or ten minutes about this ordinance, which I made clear I did not like at all. But here’s what’s great about Larry. He listened to me bitch for five or ten minutes, and when I ran out of shitty things to say to him he reminded me to give him a call if I need any more help with a neighborhood problem I’d been dealing with.

    He’s not right all the time, but he never forgets who he works for.

  21. Or who works for him. No matter, next time I let him titty fuck me I’m going to charge him double.

  22. Yeah, Billy Boy – you – the one who will take anyone’s money from 9-5 but won’t talk to anyone but liberals after 5 — always seen porking out at the liberal over priced eatery nightly with your hippie slob wife…Thanks for living up to your grandfather’s hopes and dreams – (NOT)- he was generous, and kind and caring – are you sure you weren’t adopted?

  23. The core of this ordinance already exists per state law. If a rental is substandard, you report it to the health department and building department. You can not be evicted from your place if you do because state law provides that would be “retaliatory eviction.” All this ordinance does is 1) set up a draconian set of rules; 2) set up a separate agency as opposed to forcing existing agencies to simply to their jobs; 3) puts more burdens (financial and otherwise) on people – in this case, applying it to an in-law unit or someone who rents a room is just stupid)(also fining someon 1000$ per day is draconian and; 4) is a bunch of political gobbly gook put forward by someone on the council that thinks he needs some bogus political capital to run on next election.

    Pass out the brown shirts folks –

    Hey Glass, if this is really what sounds good to you, start wearing brown shirts to meetings and force the city staff to also.

  24. I don’t see what the big fuss is over this ordinance. Reasonable people see the need to regulate rental properties because of all the problems with grow houses and slum lords. Eureka has a lot of slum lords. This will be a good thing for renters, their living conditions will improve. That alone is reason to support it. The only people I know who oppose it are some paranoid types on the right.

  25. And a paranoid under a pair of nuts.

  26. Your reading skills aren’t so much. Reasonable people here see the need to regulate rental properties to mitigate and prevent problems such as you describe. They don’t see the need to build a redundant bureacracy to do so, to treat individuals with one or two rooms to rent the same as commercial property owners, to create a regressive fee structure that penalizes small owners and to open the door to So-Hum style code enforcement activities. If worrying about these things makes me paranoid, fine. I think ignoring them makes you obtuse.

  27. the best argument ever: if you don’t agree with me you are unreasonable.

  28. Larry Glass is half full of shit.

  29. No paranoia here (and I am a as liberal as they come.) I have a small mother-in-law unit attached to my house that I rent. out to a very nice older lady. We take excellent care of our tenant- and she pays her rent on time-she’s happy, we’re happy. Why should we be penalized for the behavior of the bad apples? The idea that Inspector Gadget can waltz into what is essentially my home whenever he pleases gives me the heebie-jeebies, and if you think that’s paranoia, maybe you’re taking your civil liberties a tad bit for granted. Mold? Phfff. Give me break. I’ve lived in Humboldt most of my life, and have never lived in a house that didn’t get a bit of mildew. You’re telling me that if my tenant gets lazy and won’t wipe down the mildew under her kitchen window, I have to come in and do it for her? Geez, I hope she remembers to flush the day the inspector comes….We already have a rental housing crunch in this town; now those who may be in the worst position to absorb the blow will pay the price: the tenants. Landlords will just raise rents to cover the cost of the fees. I supported Larry Glass–I’m going to have to give the guy a piece of my mind.

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