2007-05-29

The Local News: Crankypants Edition

1. Ah, L. Morgan. So we meet at last. The Emperor's New Clothes? WTF? Let me distill this for you -- the People of Hope aren't about the tax base. They're about ensuring that a bunch of people who paid for their property can actually live in it.

Now, we probably share the opinion that a new trailer park isn't the best use of undeveloped space. We probably agree that there might be better affordable housing options than a depreciating asset. But it would appear that we disagree in the empathy department.

Now, the question is: would you be irritated if someone evicted you from your land, wouldn't allow you to move your home, and wouldn't pay you for it? Probably. Unfortunately that's what the groundbreaking is about -- a compassionate response to a &^%$#ed up problem. Not our tax base, and not a standard that you or I might find acceptable personally. Just a workable compromise.

Oh, and what "makes it ok" is that individuals have chosen to do it and can do so within the local laws. It's also what makes it ok for a large retailer to, say, mass grade a huge piece of property and pipe the stream running through it or what allows a wing joint to locate in a very nice residential neighborhood. (These are two examples that come up over and over.) We may not like it, but we don't get to disregard the laws because of that.

2. I'm of two minds on this one. Kudos to the landlord for being practive about crime in her 'hood, but I'm still sad for the trees and whatnot.

The only quibble I'll make is this:

"It's a perpetual problem for us, and we'd like to see these people out of the community altogether," Morris said. "We're trying to build a coalition (of landlords) to solve these problems rather than just displacing them from one place to another."

Translation: "We're trying to solve this problem in this location by displacing them from this place to another place altogether. " In other words, we're still not solving any problems on a citywide or regional basis. This isn't a quibble with the affected people -- I know about your prostitute- and drug user-related pain and I know that absent a comprehensive solution one has to seek mere relief -- but we as a city need to think bigger or we'll just continually play whac-a-mole with crime in various neighborhoods to great public cost and consternation until a neighborhood that is poor enough and disenfranchised enough can be located for the crime to move into.

3. Total agreement with you, JMac. But you know , that is the general Republican solution -- earn a lot of money and screw those who can't or don't. Also, people, I like market solutions -- but there are services which cannot and should not be left to the market. Water is one of those.

P.S. I'll explore the recent article on UGA child care at the other blog in the next day or so. It needs a deeper exploration.

2 comments:

Winfield J. Abbe said...

The prejudical law in Athens Clarke County is designed to make it as difficult as possible to place or move a mobile home here. If they could they would simply outlaw them altogether and order all existing mobile homes demolished. But the government can't do that. So instead, they make it so expensive that no one wants to do it and therefore render most existing mobile homes worthless. All this activity is patently illegal and in clear violation of the Federal Fair Housing Law and other laws. But due to politics, no official will challenge this reprehensible government ( to use the most polite adjective possible without expletives). These non representatives run their mouths about lack of affordable housing while it is they who are responsible for this situation because they wrote the illegal law preventing it. A brand new 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom mobile home costs about $25,000 but thanks to our non representative commissioners there is virtually nowhere to put one.
Virtually any building removed from its foundation is worthless. When the DOT sought to sell perfectly good homes on the Jefferson Rd. there were no takers; they had to give them away. One was demolished while the other was moved about 200 feet at a cost of about $5,000. Manufactured homes are designed to be moved; they have a rigid steel frame under them. Ordinary buildings are not designed to be moved and require much expense if they are in order to make them safe again. When attached to property, manufactured homes increase in value just as any other improvement does. But illegal government prejudice against them and those who would occupy them doesn't help. Wouldn't it be nice if that good for nothing attorney general of Georgia would get up off his rear end and file some lawsuits against the illegal activities of the Athens Clarke County Government in something as basic as housing? Or why not the U.S. Attorney? But no, we lowly citizens must put up thousands of dollars to file lawsuits against clear illegal activities of our own government!

Winfield J. Abbe said...

Note that while the law in Athens Clarke County requires mobile homes to be inspected, many ordinary homes possibly a century old or more may have NEVER been inspected for wiring safty, plumbing safety or anything else. One set of rules for the friends and cronies of our non representatives, another set of rules for mobile home owners and dwellers in patent violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Georgia Constitution.