First I would like to apologize to Councilman Greg Van Ho.
Councilman Van Ho, my sincerest apologies for the profane language left on your answering machine Saturday, March 14Th..
If I may explain. I awoke to a letter from the City of Euclid. It was a warrant for my arrest for a housing violation. I immediately called Councilman Van Ho without thinking and spouted off. I think most would panic receiving such a letter though that is no excuse.
Euclid Council I hope with this letter that a proper conclusion will be reached in regards to an issue that has spiraled out of control. I also hope that Euclid will tell me what they are doing to secure my investment because as of now they are making it very difficult to run a business which is what rental property basically is and in doing so making hard to find tenants or prospective buyers.
The issue I allude to is a warrant that I received Saturday March 14th for a housing violation. I assume it is for the windows that need replacing. I erroneously believed I was in compliance. Back in the fall I explained that due to my financial situation the windows would be replaced when funds allowed. There was no further contact from Euclid until Saturday when I received the warrant. Since that time one window has been replaced and another ordered.
Instead of explaining any further lets get right to what the real problem is and what is Euclid trying to accomplish? Person after person I speak with say get out of Euclid. Why? Is it just white flight? Some say that but the biggest reason is the over burdensome government, an intrusive government. The city has put a stranglehold on buyers, sellers and owners. Though I do have to acknowledge that I have been told and have read in the Sun Journal that some inspections and regulations may be lifted. I applaud this first step.
Please explain what is a person suppose to do if funds aren't available for repairs? Is it correct to terrorize with threats and harassment? Terrorize is a strong word but thats exactly as some feel. I have heard comments ranging from if you don't comply or fix things Euclid will take your house, send you to jail, fine you. I know a family personally where so much stress was put on them it almost caused a split. They eventually left their house and moved to lake County. Maybe I don't even need to mention what others say as I have my own stories of Euclid. Besides the current warrant, in the spring of '08 I received a notice of violation for yard debris. At that time I had a tenant residing at the house on Crystal Ave. who had a landscaping service maintaining the yard. Shortly after this notice is when my tenant of five years said now I am insulted, I just want out of Euclid and left. Councilman Van Ho will testify to this.
I would like to know what Euclid is trying to accomplish? Is it right for residents to fear the city? When I received the first notice from Euclid in May '08 threatening that I need to register the properties I acted appropriately and wrote to Mayor Cervenik asking for help and advice. It did little good. One of his statements was you better pay they don't play, they will get you. What kind of society is Euclid trying to create?
Some inspections are needed but when should they be administered and how often is what needs to be changed. When I went for my house loan an appraiser came out, I also hired an inspector and my insurance agent looked at it. Do we need another inspection? Its time to revamp what Euclid currently has in place. According to Councilman Van Ho the inspections as they are now are a big net that catches everyone. Is this what we need to make everyone criminals and chase investment away? What about installing a system based on how many times police were called to a residence, neighbor complaints, unkempt yards, drive by inspections and not for such minor cosmetic issues such as windows that you can't really tell need replacing unless you pull in the drive and look.
Going back to one of the main points of this letter, what is a person suppose to do if no funds are available? Just about daily I read about the hardships most cities are facing, some far worse than others. Isn't the local government a microcosm of the people living in the city? If Euclid is broke, cutting back on personal, requesting stimulus money wouldn't it make sense then to realize so are the people living there facing the same issues? Where does the city get its money, from taxes. And the taxes come from where? People working, property tax, sales tax. So obviously if Euclid is broke so are the people living in the city or people have just left. Shouldn't Euclid be in a survival mode where they will go out of their way to keep people in houses rather than threaten? Is it better to have empty houses that only lower value or have houses with tenants living in them that may need some repair but not enough to be deemed unsafe? I have heard
estimates that this recession can last any where from another one to three years. If this is true then thats the time limit Euclid should be giving people who are in a financial bind.
Why is Euclid so intent making it difficult on landlords and investment? You would think Euclid would be asking me, Carey what is your success of keeping a tenant for 10 years and another for 5? Of course not, they just want to intrude, inspect and get their fee.
I bought both houses for long term investments. Its quite obvious I do not flip houses. Why wouldn't I fix them and keep then updated since they are for my retirement? So again I must stress, what is a person suppose to do if there is no funds? Councilman Van Ho suggested a low interest loan. Wonderful if you have the monthly payment to repay the loan?
My parents asked what are we going to do about this problem. I answered there is no problem, I get a tenant in the house, I save up a little at a time and replace the windows one at a time, see there is no problem, the problem is Euclid, if this was Wickliffe there would be no problem.
So I ask each one of you on council to seriously review and reread this letter several times and ask yourself if a person can't afford windows how will he post bond and pay court costs? Does this make the city any more business friendly and shed a positive light of wanting more people to invest? And then ask yourself does issuing a warrant because a person does not have the funds to replace windows is appropriate? I want you to really think on this. A person can go to jail because of not replacing windows.
Carey K. M.
additional note: an article in the News Herald on March 12 titled Blighted Urban Areas Need Help. It mentions Euclid and the foreclosure and reductions in population. This goes along right with what I have just written. Its time Euclid becomes business friendly and fill these houses.