I saw this article in the Detroit Free Press over the weekend. It makes me wonder if TC has a rental inspection law in their town?

Some of the dissent of the local citizens of TC seem similar to the concerns we have in Ludington. A dearth of affordable housing already exists there. Is this where Ludington is headed as well? Is this the goal of the Council overall?

It is great to have nice condos and living spaces, but at the cost of not having the people who work in town be able to afford to live there is not acceptable to me. This will drive tons of people away - then who will be around to work in the businesses that support the tourist season?

Traverse City Growing Pains

Views: 296

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It took a while, but I was able to find a link which says Traverse City has a rental inspection ordinance (check out p. 19 in this 2012 publication).  "Currently, rental inspection ordinances are only present within the City of Traverse City for rental properties, leaving little recourse for renters or residents in other communities."

Check out p. 24 also:  "Revenue-generating activities such as potential market rate development, conducting rental inspections..."

If rental inspections generate revenue, they become taxes; oops.  Not surprisingly, the originators of this document were primarily members of Planning Commissions for the county and its cities.  The underlying goals of planning commissions, which they won't readily tell you, is to gather all the serfs in one area under just a few roofs while they and their friends live the American Dream in their comfortable villas and dachas in the countryside.  This is more resilient and sustainable for society, LOL.

According to the good tenets of Agenda 21, my friend.

Which is another thing they won't readily tell you about, even if it walks, flies and quacks like a duck.

It's analogous to going to the council meeting tonight and seeing Ludington Planning Commissioners Joe Moloney and Ray Madsen trumpet this ordinance.  At least Joe made a point to acknowledge he was on the LPC, before launching into an unrealistic scenario where he is concerned about his children needing a rental.  I forget the niceties of his arguments, being that they were illogical and under the belief that a once-every-three-year rental inspection would save his kids from living in squalor under an apathetic landlord. 

Hey Joe, maybe that's kind of your job to teach your kids about such topics or make sure others educate them in this or at the very least prevent them from getting into an apartment/rental agreement you find objectionable.  Maybe all of the rest of our kids working McJobs that pay them enough to barely cover the rents now can afford a nice tent and a burning barrel in the future when low rent housing in Ludington disappears.

Ray (sitting in his usual spot next to Joe, and without announcing himself as a PC member intimately involved in this RIP)  got up just after me and related a sad hearsay account of some family living in a dive.  Seriously, when these public officials start on these anonymous anecdotes without any kind of backing evidence of people involved and locations, it just makes me irritated at their rudeness for giving me a story with no real characters or settings. 

Anybody who is a landlord has their tenant-from-Hell story to tell and those who have been tenants often have their own landlord-from-Hell story to tell.  Too bad it almost always gets embellished over time into a 'big fish' story to tell their fellow landlords/tenants.  I did a FOIA request back in June to get tenant complaints/feedback that the city reviewed in drafting this ordinance and got an empty set as a reply. 

This RIP as it is in most places, is out to get more money from folks which they indicate will be put into getting another part-time clerical worker and more time from a full time building inspector, then more money from grants for those they choose wherein the city will get 25% for administration, not to mention a whole lot more power, grabbed from everyone's Fourth Amendment rights.

If there is one place I avoid in the summer it's Traverse City. That town is a congestive nightmare of traffic especially on the main roads. Traverse City has turned itself into an unappealing urban landscape. The rows of motels, hotels and condos along the water has made the drive around the bay just another adventure in peeking between the buildings to try and get a view of the water.  

Squalor,squalor squalor, thats all I hear from the city officials. Here is a notice to the planning committee, The landlord didn't make the pig pen where these people are living, the renters did. Most landlords are mortified when they see their rental property in that condition knowing that they will have to clean it up because when that type of renter moves they just walk out the door. Then the landlord is left to spend thousands of dollars to get the place rentable again along with lost rent while redoing the house/apartment.

Councilor Castonia did the math, it's only $65 every three years, less than two dollars per month, a mere six cents a day.  What a simpleton argument.  A nice counter-argument to that would be concerning his salary as councilor.

According to the charter, he is supposed to be earning $50 a year, yet is paid $3600 because some of his predecessors added $3550 for traveling expenses to the wages to stay within the charter's strictures.  I go to each council meeting (on foot), I don't have any travel expenses incurred, nor would I accept any of this gratuitous money as a councilor without somehow feeling I am violating my oath of office.  Similarly, $65 every three years for rental inspections can easily grow to a landlord expense of $3600 or more for all the time, effort, cosmetic changes, rental time lost, etc. 

Yet, when the issue of providing the public with a non-exempt arrest report or the business records between the city corporate and a fellow councilor's company, he's more than willing to spend tens of thousands of your money defending the city shirking its duty, which would simply be to let you look at the record(s) showing city officials breaking the law. 

Interesting... I wonder if  City Counselors are listing the $3550 as taxable income.

Can per diem ever be used as a salary alternative?

Because per diem payments are non-taxable, some people may raise the question, “Can I accept a lower salary with per diem instead of a higher salary with no per diem?” The answer is no: Per diem policies cannot be created in a manner that allows what should be wages to be labeled as something else – in this case, per diem.


Normally according to the IRS in order to qualify you need to file an expense report for travel 

 5. What does an expense report need to include?

        The report must include: · The business purpose of the trip, ·

        The date and place of the trip, and ·

        Receipts for lodging (if using the meals-only per diem rate).

        The employee must file the expense report with the employer within a reasonable period of time (60 days).

If any of these requirements are not met, the payment is taxable to the employee.


Would any city councilor care to explain if  the travel expense per diem compensation they receive is taxable income or not?  And if they do not consider it as taxable compensation are they are filing their expense reports in a timely fashion as required by the IRS?

Very interesting observation and comments shinblind. I think we all know what the answers are in advance too. 

 Here is a link to what was discussed back in 2011 about the topic, here is the minutes from the meeting where the council passed their 7200% pay raises.  The city charter says in section 5.4 that "The salaries of the Mayor and Council Members shall not be increased during their terms of office." 

To me, this can only be interpreted as saying that the councilors cannot vote themselves an increase in salary that they will realize during the term they are currently serving-- effectively limiting themselves to not give themselves a pay raise.  Their salary (without expenses considered) was $50 per councilor, $300 for mayor and as you can see, something pushed their transportation expenses over $22,000 in the year just before this gigantic pay raise. 

Those councilors were a crooked bunch, accepting thousands in transportation expenses each year for driving across town to meetings, until they voted themselves a raise rationalizing that the raise would be equal to the transportation allowance they lost.


© 2024   Created by XLFD.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service