Here are some of my more recent posts and comments on articles from the KC Pitch Magazine and the Kansas CIty Star. Feel free to leave a response or comment of your own. I’d really appreciate your input on these problems – maybe together we can come up with some ideas to make things a little better for all of us!


>> Letter to the Editor, KC Star – Absentee owners hurt KC, 4-18-15

Maybe we need to look a little at deeper-out of town money, banking, code enforcement and gentrification, speculators and investors, and the tenant-plenty of blame to go around.
In times past a bank loaned on a property and collected the payments and if necessary, foreclosed. Then came the selling of notes out-of-town. The local bank could make more money setting up the loans and collecting origination fees than in holding the loan, so they sell the loan and set up new loans , so they became ‘loan arrangers’.
In times past in case of default the bank would find a local buyer to take over the property and or payments. Then HUD got in the picture of guaranteeing the loans and the note holder became more interested in filing his loss claim and getting paid off than in managing the property for the good of the neighborhood.
Now the banking industry, (there is plenty of blame to go around) banks have gotten big, bigger, and still bigger-there are few little banks where bankers know their customers anymore, partly thanks to banking regulations. They have become monopolies, a thing we tried to prevent years ago but now???.
Now the investor-speculator, he is buying property and renting section 8 because it is good money. And some of it is out of town money with no concern for the neighborhood problems. Google ‘Bainbridge’.
Now the tenant: there is plenty of blame to go around, he is not blameless. He is not usually good at taking care of his unit and will, at times use codes to avoid or evade rent. He can trash his unit and the landlord is cited for operating unfit housing. He has money to pay fines-the tenant doesn’t.
Code enforcement, yes, plenty of blame to go around-,they tore down a building I was working on-had a permit. Sorry Charlie, you have been too slow. Google “Slumlord Charlie”. The bureaucracy of code enforcement -??we would have a hard time building Kansas City with these ‘clipboard engineers’.
We’re spending close to 4 mill a year in code enforcement , for what purpose; to maintain the tax base, to insure proper housing for the poor, or to keep investors and speculators from losing their shirts. ???
And of course the money or gentrification people: they are good at using codes to enhance the value of property they buy. They want the property next door to look good so their property will be worth more. As Truman said ‘everybody wants something at the cost of somebody else’.
Maybe we should spend that 4 mill a year on the people, upgrading their life style. We care about them, don’t we, or do we? Or do we just care about the property that makes money?
Absentee owners are not hurting us as much as we are hurting ourselves. And now we are building a new police building—with lots of vacant buildings downtown??? And why a 20K water bill?
Charlie Williard 816-446-5409

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