>> Dear Al Gore
Sorry but I am not a ‘DEAR DEMOCRAT’, I’m not really a Republican either.
I guess you could say I am a disgusted taxpayer. Why? Because I remember that the Democrats controlled Congress the last four years. And what of that control?
‘After twelve years of Republican policies’— I don’t think the last twelve years have been much different than the last forty.
Government spending and bureaucracy has been out of control for a long time because the people are too dumb to know to stop it and maybe they can’t stop it.
As the Roman Senator said in ‘Spartacus’, “I understood the people’s problems but I wanted power.”
Americans have more than they ever had. Look at the T V’s and VCR’s, the new cars, and the retired people who can travel—motor homes.
So ‘jobs go overseas’. What do you expect with high wages and union work rules. And what would things cost here if we didn’t have that competition? And don’t those people need jobs too?
I really don’t see much change in the future with whoever wins the white house because bureaucrat’s run things.
The one advantage to re-electing Bush is that we would not have to build another presidential library for another four years.
Yes, just look at what Truman started. He got his built with private money—but how long has that lasted and what is it costing us now?
‘Long unemployment lines’—I don’t know too many people willing to work who aren’t working. There are people who do not choose to make themselves employable.
Sorry Al, but your father was in Congress and helped set in motion many of the problems we have today and he was a democrat.
When do we stop the hand out to the farmer, to big business—developers-tax breaks, to undeserving students, welfare cheats, and excessive government spending?
And you and Bill are not going to stop it either. And if you were using your money to talk about it with you wouldn’t even be talking.
>> 3428 Charlotte – Bed Frame
3428 Charlotte bed frame, shopping cart and car belonged to a tenant that isn’t very bright. Doing the best he knows to get along but is going to have to move.
Now he has drug in an old TV. Should this be called a crime when I can’t get the street thief picked up?
3426 Charlotte. A lot of work has been done on this house, new roof, central air, two unites rehabed—I have not been un-busy on this property. The property next door also got a new roof and second and third floor rehab.
2209 east 42nd. Sold on contract for deed. In default. Suit filed 8-27. Do not have possession. Copy of suit with file stamp.
40th woodland. Sold on contract for deed. In default. Suit filed 8-27. Do not have possession. Buyer has comunicated with city. City knows this. Copy of suit with file stamp. Copy of suit with file stamp.
3330 Charlotte. Cleaned up. Complete exterior paint up, two thirds done. Complete rehab on property next-door, 3316Charlotte. I even trimmed the alley from 33rd to 34th.
Money has been tight due to the divorce last year but I have not been— not busy. A lot has been done that the city takes no notice of.
Three loans have been secured re-structuring debt and another is in the works which will give me funds to hire two more crews amd move much faster in rehabbing three structures.
>> Barbara Shelly
Kansas City Star
Dear Ms. Shelly,
Your article about Costco touched a nerve in my thinking. Especially the part about removing the many houses to make way for this project.
There is a letter on my web site, “Glover or Sucker Plan” that you might enjoy reading. And I still say that this project should have been built over between The Paseo and the freeway. Ground was already cleared there and a lot of freeway traffic would have stopped and shopped.
I don’t know what to expect of Costco. A lot of people will pay two prices for something for prestige sake. Not me. I am looking forward to Home Depo. That will be very beneficial to me.
I also look forward to the general upgrading of the area as it will enhance the value of my property tremendously. I guess I should thank Mr. Glover for making me a million dollars. Though I think this upgrading was coming anyway.
They aren’t making anymore ground and sooner or latter someone would have saw fit to build in the inner city. And perhaps without the tax and government subsidy. And I really didn’t need to make another million as is the case with the developers.
And the big down side is that we are eliminating low-cost housing to make way for these projects. And the big question—where are the poor going to live when we rehab everything.
Don’t take any wooden Nichols. ( I re-did that three times and it still came up with the capital n ???)
>> Letter to The Pitch – 4/29/03 – Troost
The response to Ben Paynter’s article about Troost is interesting, especially the one from Greg Hugeback.
The comment ‘codes are laws– not suggestions’ is interesting and the interpretations can become more interesting as it is applied with or without discretion. It is also interesting that they are premised on being good for the health, morals and welfares of the people.
Someone needs to tell me how a little peeling paint or a cracked window affects the health, morals or welfare of the people.
Then someone needs to tell me how the sale of booze does not affect the health, morals and welfares of the people when eighty percent of our prison population is there because of booze and drugs. Yet this substance is legal and is easily available. Laws are wonderful things aren’t they. I have read that prison admittances decreased some thirty five percent during prohibition.
I can understand that the way one property is maintained does affect the value of the property next door. I can understand the concerns of the owners of the better property.
Question—first a statement—the poor property may have been there for some time and is providing a poor man with low cost housing in that maintance, taxes, insurance and rent costs are low and it is not in falling-down condition. This is the reverse of blockbusting.
Then comes the gentry, rehabbing the area and up goes the poor man’s housing costs. The reverse of block-busting. Also the better property owner may have bought cheap or low because of the poorer property. And there is the thing of frivolous and nitpicking complaints.
The question—is it fair to cause the poor man’s costs to go up which can run him out? Especially when it is done with the interest of making money. It is not done in the interest of up grading the man. It is done in the interest of making money. It is block busting in reverse.
Why can’t we live and let live? All this fix-up mania sounds great but where are the poor going to live when we rehab all the older areas? Who is going to pay for all the section eight housing that is going to be required in the future to house these displaced poor people?
>> Letter to the Editor – Junkyard
August 2, 2003
Letter to the Editor
Kansas City Star
“Crack down on junk yards.” They need city supervision to operate properly.
They have been operating for six years without city supervision providing parts, paying taxes and providing jobs.
The city wants the $100 permit fee. So we put two $20,000 people out there to check up on them, and at a time when the city is broke.
So the junk yards are not pretty—not all women are as pretty as Kay Barnes but they get along—besides who said a junk yard is supposed to be pretty, besides beauty is in the eye of the beholder—cheap parts are beautiful. Guys leave pretty women every Saturday morning to go get cheap parts.
Utility and affordable living is the need, and as we drive these little fellows out of business the big boys are going to raise the prices—U-Wrench-it has doubled their entry fee. It is the law of supply and demand and we need to leave it alone. Are we trying to eliminate junk yards altogether? And if we do, what will our old cars cost to operate? Do you suppose the big car companies are behind this?
We might also think of jobs. We are working to save American Airlines for the jobs. How about these junk yard jobs. If we shut them down—???. American Airlines may look big but it is the thousands of little businesses that make Kansas City.
>> McAdams Change of Judge and Comments
Subject: Court hearing August 28 before Judge McAdams for continuance-Five tickets on 2613-15 Jackson.
Change of Judge motion had transferred them out of Judge Cagles court for Aug. 21st. A conflict caused it to be re-set for the 28th. (In McAdams court).
As court proceeded and the request was made for continuance while you were out of the court room Judge McAdams indicated he might recuse himself, saying “Mr. Williard knows why”, I said “no, I did not know.” He then said “I prosecuted you ten years ago—an on going thing.”
He presided over the second batch, 25, of the original 50 tickets that were written in 1993 as a result of Daug Magg’s complaint and his taking a list of all my properties to codes to get tickets written.
We did a technical not guilty to go to trial. He gave me about $12,000 in fines. They were plead down to $2500. The inspector was going to be out of town but Warhurst thought the city could present their case without the inspector. $2500 was the amount the jury trial had arrived at in the first batch of 25. (Judge Clark’s court. He lectured me at first on the issue of sub-standard housing, then began to see the issue of selective enforcement and nit-picking side of it,)
>> Nathan Pare
Dear Mr. Pare
I got your phone call yesterday indicating you would not hold up on the demolition of 1116-18 East 33rd.
You indicated that although money-loan was applied for that there was no guarantee that the money would be spent on this building. And that I had a lot of other problem properties that could use up the money.
About twelve years ago a man got mad at me and took a listing of my properties to codes. He was cozy with codes. Codes wrote me fifty tickets real fast.
I was ticketed on properties with much worse problems next door, across the the street and down the street.
It has been a witch-hunt ever since.
You should not allow that to cloud your thinking on this property.
Lupe Salazar bragged that she could find a dozen things wrong with a new house.
This property is worth saving. That should be our concern and I have gotten a $10,000 advance on the loan. I am assured that it is coming.
As I indicated to you before, I have done a lot of work on this building. Steve Maslan, licensed by the City is going to oversee the structural work.
The permit is applied for and Steve called me yesterday indicating that the City would review the plans Monday.
And either issue the permit or tell him what else we need to do. I think that is progress.
>> Pitch Letter–Grand Bldg.
Letter to the Editor, Pitch
Reference: A Fines Mess, State Court says an owner can let his downtown building rot.
Sorry, I read the court ruling and it does not say that.
It did make some common sense ruling on just what should be considered dangerous and torn down just because it didn’t look pretty to someone.
The politics of code enforcement, redevelopment, and zoning is a bureaucracy that is something to deal with beyond common sense.
I am rehabbing a warehouse at 33rd and Troost. This building came vacant about ten years ago because a city inspector advised the owners that the building was not zoned for welding and shut them down. So the owners moved their operation the Lees Summit.
The city lost a business, a tax income, a payroll income and the spending of that income in the city and the building drifted into disrepair. Why? A business was shut down at 18th and Troost the same way. Why? Bureaucracy! A city inspector wanted to play god. And he became that. Maybe you might remember Pat Jacobs and the crocs.
The politics of money—of other entities drawing business to their area with enticing give-a-ways, the TIF financing, the politics of getting a new building—tearing down good usable buildings as opposed to using existing buildings. ???
Costco and Home Depot should have been built between Paseo and the freeway. Instead we demolished a lot of good affordable housing to build according to the Glover plan.
We are going to do the same thing in the Troost project. Grants-Federal money, doesn’t anyone know where this money comes from? Them that dance must pay the fiddler.
The Feds are broke, the State is broke, the City is broke, maybe we need to leave some things alone and let the market place handle itself.
Just maybe-if we weren’t building new buildings with TIF money and tax credits this building at 1103 Grand would have been in demand and might have been fixed before now. Maybe we need to let the laws of supply and demand operate instead of letting government bureaucracy try to run things. And our tax bill might be lower.
>> Priorities and games
A man was in my house and stole a ring of keys. We hunted him up and called the police. The officer found the keys on him but since we did not see him take the keys we could not charge him.???
I received a letter recently that someone had made an anonymous complaint that I might have code violations on a house. Do you suppose that I could ask if anyone saw me make or cause that violation? No, the rules are different in housing court.
We have a law enabling the city to obtain a search warrant to enter a property to look for code violations. Even on anonymous complaints.
Hey! I know of two situations where the mothers of babies are smoking dope and the babies are having to breath the after-smoke—could we use the search warrant to enter and correct this situation. And there are numerous such cases. Again the answer is no.
Which seems more important?
In the election four years ago huge sums were spent campaigning and the focus seemed to be on rebuilding the inner city. Not one word on the person. And about the same in the recent election. Where are our priorities?
We are spending on development because it makes money and we are supporting it with TIF money and subsidies and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Glazer lost because $50,000 doesn’t win over $500,000 and people are resigned to the fact that gold rules the world and he has the most makes the rules.
The priority seems to be the making of money—to hell with the babies. Is anybody listening?
>> Snow Removal
Letter to The Editor
Kansas City Star
To those so critical of the so called lack of snow removal: Think! Do we really want to spend the thousands on the extra equipment needed for this once in a decade happening and have it sitting idle most of the time?
If so lets fast forward and instead of a tax increase simply start mailing in our contributions to purchase all this equipment necessary for this fast snow removal.
Me, I’d rather go make snow ice cream.
Everything doesn’t always work like we would like it to. When mother nature put that sheet of ice down and then the snow, removal becomes a bit difficult.
>> Terry Riley
Councilman, Kansas City, Mo.
Dear Mr. Riley
I am the white man who sat across from you at the Monday night meeting in the Ad Hoc building on Troost. I gave you my card and asked you to look up my website.
Here are two more letters I have written.
>> Todd – Jail Time – Drug Surveillance
Kansas City Star
Letter to the Editor
Subject: The Todd jail time episode
The Star gave quite a bit of coverage to the Todd Jail time episode including the do-gooders that went in and cleaned her yard to get her out of jail. Then it seemed to me that the Star apologized for the coverage and defended their action of covering the story.
I find it hard to see that her messy yard was that detrimental to the health, moral, or welfare of the area or anyone there-in so as to warrant jail time. As the Star seemed to indicate that the people were not bad people, just a bit lazy and unconcerned about the appearance of the yard. Couldn’t we live-n-let-live?
If this messy yard was so offensive as to warrant jail time why couldn’t we require all the inhabitants of this house to attend a yard cleaning seminar so as to learn how to clean a yard. We could have on the job training with refreshments provided so as not to cause anyone to become famished from a little work.
It seems we care a lot more about the yard than about the people.
This would surely be cheaper than the cost of court time and the cost of jailing the poor woman and besides how long will the yard stay clean and how long is a new lawnmower going to last those good people?
I live by a drug house, give me a messy yard and some lazy neighbors anytime but if we could get a prosecutor to get this zealous about this drug problem—you see the city has search warrant powers to go in and look for code violations—why couldn’t this power be used on suspected—no—KNOWN drug houses?
I would even lend a spot in a building across the street with vantage view of lots of activity. I would even suggest that a couple of dummy surveillance cameras set up discretely, but not too discretely as to not be seen would make most drug dealers pack up and go. We could even use second-hand police cars, left parked as if someone was in or a camera was monitoring activity.
Maybe I’ll try these ideas myself. Maybe I should copyright or patent them first. Police looking uniforms, some dummy cameras, and an old police car, yes I think I’ll try it.
>> Zoo – Letter to the Editor
April 24, 2003
Letter to the Editor
Kansas City Star
The recent article about the zoo is interesting in that it may be reflecting a change in our society. And that is the fact that the nature shows on TV may be giving us a viewing of wild life in it habitat that may be destined to replace the zoo.
It has always seemed cruel to me to cage wild animals. I realize we have improved those conditions but the best of care does not compare to living in the ‘wild’ for the wild animal. I could be a slave with the best of conditions but I would still rather be free.
Our ability to photograph the wild animal in it’s natural habitat is remarkable with the new cameras and sound equipment.
Maybe we need to rethink some things. Perhaps the law of supply and demand should regulate this activity.
>> Barnes – Trash Hauling
I read with interest the newspaper article about you and your first year in office.
I especially noted with interest how you are trying to hear little groups.
The trash hauling in the northeast area is interesting. Perhaps I should say trash is interesting. Years ago we managed to dispose of our own but then a politician got the idea that the city could or should do that—it was a good vote-getter and now we can’t dispose of it our selves. In those days we had a number of small-time hauling people. Now we have to call the city.
Walpole Massachusetts has a city dump that people haul their trash to themselves. Usable items are placed so that people can rummage through and take things they want. Seems to work for them. Kansas City is much bigger but we could have multiple places. And I think it could work.
I call for a bulky item pick-up and it has been up to a month; now it is usually at least two weeks. If I could haul these items-even twenty or thirty blocks; it would be good. I’d probably bring back as much as I took. That would be good too. Think of the land fill space we could save.
There are others like me. Someone would probably set up shop close by and run a second-hand store. That would be good.
Even as we use the present system, couldn’t the truck stop and pick up wherever it is even tho it is not in their paper-work? Why drive by a pile because it is not in the paper-work. If the driver comes in with a full load, can he be criticized even tho he didn’t get all of his route. Tomorrow is another day.
I am thinking of the 1900 block of Cypress where we have had several pick-ups but a pile remains toward the south end of the block. It is probably Land Trust property.
Actually the area could use this property for this purpose and the city truck could make it a regular pickup. Others would probably browse it and pick up stuff. Perfect set up but too simple. We need complicated solutions for our problems.
We worry about tall grass, except on city or land trust property. Isn’t greenery producing oxygen for the atmosphere? And doesn’t tall grass produce reseeding? Ecologically proper!!! But not politically correct.
It seems to me we worry about the wrong things. In a letter I wrote about Mr. Abauhalkah’s coments about rental licensing I propose licensing drinkers and tenants. I also suggested tying drinking license to gun license.
If one has shown the inability to control drinking he would not be able to buy booze or own a gun. Perhaps that is all too simple.
I also suggested we monitor drug and alcohol abusers like we are trying to monitor rental property. Or is that too simple and easy?
I am in trouble about a house at 4818 east 8th. Mr. Binner wants to demolish it because I have been to slow in making repairs. It was the slumlord award house even though the property was not mine at that time. My name was on as joint owner and the owner had died. I even advised codes and dart of drug activity.
Attached are several letters you might find interesting.
You might log on my web site, www.kcnet.com/~afordhousing. I think you will at least find it amusing. We don’t all have to live “Mission Hills clean’.
I commented to Mr. Miller that the 8th street house was not the worst looking house in the area and he said they were going to work on the rest.
I say leave them alone. Those are lower income people that are working at getting along and they don’t fit the pattern of Mission Hills clean. Live and let live. A lot of them don’t make great wages and they need affordable housing. Don’t they have that right? Or do ‘rights’ only go with people that have money to fix up?
Are you a Mayor to all the people or just to those who have money and know how to talk and influence city hall in a way that makes them money? What would happen if someone like ‘Willie Stark’ in “All The Kings Men” organized a tax revolt? There would be a lot of broke developers for one thing.
>> Happy Birthday to My Lovely Pet
Happy Birthday to My Lovely Pet
You feed me when I am hungry,
You keep water in my dish,
You let me sleep on most anything,
Or in anyplace I wish.
You sometimes let me lick your hands,
And even your face,
Despite the fact that I’ve licked myself,
In some very private places.
You taught me to come when called,
You taught me how to sit.
You let me go outside, So I can take a stroll.
We have been together through laughter and tears,
I hope you live to be a hundred, I’ll be seven hundred.
I’m so glad we came together.
I like other places but,
It doesn’t take me long.
To want to come home,
To you and our cozy little pad.
>> Lady Sleeping Over Manhole Run Over
Lady sleeping over manhole run over. The homeless problem.
In our quest to eliminate substandard housing we are also eliminating low cost housing which tends to foster this homeless problem.
We also do not want these problems near us—not in my back yard.
In times past we had ‘flop’ houses. For fifty cents or a dollar one could bed for the night.
Guess what!! Do-gooders, developers and code enforcement have eliminated this sort of thing. The do-gooders and code enforcement people don’t really know what they are doing but you can bet your boots the developer knows what he is doing.
It’s about money. And he is getting more hand outs than all the welfare cheats. It is called tax credits and tif money and the rising of prices as we run the low cost rentals out.
Gentrification is the name of this thing; the rebuilding or revitilizing of an older area.
I don’t think it can be stopped but I don’t think the government should be in the business of fueling it.
We are questioning ‘urban sprawl’ and the government was a big contributor to that movement by making loan guarantees available to the gentry—who are now coming back wanting to reclaim their old play ground. And they expect to make money doing it and the government will help them.
In time the Holy House will be eliminated as more gentry move back to the area.
>> Light Rail
Letter to the Editor
Kansas City Star
“Light Rail Or a Run For the Money?”
I do not see people riding the light rail if they have to walk several blocks to get on it. Therefore I think it will serve only those close to it. And it will cause business and living quarters to build on it’s route. Thus a clustering and or redevelovement on it’sroutes.
We are married to our cars and our time-frame of getting here and there fast and alone.
Electric cars are in the future as better batteries are developed and with charging systems to match. Or we may beam ourselves around with star wars technology. Come on
Scottie, we don’t have all day. Or work at home-our modern computers–!
Federal money, if we don’t get it–. This is 2001, don’t we know where federal money comes from and the cost of bureaucracies?
Old neighborhoods will not be taken over for development–. How about the Glover Plan. Didn’t we tear out a lot of good housing there? I’ll make a million because of that deal but what about the poor who got displaced. You should read John Gresham’s “Street Lawyer.” If development wants it—what happened with BMW over in Kansas?
Linwood shopping center should have been built over between Paseo and the freeway. The land was already cleared and we would not have torn down a lot of good housing and displaced a lot of poorer people. We could have dealt with the blight without demolition.
Light rail will spur redevelopment—no, not that word—growth. Growth is coming anyway. Redevelopment is also coming anyway. Downtown will be revitalized! Downtown will revitalize anyway. Give it time.
Gold rules the world and he who has the most makes the rules.
It has been said that the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
I think this is a very expensive toy and should be left alone.
>> Mia Ward
July 11, 2003
Dear Ms. Ward,
I thought our visit was interesting. The addresses of 3441 and 3445 Charlotte being non-existent and then the white van off the concrete and on gravel at 3428 Charlotte, which is my property.
Here is another thing of interest: Morine Hardy from the Mayor’s office called yesterday evening to verify my complaint regarding 3408 East Holmes. Holmes runs north and south. I was puzzled and indicated there was no 3408 East Holmes and that I had not made a complaint and most certaintly would not on myself. I live at 706 E 34th. 708 E 34 is next door.
We visited a bit and I called her back and indicated that I thought this was a complaint being generated by a fellow I am kicking out-three month behind-and he is retaliating. I gave her his work number and suggested she call him and verify the voice. I thought she indicated that she would. She said she would be able to identify the voice.
At least she was checking up on the complainant. This is why I think the anonymous complaint should be scrutinized. This fellow was hesitant but finally gave her my name and number. Interesting.
Ahh—today I learned something. The man with the white van was parking on the street and the street repair crew advised him to park elsewhere while they resurfaced the street. Maybe you noticed the signs and the pealing up of the old asphalt. It is new asphalt now.
This is a pretty good commentary on how the anonymous complaint can drive a man crazy and not really be about anything of substance. It is also very costly to the city-tax-payer, citizens.
>> Nate Pare – Demo 1116 E 33rd
You seem so intent on demoing 1116 E. 33. Why? We are working on it.
If your threat is to get me busy, it is working. We are over there in force.
I know I have been slow but being in jail doesn’t help and then in the hospital—.
You have torn down two building on me that would have sold on the open market for something and been worth something to the city on the tax rolls, and save the demo expense. It doesn’t make sense.
Repairing these buildings provides payroll and puts money in the economy. Repairing them saves an asset and even if a fellow is slow that still is better than demoing them and having having a vacant lot.
I hope you can see the common sense in letting me proceed with fixing this building.
We are also starting legal action against Wendler.
>> Noah’s Ark
The Lord spoke to Noah and said, “in one year I am going to destroy the earth with water, and because of this I want you to build and Ark.”
Noah was daunted by the task but set about complying with God’s wishes.
A year later God wanted to know about the Ark.
I’m sorry, said Noah, but I had to get a building permit. The City would not approve your plans so I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw the plans and a lawyer to lobby to get them approved. Then OSHA’s sprinkler system and flotation devices…..
Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard. So I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
Then I had problems getting lumber because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the spotted owl. I had to convince the U S Forest Service that I really needed the lumber to save the spotted owl.
Then I had the problem of getting the owls. Have you ever dwelt with the Wildlife service? They think they are God. You should talk to them.
Then the carpenter’s and plumbers union, and with who could do what and when.
And when I started rounding up animals, here comes the animal rights people.
Then EPA said I needed an impact study for the environment on the proposed flood.
They have the idea that they are God.
Then came the tax man. The the Army Corp of Engineers. The Equal Employment Commission (for not hiring atheists.) The ACLU: flooding the earth becomes a religious event and is unconstitutional. And the question of God (The Supreme court is very slow.)
Then the IRS seized my assets, claiming I was building the Ark—planning to flee the country (I wanted to) with out paying a user’s tax on a recreational vehicle.
The sky began to clear, the sun came out, a rainbow appeared, Noah looked up hopefully, “You mean you are not going to destroy the earth.”
“No,” he said sadly. I won’t have to. “The government will.”
>> Posting Due to Conditions Unfit to Live
I finally got the people out at 3360 Charlotte, no thanks to you.
It is interesting to note that they were there without gas and electricity.
The gas being off could be verified by looking at the meter, the electric (was on but the KCPL man called you and verified that it was on elligal) and you could look and see that the lock was broken and the meter was on upside down.
I wanted the lady out because she had moved in under false pretense and then moved in other people and seemed to be in the drug business.
It seems to me that the city would want to help in a situation like this.
It has been my understanding that if utility services are off you will post the property as unfit to live in and the occupants have to leave and or move.
It is my understanding that a property near here is posted because it is without water. In that situation no one is being bothered except that the owner does not have water. No drugs, as in my situation, no booze, as in my situation, no stolen van, as in my situation, no all night partying, as in my situation.
I don’t see how that man’s situation could harm anyone. When he gets thirsty he will go get water to drink. If the stool starts to stink he can go get a five gallon bucket of water and flush it. A bit of a stretch to say ‘detrimental to health, morals, and welfare’.
My situation involved a lawlessness that we try not to have, that is detrimental to the people around it, is detrimental to the health, morals and welfare.
Just look what you could have done for the 3300 block of Charlotte by helping me get rid of this lawless element of drugs, booze, and car theft. ( I was able to get the police on the theft).
>> Slumlord Crackdown
Letter to the Editor, Kansas City Star
Let’s look at some things. City is short on money. City doesn’t mow land trust properties.
City cutting some basic services. Lower income people hardest hit by these cuts. Now, add the extra cost of up-grading their housing to their housing costs, where are we going?
The landlord makes a great scape-goat here even though most of these properties are not landlord properties. He is easy to identify and find whereas the tenant and lower income person is elusive even though he may be contributing more to the trash, broken windows, and unlicensed vehicles than landlords.
The city can put me in jail for not mowing, though the city doesn’t mow their’s. The city can get a search warrant to look for possible code violations but we can’t do this on known drug activity properties with known drug dealers. Something seems amiss to me.
It sounds so great to upgrade all the older areas, especially if an investor, speculator, or developer can make money on the upgrade. And the tax base rises giving the city more money!!!
Where do the poor go when we take their property in the name of gentrification. This works to eliminate lower income ownership of property.
Could there be litigation with the claim that gentrification is taking the poor man’s property without due process. John Grisham’s ‘Street Lawyer’ touched on this issue.
It seems to me that this is a three thing deal, it is a popular thing for politicians, a revenue generating thing for the city, and a money making thing for the already well off gentry. And a forth, jobs for a bureaucracy.
>> Tenants’ Petition lis pendens
“I, as a tenant residing in one of Mr. Williard’s properties have been aware for some time of code enforcement cititiations. I am now aware af a concerted effort to force Mr. Williard to further comply or, as I understand, let the City take over or sell out.
I do not feel that I live in substandard housing. The water works good. The electric works good. We do not blow fuses. The paint is good. It is a very reasonable place to live.
I am advised that the City wants to view the interior of my place.
I do not feel this is appropriate. I consider this an invasion to my privacy.
I understand there will be about five people traipsing through my place.
I consider my place adequate for my needs and within my budget and do not consider it substandard in any way. It is reasonable inside and out and I feel that it is reasonable according to other properties around me.
I consider it a real stretch of the imagination to see anything in, on or around the property that is detrimental to the health, morals, and welfare of the people of Kansas City.”
>> HALQUIST CRIME CONTROL
Dear Mr. Hallquist
Since you haven’t been able to run me out of the neighborhood, and you aren’t leaving either, maybe we should try to get together like Rick Robert’s suggested in the radio-telephone interview.
I am happy to see the area come back. I always felt that it would. I also did not worry about it because I could accept it the way it was back when you guys wouldn’t have thought of living here.
I lived here, bought old cars, fixed them up, sold them; lawn mowers, antiques, you name it. I have always been a horse-trader. The placement director in college stated to Phillips 66, in placing me here, that I had sold or traded everything from a sewing machine to the kitchen sink. My specialty was a little red and white needle threader that sold for a dollar. I had a ball. Worked my way through two years of school.
I have done a lot of property maintenance, vehicle mechanics, appliance repair work and you name it in the area before the ‘yuppie movement’. I didn’t quite fit the yuppie movement. I guess I wanted to do things too economical.
I really do enjoy seeing the area come back, as you can imagine, with the number of properties I own. I won’t mind getting rich. I just bought another property last month. It was too cheap. It needed fixing up. You guys were asleep. You guys should come and see me. With your brains and my common sense we could make good together.
You guys have made the charge that the way I run property breeds crime; I don’t think that is true. Crime is everywhere. Aggie’s claim that crime has dropped dramatically is not true.
Crime is a big problem here. I think one of the reasons is that we seem unable to punish the criminal. I lost some items recently, stolen, I found them, could we prosecute? No, he had a good lawyer. Got him off.
Maybe we should attack this thing from another angle; talk to lawyers and say, hey if this party is guilty let him pay. Or, if the lawyer gets him off and he goes out and does it again, charge the lawyer. Let the lawyer put up a bond saying this guy will go straight.
You’re a lawyer, how do you feel about these things. Do you think you could get your colleagues to think about this? If we could just stop getting these guys off, our streets would be a lot safer. Our own neighborhood here in Hyde Park could really make a come back. And you could make money from the property you have invested in. To think that we paid Gary Mazer—oh boy!
I am not against the area coming back but I think we should give some consideration to all groups of people who live here and as it comes back the lower income people are going to be pushed out.
You came here because you could buy a mansion cheap and other property that you thought you could make money on. That seems reasonable but what about the poor man whose area you are taking?. Where does he have to go?
Gary Mazer has a place to go because he had a good lawyer but most poor people don’t fall in his category.
A man came to Abe Lincoln. It is recorded that Abe told him “I can take your case and win it but it will make a poor honest family miserable, isn’t there some other way you can make this much money?”
You’re a capable lawyer, a smart man: aren’t there other ways of making money than the taking of the poor mans abode? A fair fight is one thing but; you are using city hall on your side. I am chiding you because he is going to lose it anyway; but it doesn’t seem fair that you have the government to help you get rich at the poor man’s expense.
A story: three men died and went to heaven. Saint Peter asked the first two what they would like to have. The first one said he would like to have a thousand dollars. He had never had any money. He got his money. The second man said that sounded good to him. So he got his thousand. Saint Peter turned to the third man and asked him of his wishes. The third man said I don’t need anything, just tell me where those guys are lodging tonight. He didn’t need government help.
Most people live on whims and the thing of trying to keep up with his neighbor. All these wonderful programs we try to institute do not seem to do much good. We are going to spend $90,0000 per unit to rehab Guinotte Manor. Is that reasonable when we can buy good houses for much less?
I confess that I have spent good time and money saving people money and what did they do with their savings? They bought things they didn’t need. They went to the Boats. They bought much nicer cars than I drive. Who knows, one of them might even be driving a Saab.
I have lived frugally and have been able to accumulate property but someday it will be divided up, sold off, or something because seldom do children have the same intent in life as do parents. And that is as it should be. Wealth should redistribute. And it does. And it will do so better without government control and regulation.
If the government were not guaranteeing property loans we would not have had the S&L debacle with the taxpayer picking up the tab. The same with farm loans and that debacle. All forms of subsidy should be stopped. Let the law of supply and demand and free market economy operate.
The two million plus per year we are spending on code enforcement does not control crime or property. Look at Troost-midtown.
If we would choose to control crime I think property values might take care of its self. That is where lawyers might be able to effect big changes. If good honest lawyers would stop getting the criminal off–?
A man robbed four banks and got three years and ten months. Now if we take Councilman Finley’s idea and publicize this man’s picture and his lawyer for it’s shame value? Could we make a difference?
And if we would start neighborhood organizations that would lobby the lawyers in their neighborhoods to think about the overall good of not getting the criminal off; would it make a difference in crime? What we are doing isn’t working so maybe it would be worth a try.
Representing the criminal and getting him a fair deal is one thing while getting him off is another thing.
Code enforcement is premised on the statement of being good for the health, morals and welfare of the people. Bologna! It’s special interest rules and regulation designed to help the rich stay rich and get richer.
I am not opposed to getting rich but free enterprise in a free economy is hard to beat. If code enforcement really worked the cities in the east would be paradise because they have ten times the code enforcement we have. They would be slum and crime free.
>> Troy Nash – Letters – Jail Concerns
Dear Mr. Nash,
Here are copies of the letters I spoke of yesterday, also copies of other letters relating to the issue.
We met a couple of years ago—Bert O’Neil arranged a meeting and you bought us lunch and we talked about the heaver-handedness of codes. You listened but— The Roman senator in ‘Spartacus’ listened but–
There are several issues we should be concerned with.
Out at MCI the collect phone calls cost $3.00. I understand collect calls from the county and even federal prisons is under a dollar.
I think your half-brother, Troy Campbell—at least he shares your first name—operates the phone system out there and about a third of the phones don’t work all the time. Mr. Campbell—well–.
Another issue is that if one has appealed his case he is not legible for work release or early out. This practice is discriminatory. Richard Tolbert and I both have federal suits filed regarding this issue. You might want to look into this matter. One should not be penalized for exercising his right to appeal.
Code enforcement and development seem to be a two edged sword; those who want to fix up and those who just want to get along—don’t have money for anything extra.
It is a fight involving the making of money with the special interest groups knowing how and being able to use the city to their gain. In the end the poor man loses his property and the investors make money.
I don’t think we can stop gentrification. I don’t think we should try to stop it. But I also don’t think the city should buy in on the money side of the issue. Let the laws of supply and demand operate.
Should we have spent a hundred mill buying the ground for Costco and Home Depot when we had free ground over between Paseo and the freeway?
I keep asking the question—when we rehab and fix up everything, where are the poor going to live? When we throw federal grant money in an area and fix up, what happens to the surrounding area? Can they afford the rent and tax increase that seems to come along and the increase in utility expense?
>> Glazer and Solicitation
Letter to the Editor, Kansas City Star
Glazer and solicitation
While spending time in jail for code violations I chanced to meet a toothless old man, the charge, solicitation, a decoy, maybe led into it, fills a quota.
After all what lonely old man would resist getting to visit with an enticing young lady?
I thought my codes charge was frivolous too.
The MCI building had numerous code violations, a roof that leaked, metal doors rusting off at the bottom, you name it; one building closed down now-the pot calling the kettle black
When it takes up to four hours for the police to respond to a house burglar I have to wonder why we play these games. Or is it revenue producing-set up a john-he has money. We called last week to get a girl picked up at 33th and Troost. The ladies are there quite often. Broad daylight, not at all bashful.
The police never came. Maybe they are too busy serving warrants on property owners, the real working taxpaying people.
Maybe we need to let the police do real police work. Maybe we need to redirect some of the three million codes uses looking at nitpicking things and get back to the basics.
And we are going to talk about bankruptcy too. The city is in that position now and we could ask, ‘who’ took it there.
Look up my website. Some of it is about subsidies and government spending.
>> Troy Nash – Wonder Boy
Aug. 2, 2003
Letter to the Pitch
Troy Nash, the wonder boy, the man to watch. Pitch July 23.
Four years ago the candidates spent huge sums of their own money for these offices.
I wrote a letter to the Editor-Star, to the effect that we should just auction these offices off. The mud-slinging would be eliminated. After all the one with the biggest war chest seems to win. It wasn’t much different in the last election. Glazer spent $46,000 to Kay Barnes $560,000. The elections become bought offices.
Mr. Nash seems to see the writing on the wall-money-raised $150,000 though he was unopposed; but, he is going to be on a very important committee. Influence is a very important thing and advance purchasing is the way to do it.
Maybe it is time to think about public financing of elections, as this would eliminate the special interests being able to buy the elections with campaign money. With the developers seeing that he would be the man to be friends with in the coming administration-grease his palm. Age old story!
Since Mr. Nash is getting a degree in economics, a PHD. I believe, perhaps he can see that the budget should be balanced even though that would be unpopular to some people.
Since Mr. Nash is tagged ‘the wonder boy’, I wonder if we could get him to see that the inner city needs things like junk yards. This would be under the economic principle of ‘the law of supply and demand.’ And he is studying economics. There are many people in the inner city that need low cost parts from the junk yards.
The inner city also needs affordable housing. Not everyone makes six figure incomes. The only way to have affordable housing in the inner city is to leave some things alone. Code enforcement sounds great but if you go too far with it, you loose affordable housing. This becomes a thing called gentrification; the displacing of the poor by the gentry. They have money and they can get the city to help them move–fUll the poor out.
We can’t leave things alone. The developers, rehabbers, and investors would go broke. This doesn’t come in the study of economics. It comes in the name of making money using political influence if necessary, the making of money.
We could wonder if we could get Mr. Nash to be the councilman for all the people including the poorer? No, that wouldn’t work. They don’t vote or contribute to political campaigns so they are up the creek, and without a paddle, a sad situation.
The poor man stands fault-indicted for not knowing the issues and voting and the politician for exploiting the poor and taking the bribe.
The poor need low cost housing but we are taking it away from them in the name of crime control especially if we can make money in the name of development.
We need to figure out how to control crime in crime context as opposed to pricing their housing out of their reach with the result being that a lot of other poor people become displaced also.
I have heard of election losers demanding recounts. But then there was this winner who upon learning of the real mess and dilemma of political life, contemplated asking for a recount—
1’d like to visit with you in person sometime. Yes, we are both very busy.