Friday, September 28, 2007

City Council - Resolute or in Disrepute?

We have come to learn the following which was posted on the City Council’s web page (click here):


September 24, 2007


Council Member Bornemann reported that landlord accountability issues will be discussed at the October 8, 2007 meeting.

What are we to think of this development? Frankly, we are puzzled. Perhaps the council is putting the proverbial cart before the proverbial horse. Although it is gratifying to see that the council, albeit somewhat dimly, is awakening to the problems that have been for years all too obvious to the single family homeowners, we cannot imagine the reason for which the council is looking for accountability from the landlords when it has not, as yet, asked for accountability from the Mayor and the Director of Planning. Some time past, the council voted into law Bellingham Municipal Code (20.08.020), a portion of which defines that which constitutes a single family for the purposes of further defining zoning relating to single family neighborhoods. From the information we have been able to gather, the city executives have all but ignored this portion of the code thus allowing the creation of uncontrolled, unregulated and unlicensed rooming houses throughout the city. It seems to us that the council may wish to produce a resolution expressing their indignation with respect to the inactivity of the city executives in enforcing a code that they, the council, deemed acceptable [vere dignum et justum est] and passed into law. At such time, the council could then turn in high dudgeon, with a straight face and with resolution held high, to call the landlords accountable.

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