Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Transient Rentals - FINALE!

Well, the owners of property in Truman Annex got everything they wanted from the City Commission last Wednesday. I haven't had the heart to write about it until now because I was so disappointed by their action. The vote to approve the settlement agreement with TAMPOA and the others who were suing was 4-2 in favor. Only Commissioners Lopez and Verge voted against it, while Mayor McPherson and Commissioners Bethel, Kolhage and Rossi voted to approve (Commissioner Menendez wasn't at the meeting.)

I and several others spoke opposed to the agreement, while a larger number argued in favor. However, all of the arguments were for naught, as the Commission decided in an executive session beforehand that they were going to approve it. The motivation, I think, was to avoid further litigation, something that this Commission has set as one of its primary goals.

I thought that it was a bad deal before, and I still think that. The Commission gave away economic rights that are valued in the open market at more than $20,000, and perhaps double that, to almost 500 property owners, in addition to paying money damages to parties who may not have been able to prove that they were entitled to them.

I'd like to know what arguments they heard in executive session that were so persuasive. One day, maybe ....

Oh, and just a question: from what pool of transient licenses did the Commission take the 500 to give away. I was under the impression that there were none available before this. Was it some kind of alchemical formula, creating licenses from thin air?

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