The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


The Democratic City Council will accomplish in less than two months what the GOP Council couldn't, or wouldn't do for years: Take on absentee landlords.

That's the phrase commonly used: Absentee landlords. What we hope that means is negligent or irresponsible landlords. Not all absentee landlords are slumlords.

The Democratic proposal was discussed last Thursday night in a secret meeting....attended by the public.

The proposed ordinance would require landlords to register with the city; to have regular inspections of rental properties by city code enforcement officers; and provide contact information for city officials to reach landlords in emergency situations.

Tina Urzan of Sixth Avenue urged that the guidelines for when a landlord would require a manager for their properties be further tightened. Under the proposed legislation, landlords living more than 30 miles from the city would have to have a manager named for their properties. Urzan wants the distance reduced.

We're very picky when it comes to proerty rights and look upon too much government regualtion of property with suspicion. In this case, we realize we're in the minority. The Democratic proposal has received support from a wide variety consituents and appears to have gained the support of many people fed-up with the Mayor's inaction.

The requirement that a landlord residing 30+ miles from Troy name a property manager is self-evident. Twenty-nine miles is way to close to Troy to have someone hire a manager and thirty-one miles? Better pack a lunch.

In all seriousness, the distance requirement strikes us as arbitrary. Is it possible to have that requirement apply to all those residing outside Troy? Just a thought.

It is nice to have a Council that understands they are an independent branch of government and can still move the City forward while the Mayor is stalled, fighting yesterday's battles.

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