Why did we need to use a Charter Amendment instead of an ordinance?

by Eric Strimling

One of the big arguments that the Realty groups, and their puppets, have been using against Measure M1 is that as a charter amendment the city council will not be able to modify it. Why did The Alameda Renters’ Coalition choose to go this route?

I direct your attention to Alameda Municipal Code Section 5-4.1(h)-

“Every person conducting or managing any dwelling unit for rent, lease or hire, shall pay an annual license fee of twenty ($20.00) dollars for each and every unit; provided, however not to exceed one (1) unit or five (5) rooms used for the living quarters of the owner or manager of such property shall be exempt from the provision of this paragraph and, provided further that this paragraph shall not apply to a single-family dwelling unit on an existing lot of record.”

So, every landlord should be paying the city $20 per unit per year. If this was happening we would know who all of the landlords are, where they live, and how many units there truly are in Alameda. But, out of an estimated 14,000 units, only about 2000 units actually are paid for.

Basically, the Property Investor owned City Council, and the City Auditor Kevin R Kearney, have cost the city $260,000 a year for I don’t know how many years due to their decision to not collect the business tax on landlords.

We also don’t know what the rents are for existing tenants because the Big Realty Firm owned City Council has refused, against staff recommendations, to collect that data.

Add to this the refusal of the City Council, after paying $300,000 for a consultant to help set the Measure L1 landlord fee to pay for the ordinance, to actually charge that fee ($131/yr). This is costing the general fund $100,000 per month. Through the end of the calendar year it will cost us all $900,000. Is a $900,000 subsidy of the Landlords of Alameda really the best use of the General Fund? Only if you work for those same Landlords.


Vote Yes on M1, because Alameda is not for Sale!

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