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 Member Update
   32
APRIL 2021 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG
Continued from page 30
tempered evaluation of issues, creating sound policy once a department is created to which the housing industry becomes accountable will certainly become a nightmare to control. Nineteen years ago, at the height of the rent control push, Sam Engel in his role of Director of Neighborhood Services wanted a staff of 18 people to conduct inspections of all residential multifamily buildings in Glendale. When I inquired as to perceived problems needing resolution, Sam gave me only anecdotes and no real facts. When I requested evidence in the form of documentation, logs, or anything to support his claims, there were none! There was not even a single scrap of paper!
When I asked Sam for hiss worse case estimate of residential buildings with problems that needed City of Glendale believed required attention, he came up with just 40. When I asked for specific addresses, he came up with just 2. One of the buildings was a motel turned into permanent housing, which has since been demolished.
Before heading down what will surely be a costly and contentious path, my suggestion was to bring all owners of poorly run buildings to a meeting. As the typical rental property owner has two apartment buildings, I suggested a meeting among just those 20 or so owners that Sam claimed were not maintaining their properties well, but this suggestion “died on the vine.” Government bureaucrats who have had little business experience and often only know what other cities do never seem to come up with different and streamlined solutions to solve problems unless prompted and challenged.
My request for fact-based information to address housing policy is not a suggestion for yet another department or sub-department in the City of Glendale. Exceptionally run cities are, by definition, very rare. Let us use the best ideas and raise the level of performance of our City staff. If you feel a passionate tone to my narrative, it is because of deep experience in seeing the mess of poorly executed governance that housing policies like these have caused elsewhere. Please put this idea of a rental registry to rest!
Herbert M., Glendale
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