Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sentiment, Progress, Section Eight, Welfare, and You Can't Tell the Players without a Program...

Today's TimesDaily ran a front page story on the plight of renters who may be evicted from the Brandon Block property if RegionalCare is successful in obtaining title to the entire six block area. At least three commented on the article via Facebook, two taking the position that any holdouts were just seeking more money and one vowing to fight the hospital giant. Michael White asked us to chime in...if we could do so without the bias he felt was only too apparent in the TD article. Let's look at some of the issues:

1. Renters - If renters (that's in any area) don't have a lease, they should be aware they can be evicted with notice, but without any financial compensation for the expenses involved. A lease works for protection of both landlord and renter. No lease--no way to fight back. We'll add that while RegionalCare is not legally bound to assist in helping these renters move, if many are forced to redo their budgets in order to move, they will be seeking aid from DHR. In other words, if RC doesn't pay, the taxpayers will.

There are many costs in moving that can easily blow a budget. A renter can't get his current deposit back before moving, but has to come up with a second deposit for a replacement home/apartment. Moves take time, and that means missing work. If the renter has lived in a certain location for years, the utility deposit in Florence has since gone up and they will be expected to pay the difference no matter how timely their past payments have been. Borrow a truck for the actual move? Sure, you can try that. How about the pregnant woman who can't move heavy furniture? We'd like to think neighbors will help out, but in reality she may have to hire someone. Anyone who says moving is easy hasn't moved recently.

2. Section Eight - Mr. White mentioned the renters being Section Eight. We doubt that all the renters are, and those who utilize that program are not all lazy as Alex Buchanan has suggested. We would like to think there are still young couples who are frugal enough to seek modest rental housing while saving for a down payment on a home of their own. We would certainly hold them in higher regard than a couple who lives in a luxury apartment with pool, but can't pay their light bill or make the co-pay for their child's doctor visit.

3. Value (Sentimental & Monetary) - Yes, surely some are attached to these homes if they own them. We're told some couples are in their ninth decade of life and never expected to have to vacate these homes before the big move to the next realm. We can understand their reluctance to sell.

Mr. White said some appraisals were in the 10K range. We don't know if this valuation was for rental property or private homes. Certainly any rental property valued at only 10K would be better razed; however, appraisals are subjective. You may live in a 500K home, but that two hundred dollar a roll flocked wallpaper in your dining room may look like the first thing to replace to a prospective buyer. Many improvements don't add actual value to a home, or at least not dollar for dollar.

4. All of East Florence should be razed - Yes, there are some very nice homes in East Florence, but we admit there are some that cannot be rehabilitated. We do wonder if Alex Buchanan was including the Elton Darby estate in his very broad pronouncement.

5. The entire area is made up of drug dealers  - Really? We're sure there are some, but all? Even the couples in their 80s? You can say this about many neighborhoods from downtown to West Florence to Seven Points--that doesn't make it true.

5. What would we do - If it were us personally, we'd agree with Mr. White and take the money and run. Nothing stays the same. Why not consider it a big adventure? A chance to live life differently and make new friends. But what of older residents? Many retirement complexes are extremely nice and provide free transportation as well as having nurses on duty. You might just discover what you've been missing.


We're sure government officials are sued with great regularity. Some suits are frivolous, while others have very valid grounds. Tomorrow we'll bring you up to date on a family court case that may have far reaching repercussions, not just locally, but nationally as well.


We've certainly gotten quite a response concerning our stance on banning assault rifles and will be publishing some within the next few days. One such response came from a friend of ours. It seems both he and his wife own assault rifles "just because they can." It reminded us of this wee bit of humor:

Mrs. Jones: Mrs. Smith, did you know your husband chases women?

Mrs. Smith: That's all right. My dog chases cars, and neither one would know what to do if they caught one.


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