You’ll have opportunity to voice your opinion to the Lakewood City Council when it holds its public hearing on the proposed Rental Inspection Program (RIP) July 5, and while there have been a number of articles written about the matter in this publication here are some additional thoughts to consider:
Lakewood’s RIP calls for ‘hiring a Housing Safety Inspector at $93,900; a program manager at $49,720; purchasing a car at $30,000; a workstation at $20,000; a Tablet at $1,000; and a Smart Phone at $50.’ Then the City throws in ‘another 10 percent for overhead’ (p.3 of 5) which, adding other related parts of the package, totals $175,000 annually.
That’s just for starters.
This doesn’t include (1) ‘step raises’ which periodically increase a position’s salary simply because the employee has been in that position for a certain amount of time; (2) annual cost of living raises; and (3) the euphemistic ‘merit pay’ which by far and away the majority of city government employees receive.
All of which portends fee increases to pay for just this ever burgeoning program, let alone the other five related programs already in place.
The Chief RIP rep. would thus be paid two-and-a-half times – in salary alone – the average household income for Lakewood which is $36,422, far in excess one would think for the community they are supposed to be serving. And this to run a program to ensure poor tenants in the 13,700 rentals throughout the city don’t get poorly treated by money-grabbing landlords lording it over the hapless by refusing to fix their unhealthy and uninhabitable dwellings.
Relatedly, announced just this June 29 in our nearest county to the north, “a proposal to impose a fee on all septic-system owners has been dropped by Public Health,” this due to an outcry of rural residents.
Said one of the folks who opposed the plan: “Just as the British voted to exit the European Union because of the bureaucracy in Brussels, we killed the septic-fee proposal because of the bureaucracy in the Health Department.”
Whether members of the Lakewood City Council will likewise represent their constituency by abandoning their proposal given many of the opposed – based on comments to articles written about Lakewood’s RIP – are similarly labeling the plan as “government overreach” and an unnecessary bureaucratic labyrinth, remains to be seen.
The day after Independence Day is your opportunity to be heard.