The city will pay $211,000 to reimburse landlords.
Garbage fees will go up to cover the city’s losses in having illegally collected fees for its Rental Inspection Program.
The court order chastised the city for demanding information from landlords to which the city was not entitled and required the city to discontinue the annual registration payment.
Hence the 1,403 checks that were mailed last week.
In addition to the court ruling, the state governor has weighed in, agreeing with the realtor’s association that the rental inspection program “gave city building inspectors too much arbitrary power” and that “building inspectors should instead focus on a relatively small group of bad landlords.”
When the governor signed the law essentially making it impossible for the city to continue inspecting and licensing all rental properties in the city, the pen the governor used to write his name was given to the one who lead the opposition to the city’s intrusive rental inspections.
Proudly displaying the pen, he said of the victory, “I’m a big fan of small government.”
When pens are handed out in Lakewood, Washington when a similar verdict is reached, many more than one will be necessary to distribute to honor all those who, like John Fisher, in Wausau, Wisconsin, or those in Milwaukee cited in the cases above – fought city hall, and won.
With the publication of this article, an even 100 missives have been written since the Lakewood City Council first contemplated two years ago joining the ranks of cities across the state and the country who have enacted – and some since retracted through court and legislative decisions – ordinances demanding compliance with government- and government-approved inspectors inserted into the heretofore private and protected spaces called home.
Also with the publication of this article, readers are just days away from – speaking of the power of the pen – deciding if the incumbents, Jason Whalen, Mary Moss, John Simpson, and Mike Brandstetter, all of whom voted for the Rental Inspection Program (RIP) should be returned to serve on the Lakewood City Council where, ostensibly, they are elected to represent you.
All challengers, on the other hand, have made it clear their opposition to the RIP.
The power of the pen. It’s in your hands. Vote accordingly by November 7.