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April 05, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-04-05

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Ii lflic igan Pai
Eighty-Five Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Saturday, April 5, 1975 News Phone: 764-0552
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
Childish fisticuffs

Rent

control:

The

onl way

1
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1
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1

By The Tenants Union poses rent control as he feels
F VERY TENANT knows that that "rehabilitation" costs can-
Ann Arbor rents are exor- not be passed on. This state-
bitant, and will significantly in- ment is untrue. "Rehabilita-
crease next year. Further, hous- tion" is capital improvement or
ing is poorly maintained a n d maintenance; both costs c wd
tenants are often met with hos- be passed on to the tenant.
tility and abuse when they con- Wheeler has called for a "fair
front their landlords. The low rental practices" ordinance, but
vacancy rate has allowed ;and- only in very vague terms. He
lords to set rents arbitrarily, has also said that rent control
and with 1200 students evicted provisions "should be worked
from the dorms next year the out by a group of citizens, in-
situation can only get worse. cluding landlord representa-
This year, however, tenants tives." He has not made similar
can do something about t h e i r friendly gestures toward ten-
housing problems. The Tenants ants.
Union (TU) has been revived James Stephenson, t'ie Re-

JNCE AGAIN, THE members of Stu-
dent Government Council (SGC)
are competing with Barnum and
Bailey for the spoL2ght in the center
ring. Not content with merely hurling
verbal insults, two members traded
punches Thursday night over a dis-
agreement as to agenda priorities.
A scuffle between Robert Black and
Robert Matthews brought the circus-
like meeting to an abrupt halt as con-
stituents and other council members
jumped to their feet to witch the
spectacle. When Matthews felt his
plans to discuss a Constitutional Con-
vention Plan were ignored, he had
stormed towards the door, allegedly
spitting on Black on his way out., The
two then struggled briefly before one
constituent separated them. After
Black left, Matthews called the police
but then declined to file a complaint
once they arrived.

This sort of childish behavior only
serves to encourage the disregard
most students have for SGC. How can
council members expect their con-
stituency to respest them when they
fail to act in a reasonable, responsible
manner?
QGC HAS A LONG legacy of con-
4-' tempt for its duties as a govern-
ing body. Its members have been re-
peatedly charged with graft, extortion
and election fraud. Although some of
council's present members have vowed
to "clean up SGC," their efforts seem
to have gone unheeded.
Physically disrupting a council ses-
sion may be a minor offense in com-
parison with fraud and extortion, but
it still alienates the respect of con-
stituents. It's about time SGC recog-
nizes its responsibilities and leaves
behind its Romper Room ways.

"HRP'S proposal is sound: It is based on two
years of intensive effort and study by its auth-
ors; HRP has also incorporated broad commun-
ity input into the proposal."
and is counseling tenants a n d publican candidate, is anti-rent
encouraging them to act vollec control, pro-landlord, and en-
tively. tirely unacceptable.
The rent control proposal is While a novice to housing
also a key issue. First, we would problems, Carol Ernst, HRP,
like to endorse the proposal on has shown a real understanding
the ballot. With it in effect, ten- of Ann Arbor's rental market.
ants can keep rent control out She hase vigorously campaign-
of the hands of politicians who ed for rent control.
only promise change and d. lit- Ernst stated that rent control
tle to deliver, is a "band-aid," and tha: is
We think the HRP's proposal exactly how TU looks on it.
is sound: it is based on two Jltimately, we need a fundamen-
years of intensive effort and al change in property relations;
study by its authors; HRP has until then, the rent control
also incorporated broad com- amendment could be a first
munity input into the propos- step.

jections to rent control, which
we find entirely unfound-d.
She says that under ,he pro-
posal rent increases of up to 80
per cent can be granted. Ab-
surd! The proposal ,tates that
landlords can apply foe rent in-
creases up to 5 per cent only
once a year. She claims mort-
gage costs are not calhulated n-
to base rent. Not true! Increas-
es in mortgage cannot be pass-
ed on, simply to guard azainist
landlords taking . out a secrond
mortgage on a building at a
higher interest rate - at the
tenants' expense.
Taylor has given landlords he
benefit of the doubt at every
opportunity. While she admitted
that some landlords may be
making too much prnfit, she
said she really wasn't sure as
she hadn't looked at the books.
We cannot count upon Taylor
to adequately represeit teaant
interests on City Council.
DAVID GOODMAN, HRP, is
the only First Ward candidate
who actively supports rent con-
trol; he has devoted much of his
campaign to publicizing the is-
sue. He endorses TU organiz-
ing efforts, and has done ten-
ant counselling himself through
Legal Aid.
As Karen Graf did not send us
a statement, we assume she i
in agreement with her party's
stand, which is anti-tenant.
Frank Shoichet, HRP's S e -
cond Ward hopeful, is the prin-
cipal author of the rent control
amendment, and housing h a s
been his top priority campaign
issue. He has spoken knowledge-
ably of the Ann Arbor housing
monopoly, the workings of rent

control, and tenant organizing.
He also initiated the city ord-
inance that bans discrimination
in renting against welfare re-
cipients. Clearly, he can rep.e-
sent tenant interests on * h e
council.
Though Robert McD)-n-ough,
GOP, and Carol Jones, I eno-
crat, both endorse rent control,
neither has done much to ex-
plain or advertise the virtues

of the proposal to the Second
Ward, despite that Ward's al-
most entirely tenant population.
SIMILARLY, ONLY the HRP
candidates in each of the Third,
Fourth, and Fifth Wards are
firm supporters of rent control.
This article represents the
collective effort of the Ten-
ants Union.

Student vote: A vital factor

al.
AL WHEELER, the Demo-
cratic mayoral candidate, op-

FIRST
candidate
phatically

WARD Democraic
Liz Taylor has em-
vocalized her o-

DESPITE THE LOW-KEY atmo-
sphere pervading Monday's mu-
nicipal election, the issues are press-
ing and the choice of candidates
critical. It cannot be stressed how
important voter turn-out is.
Every registered voter has an ob-
ligation to make his or her prefer-
ences known at the polls. By failing
to cast ballots, residents ignore one of
their most powerful, direct methods
of influencing city government's poli-
cies and philosophies.
Students constitute a large portion
of the electorate, but all too often
simply never get out to vote-hurting
themselves and the rest of the city.
Daily pickis
Monday, April 7 is Election
Day. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8
p.m. Don't forget to vote. These
are the Daily endorsements:
Rent Control-yes
Day Care-no
Voter Registration-yes
First Ward-Liz Taylor (Dem.)
Second Ward - Carol Jones
(Dem.)
Third Ward - Mike Brough-
ton-Dem.)
Fourth Ward - Bill Bronson
(Dem.)
Fifth Ward-no endorsement
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Gordon Atcheson, Dan Bluger-
man, Barb Cornell, Mary Dempsey,
Lois Josimovich, Eugene Marino,
Rob Meachum, Cheryl Pilate, Sara
Rimer, Jeff Sorensen, Katherine
Spelman, Margaret Yao
Editorial Page: Gordon Atcheson,
Peter Blaisdell, Alan Gitles, Debra
Hurwitz
Arts Page: David Blomquist
Photo Technician: Ken Fink

At stake in the up-coming election
is the mayorship. In that race, Mayor
James Stephenson-who has consis-
tently argued against the rights of
students-seeks a second term against
Democrat Al Wheeler and Human
Rights Party member Carol Ernst.
Stephenson, in part, owes his cur-
rent torent position to the lack of
student turnout in 1973, when he won
his initial term.
SIMILARLY, THE FATE of crucial
ballot proposals including those to
impose rent controls locally, provide
municipal funding for day care, and
institute door-to-door voter registra-
tion is at stake next Monday.
Business Staff
DEBORAH NOVESS
Business Manager
Peter Caplan ................ Finance Manager
Robert F. Cerra............Operations Manager
Beth Friedman..................Sales Manager
DavidI Plontkowsky........ Advertising Manager
DEPA. MGRS. Dan Brinza, Steve LeMire, Rhondi
Moe, Kathy Mulhern, Cassie St. Clair
ASSOC. MGRS. David Harlan, Susan Shultz
ASST. MGRS. Dave Schwartz
STAFF John Benhow, Colby Bennet, Margie De-
Ford, Elaine Douas, James Dykdema, Nine
Edwards, Debbie Gerrish, Amy Hartman,
Joan Helfman, Karl Jenning, Carolyn Koth-
stein, Jacke Krammer, Anna Kwok, Vicki
May, Susan Smereck, wayne Tsang, Ruth
Wolman
SALES Cher Bledsoe, Slyvia Calhoun, Marilyn
Edwards; Steve wright
Sports Staff
BRIAN DEMINGC
Sports Editor
MARCIA MERKER
Executive Sports Editor
LEBA HERTZ
Managing Sports Editor
BILL CRANE. ......... Associate Sports Editor
JEFF SCHILLER Associate Sports Editor
FRED UPTON ........ Contributing Sports Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Andy Glazer. Rich Lerner, Ray
O'Hara, Bill Stieg
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITORS: Rick Bonino, Tom
Cameron, Jon Chavez, Tom Duranceau, Kathy
Henneghan, Al Hrapsky, Ed Lange, Jeff Lieb-
ster, Scott Lewis, Dave Wihak, Michaei wilson
DESK ASSISTANTS: Marybeth Dillon, Enid Gold-
man, Marcia Katz, John Neimeyer

Letters

to

The

Daily

Bullard
To The Daily:
I URGE Ann Arbor residents
to vote "yes" on all three bal-
lot proposals on April 7th.
At this time, the demand for
day care services in Ann Ar-
bor is far greater than the sup-
ply. Many parents are unable to
fulfill the needs of their child-
ren in any way but through the
services provided by day care
centers.
Unfortunately, the low a n d
sporadic funding appropriated
thus far by the City Council has
been insufficient to adequately
meet these needs. Day care cen-
ters are badly in need of con-
sistent, responsible and a d e-
quate city funding.
As is usually the case, it is
the low-income residents who
have the greater need for these
services and who suffer most
from the current inadequate and
irresponsible funding by t h e
City Council. Alternatives to day
care centers are scarce and, in
many cases, unavailable.
A "YES" VOTE on Proposal
B will be a positive contribution
to a great societal need for ade-
quate child care.
The rent control measure is
of great importance. Ann Arbor

rent is the second highest in the
country. Over half of our resi-
dents are tenants paying these
high rents.
The Ann Arbor rent control
proposal is based upon the prin-
ciple of controlling profits. It
will avoid the problems other
communities have had w h i c h
attempted to implement a
"price freeze" concept of con-
trol.
Well-financed opponents to this
proposal claim that passage of
the measure will lower local tax
assessments and create hard-
ships on "taxpayers" and home-
owners, who they claim to re-
present. Ironically, this admits
that rent control will be effec-
tive in lowering rental costs.
These opponents do not, how-
ever, present taxpayers as a
group. They represent the large
rental housing profiteers. It is
ludicrous to attempt to p r-
suade Ann Arbor residents that
homeowner and renter interests
are at odds on this issue. This is
an effort to divide our com-
munity in an attempt to defeat
this badly-needed measure.
ALL RESIDENTS, owner or
renter, pay their share of pro-
perty tax. The most successful
groups at dodging that respon-
sibility are the large landlords

and management companies.
They pass their tax burden on to
tenants and use rental devebp-
ments as tax shelters for othzr
investments.
I understand that rent cont:nl
is only part of the answer. We
will need to develop a workable
public housing program to deal
with the loss of housing market
investments.
Granted, this is no small pro-
ject. It is never possible to prc-
cisely measure the effct of any
new proposal while attemptirg
to plan progressively for t h e
future. However, given the rer.t-
al situation and the need for ac-
tion, the potential gold of this
proposal far outweighs its pos-
sible defects.
A "yes" vote on Proposal A
will make Ann Arbor a leader
in fair rental housing pciicy
as the earlier Dial-a-ride milage
has made Ann Arbor a leader
in public transportation policy.
Finally, proposition three
should be passed. We siould re-
move any barriers to voter re-
gistration. The proposition will
make possible door-to-door reg-
istration regardless of which
political party controls City
Hall.
-Perry Bullard
State Representative
53rd District

donation
To The Daily:
RECENTLY THE LS&A Stu-
dent Government unanimously
granted $125 to a non-partisan
group supporting rent control.
We believe The Daily is mis-
taken in opposing this action
as "unethical" or "political."
Our action is clearly lawful
under the LS&A Constitution,
which authorizes us to "levy
dues" (II.E) and to "apora-
priate monies" (III.E). More
important, this is precisely the
kind of action that LS&A stu-
dents intended their government
to take. Among the purpo ses Ex-
pressly stated in the Cons tu-
tion is that LSA-SG "under-
take to provide all students in
the College . . . full legal rights
as citizens, and any other rights
or benefits that are in the in-
terests of LS&A students."
The LS&A student Govern-
ment believes that rent control
would provide for adequate stu-
dent housing at reasonable cost.
Last year 80 per cent of the
voters in student precincts vot-
ed for rent control, and we are
absolutely convinced that our a!-
location has the overwhelming
support of our constituents.
After all, student tenants are
already financing the campaign
against rent control - frim the
bloated profits exacted by their
subject to democratic s t ud e n t
landlords. Our allocations are
control, but landlords are a ;?w
unto themselves.
The LS&A Student Govern-
ment urges all LS&A studznts to
vote for rent control, on April
7.
-The LSA Student
Government
April 4
lawuyers
To The Daily:
THE RENT CONTROL c i t y
charter amendment proposition
on the April 7 Ann Arbor city
election ballot is a well conceiv-
ed, well drafted, and s o u n d
piece of municipal legislation!
CONTRARY to what some ill-
informed and / or selfish pro-
perty-interested people may be
saving, the Rent ContrA Pro-
position received over 2 years of
considered thouaht, the input of
hindreds of citizens concerned
with housing problems, the best

judgement of many lawyers and
the study of over fifty pieces of
Rent Control laws now in exist-
ence elsewhere in the country.
We conclude that this R e n t
Control law is good legislation
written soundly to solve A n n
Arbor's problem of excessive
rents and will withstand a n y
court test.
-Lawyers for Rent
Control
An Association of Some
Members of the Legal
Profession
registration
To The Daily:
I URGE all students to get
out and vote Monday, April 7
for the Voter registration
amendment. As a denuy tegis-
trar, I have been thoroaghly dis-
gusted by the attempts of the
Republican majority on c i t y
council to limit student registra-
tion. Over time, they have got-
ten more and more restrictive
with voter registration. T h is
year, the most blatant discrim-
ination occurred, with the major
registration drive being held
during spring break.
Since many students are un-
familiar with where to register
in Ann Arbor, and often move
from year to year, special ef-
forts should be made to insure
that they have the opportunity
to vote. Under this charter
amendment, up to 600 people
could be appointed registrars,
like myself. But they would not
be restricted as we are. They
could go door to door register-
ing people, and set up sites in
dorms. In order for students to
maintain any ' power in this
town, pass vital issues in the
future similar to the $5.00 pot
fine, rent control, day care,
and to elect radicals to city
council, this amendment must
pass.
THE POWER of deter mining
how much voter registration oc-
curs, and where it does, should
not reside in city council. It
should not shift like the winds
depending on which party con-
trols city council. This amend-
ment must pass if the right of
students to register i3 to be
insured now and for years to
come.
-Tom Moran
March 31

Rent control amendment:
Goodman slams opponents

-wmo
lo \\\\\\ \\\\\\\\

OARFFDO I f S A COMMIE
ANP PLOT!
Ft()o SC-qAFFAPIZ
E

By DAVID GOODMAN
AS THE ELECTION approaches, arguments
against the rent control proposal get louder
and shriller. But they continue to be based on
careless reading and misinterpretation of the
amendment. In the Daily a few days ago, Liz
Taylor presented a lengthy critique of the pro-
posal. Her criticisms follow this pattern: the
proposal says X and therefore Y will result.
However, the proposal usually says something
quite different from X, and Y does not follow
from what the proposal really says.
One criticism is that the proposal does not allow
mortgage and land contract costs to be counted
in the calculation of the rent, but does allow
construction costs. Therefore old buildings will
be torn down and tacky stuff put in their place.
The flaw in this argument is that mortgage and
land contract costs are calculated into the base
rent; it's only changes in these costs that cannot
be taken into account.
The reason the proposal says changes in mort-
gage and land contract costs may not be taken
into account is based on the two ways these
costs change. The first is used by speculators
to obtain money for more speculation. They bor-
row on the building's value a second time, a
"junior mortgage", which gives them more
money but puts a bigger debt load on the build-
ing. Since this practice does nothing to serve
tenants, the costs shouldn't be passed on to ten-
ants. In fact, the main effect of constant specula-
tion in the local rent market has been to drive
up building prices and rents.
THE SECOND way mortgage costs change is
that when an owner pays off the mortgage and
owns the building free and clear, her mortgage

cess of development and construction. That hard-
ly makes sense. Or if an owner decides to tear
her house down now that she's finally paid for
it. The argument, when considered, reduces to
nonsense.
Another argument says the proposal provides no
incentive for renovation and rehabilitation. But
Section 19.6(g) requires the Rent Control Board
to pass along capital improvement costs at "a
rate sufficient to stimulate the undertaking of
those improvements."
ANOTHER CRITICSM deplores the fact that
variances from the strict application of the con-
trols can be granted by a simple majority vote
of the board. But the proposal clearly states (Sec-
tion 19.5(d) ) that if someone objects to a var-
iance and appeals to the full Board, then the
variance must receive UNANIMOUS approval of
the Board in order to go into effect.
The critique claimed that the maximum rent
increase in the proposal is as high as 80 per cent
a year since Section 19.6(1) sets the maximum
adjustment as 5 per cent over the previous rent
and that means you can raise rent 5 per cent
each month, right? Wrong. Section 19.7(c) limits
the landlord to one such increase each year.
And finally it was charged that the proposal
does nothing to remedy health and housing code
violations. But the proposal clearly says in Sec-
tion 19.6(o)(2) that landlords will be denied a
rent increase if they are found to be in substan-
tial violation of such codes. This, in effect, forces
the landlord to keep the property up to code.
TAYLOR AND other Democrats claim they may
may introduce a rent control ordinance on coun-
cil; HRP has written a workable rent control
proposal and gotten it on the ballot. Landlords

New way to vote

)APER BALLOTS and prefer-
ential voting for mayor -
both new to city residents
could confuse voters in Mon-
day's election and result in in-
validated ballots.
To vote for mavor, a "1" is
marked on the ballot in the cir-
cle next to the first choice can-
didate. To designate an op-
tio-al second choice a "2" goes
in the circle next to that candi-
date. Similarly, a "3" would go
in the circle reonresenting the
voter's third choice.

will invalidate a ballot;
-Roman numerals will inval-
idate a ballot, and
-numbers must be inside or
touch the circle.
ONCE THE invalidated bal-
lots are discarded, all f i;s t
choice votes will be tabulied.
If no candidate has more than
50 per cent of the vote, the can-
didate with the fewest f i i s t
place votes will be dropped and
the second choice votes marked

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