Unregistered landlord complaint misinterpreted, Kingston Alderwoman Elisa Ball says
KINGSTON, N.Y. — A city alderwoman says a fellow Democrat misconstrued her comment that suggested unregistered landlords are mocking city officials.
Alderman Robert Senor, D-Ward 8, said Monday that Alderwoman Elisa Ball, D-Ward 6, suggested in a meeting that she knew of unregistered landlords who were “laughing” at the city. Landlords are required to register with the city under the Landlord Registration Law.
Senor, who chairs the Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee, said it is Ball’s “duty” to report unregistered landlords if she knows they have not signed up with the city.
Senor said Ball, D-Ward 6, made a comment at a meeting last Tuesday that he and Ball attended with Mayor Shayne Gallo. Senor urged Ball to report unregistered landlords.
“It is appalling to me that an alderman knows something and doesn’t say anything,” Senor said. “(A lawmaker) has a duty to uphold the laws.”
Ball, who is a landlord, said she was not referring to anyone in particular and does not know personally of any unregistered landlords. She said Senor misconstrued her comment.
“What I said was that we all know there are people who are unregistered in the city who are laughing at us, not that I personally know people who are laughing at us,” Ball said via email, responding to Senor’s comments.
Ball said she was simply trying to make a point.
“I was illustrating a point that there are unregistered landlords and we don’t know who they are,” Ball said. “I would like to stick to the issues at hand. We need to focus on getting unregistered landlords to register.”
Ball, along with other city lawmakers, objected to a Rental Safety Certificate law proposed by Gallo that would require landlords to notify the city each time a new tenant moves into a dwelling. Continued...
Senor supported the mayor’s proposal.
Gallo has backed off pushing the proposal, but said his administration plans to step up inspections of buildings from once every two years to quarterly. Ball has objected to that plan, saying it was never the intention of Common Council members to increase inspections beyond the minimum of once every two years.
Gallo has said his proposal would have stepped up code enforcement, improved buildings, and made dwellings safer for tenants.
Meanwhile, the Laws and Rules Committee tonight is expected to take up discussion on another Gallo initiative called the Tenant Accountability Act.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 420 Broadway. The Freeman will show the meeting live on its website, www.dailyfreeman.com.
Senor said the proposed law focuses on tenants and includes requirements that tenants, for example, make sure working batteries are in smoke detectors, barbecue grills are kept away from buildings, and trash is kept in proper containers.
“It actually is a tool that the landlords can use against (bad) tenants,” Senor said.
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