BLOG: Let's all pull together to destroy the local economy

Tom Jackson
Aug 11, 2011

 

Thank heavens Sandusky officials have finally addressed the latest terrible problem facing the city. The city is finally cracking down on people who spend up to $4,000 a week to rent fancy private residences for a few days. After years of inaction, our city fathers have recognized that it's time to move.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of well-heeled tourists coming to downtown Sandusky to spend money on upscale restaurants or wasting their money to hire fishing charters from local boat owners.They are the kind of nuisance visitors who rent expensive homes.

In a community that depends upon tourism, it's about time we got serious about driving away rich tourists and persuading them to go rent their fancy houses in some other community. We can always make up the loss of income by taxing working people more.

Why stop there? There must be other creative ways the Sandusky City Commission can hurt the local economy.

Let's hold a contest. Local citizens should be invited to find ways — at taxpayer expense — to discourage private investment and growth.

It wouldn't do to have too many rules. But I think bonus points should be awarded if we can find ways to punish Cedar Point or Firelands Regional Medical Center, our two biggest employers. Additional points also should be awarded if the new program involves hiring $100 an hour lawyers at taxpayer expense, or assigning additional resources to the Sandusky Police Department's elite new Harmless Behavior That Annoys Rich People Squad.

When the contest ended, the most promising new idea for wasting taxpayer money could be enacted into a city ordinance.

If possible, the City Commission ordinance creating the new program should be the same one that allocates additional taxpayer money to the Erie County Economic Development Corp.

 

Comments

Norma J-C

thank goodness no one takes you as seriously as you take yourself.  This behaviour by the home-owners has been a well-kept secret until now and don't forget, Al Capone was brought down because he failed to pay taxes on his ill-gotten gains.

Raoul Duke

Come on, Tom. If the adults don't follow the rules, then how can you expect the kids to? Why don't you give us a break...

Centauri

@ Mr. Jackson

I like how you think and write.

Let's pass some city ordinances to go after the tourists. Any tourist who doesn't follow the local dress code (saggin') will be cited.

Any tourist who spends money will be arrested and questioned about their sources of their money.

The city will require that any tourists will stay at the Keller Building Hotel.

Anybody want to add to the list to go after the tourists?

 

 

Raoul Duke

So when a group of 5 or 6 17 year olds from Michigan, who have just spent the day at Cedar Point,  decide to walk around downtown, after curfew, the police shouldn't do anything, since we want their business...

sanduskysteve

Unfortunately, we wouldn't need a curfew if the groups of 5 or 6 17 yr olds from Sandusky would behave themselves.  Now would we?  Don't blame everything on the tourists - other than the traffic.........  But, yes they should be arrested as well - or at least after a check of their IDs sent home or to where they are staying.  That curfew law is bogus anyway.  I mean, come on - it only has bite if thte parents will admit to wrongdoing.  This isn't going to happen, so what difference does it really make?  I give it another month or so and you won't see another arrest on the curfew violations.  SPD enforced that before and then stopped because it was useless.

Return of Dragon II

Action Jackson completely misses the point with his poor attempt at humor.  Maybe he can do some investigative reporting to see how many of these people who rented their places collected the mandatory bed tax or declared the income from their rental?  For the sake of argument lets say that somebody rented their house at 4K a week and was able to rent for 10 weeks.  That is 40K so the city income tax owed should be $400 plus another $100 in bed tax.  Plus there are annual fees assessed to all rental units.  Let's call this for what it is theft!  If they want to rent their places that is fine but there is a legal process to do that and it is not ad hoc.  The tourists are not the problem.... it is the people making money off of them and not reporting it.  Come on Jackson...... keep this level of thought up and you will be replaced by an aspiring journalism student at the high school.

Captain Gutz

Rod II,

" That is 40K so the city income tax owed should be $400 plus another $100 in bed tax.  Plus there are annual fees assessed to all rental units.  Let's call this for what it is theft!"

You're correct, it is theft. It's the local government stealing (in the form of taxes)  from the property owners.

Raoul Duke

BTW, doesn't  Winter destroy our economy? Maybe we should try to figure out how to stop that from happening.

Jughead44

This blog and the associated comments make good sense.  I think the city should stop focusing on the crime issues like the beatings and stabbings and go after this white collar crime with both barrels.  I'd pay the outside lawyer $300 an hour to get to the bottom of this larceny.  Let's see, not once police report has been filed complaining about any renters....even the group of bikers that rented a place on the chauseewere not reported.  How did our police miss that opportunity?  I thought I saw a couple of city commissioners wade ashore on the chausee with camoflage scuba gear trying to get the goods on these rich tourists.  Put a sign on the city limit signs saying rich tourists go to Huron we don't want your money in Sandumpy.  What a waste of time and energy on a trumped up problem.  Is this all the commisioners can focus on? 

Darkhorse

No one would care if this happened in a poor neighborhood, but in a rich neighborhood, that is just too intolerable.  Mr. Jackson, I cannot believe you wrote this article.  How about one of those rentals moves into your neighborhood and see what you have to say then.  As long as it is not in your neighborhood, you have a different way of looking at things until it moves into your backyard.  Shame on you.   The rich are not exactly stupid to what is going on around them and what they should and should not be doing.  There are not separate rules for the rich.

gottabustyouout

Yeah, the rich don't live in urban ghettos, where their worthless neighbors hang out on the porches for half the day and they got nuthin but noise 24/7.  And if ya walk over to ask them to quiet it down....they wanna fight over it.  And if ya call the police, nuthin happens.  I suggest renting out a house to Ice Cube and put him next to one of these rich folks who do nuthin to clean up the bad behavior in our poor communities in the city!   All day everyday, rap music playin or rock and roll, whatever....where is my right not to hear it?  Headphones cost 5.00 dollars or less, so...there is no excuse for not enforcing noise ordinances especially in poor areas....   Good point Darkhorse, although we may be coming at things here at completely different angles. 

EddieOs

Darkhorse sez:

"There are not separate rules for the rich."

Where to start?

sanduskysteve

Darkhorse, it would appear that the conservatives/republicans want separate rules for the rich - just sayin.

perkinsandlynn

Here is an idea Mr. Jackson.  Why not place restrictions on downtown business owners.  Some idea would include, but not limited too:

 

Limiting the colors and designs that you can use in your windows and signage.

Not allowing you to paint the exterior of you building without the express written consent of Lippus, even if you own the building.

Not clearing the snow from the parking spaces,

Allowing some selected businesses break any and all the rules, while "bringing the hammer" down on others.

Or, maybe these ideas are already in place.

gottabustyouout

Tom Jackson is sort of a genius, no doubt, I like his honesty and his intelligence.  However, I am sure that Mr. Kaufman, is no doubt doing what he is paid to do.  The fact of the matter is, the law exists and was brought to his attention, if his goal was to cause havoc he would of charged em and been done with it.  Possibly, a permenant resident(s) of the neighborhood might have had a bad time with their temporary neighbor.  There needs to be a balance in communities, the law is on the books for a reason!  And sure, perhaps the city should eventually look the other way.  But that would require owners to remind renters of these homes, that they must respect the community they are in.  The law is of course, not always the law! (O'Brien exemplifies that issue all of the time)  There is discretionary power that Mr. Kaufman or the prosecutor holds, and that discretionary power was used here, by a cease and desist order.    I would like to see this office go after chronic bums who sit in their house and blast music all day, everyday.   These folks have no respect for their fellow neighbors.  This behavior goes on without ceasing for months & the person is never charged.   Hey, charge these low lifes whom have no respect for their neighbors!

Norma J-C

Why should the city look the other way? There has been far too much of it and look where that has gotten everyone. Honest people lead by example and act with integrity all the time, not just when it suits a particular situation.

My first thought was who originated this idea and how did it spread? Does anyone know?

T. A. Schwanger

let's put a tax on ice cream cones sold on Perkins Ave. LOL

Itsntallaboutu

Sick of any/all rentals period!    The problem with this town~R-E-N-T-A-L-S.   Also, I don't like sneaky people who try to make a quick buck (go get a REAL job)~greed~phff.   

What makes some people think they can do whatever they want?  Is it the people they know?

gottabustyouout

Well, in regards to itsntallaboutu, I don't think getting rid of rental property will end the problems, I mean people need a place to live!  And it they made a quick buck, maybe they could buy a house and no longer be a renter!, And making a quick buck is needed when people owe tons of money for just buying the necessities. A little job at a burger shop isn't going to help em save, so where are the real jobs in Sandusky?  Some of these renters can't even afford a car, where do they go...to hell? 

Yeah, & so these violators live on the Cedar Point Causeway, which means they're not poor, but actually the owners here too might be folks on the brink of financial troubles too.  And capitalism is all about making a quick buck, I am not saying at someone else's expense but come on now!  The problems isn't rentals, it's that many of the renters don't care, & that's where the property owners and police, if necessary, should step in.  Which they never do, til it get's out of hand, so I can't really condemn you cuz I don't know what u have experienced.

This town (and I have lived other places) to me, is anti-money.  I see haters everywhere I look, mad about everything.   It's the 4 things they want to curse everyone with, no job, no spouse, no money and no opportunity...oh and lets throw in bad health...we got some haters in Sandtown!   I have lived in rental property and could not stand the disrespectful neighbors who had no regard for others, but couldn't make the money here to get ahead!.  In the end though, it isn't my job to be against people making some money!  And since NAFTA, the good ole fashion way of just working a 9 to 5 is not going to get you anywhere.  I can't blame these folks for renting to upscale clients for some cash, but there are other problems here I am not aware, plus the legal code.  And actually, greed can be good sometimes, but not always. 

 

The Answer Person

Tom,  Good points.  However we already have such a committee long established.  It's call the Waterfront Watchdogs.

frizzlefrap

let's tax local citizens $5,000 with i.q.'s less then 80 ...... we would become rich beyond our wildest dreams!

frizzlefrap

anyone who pays those high prices for cedar point fries .... SHOULD BE SHOT!

EddieOs

 

Why should Sandusky be any different from the federal economy destroyers, where:   "...Money is freely available to those who don’t need it and don’t deserve it.  For everyone else there’s 29.99% Mastercard and Visa....If you don’t have a job, you have 99 weeks to come to terms with it, after which you are no longer eligible to be counted in BLS labor participation rate statistics.  The proper term for this is “patriotism." -Chindit13

 

 

 

man4451

Rich people don't care if they get taxed more, if they like it here they'll be back. It's only the people collecting wealth from the rich. Billionaries could care less about a thousand dollars or hundrend thousands, thats like a penny to us. TAX them, if you don't they'll just keep it. Besides, when was the last time you seen a $30 per hr business build here? Where are those JOB makers of $30 $40 $50 per jobs building at? OVER SEAs thats where for $0.12 per hr.

mindyjane283

Wow yeah lets really fight back the people plugging money into our area....

~ Surcharge added to all tickets to go to any of the islands for anyone with out proof of living in the area for the majority of a year.  After all it cost more to ship a tourist than it does a person who lives here. But we have to have a special group payed by the tax payers to decide how much each will be charged based on how far from the area they are buying the pass is to there home address. 

~ Impose a tax on to the businesses that cater to tourists however don't allow them to increase the cost on those who look rich only those that look like they bust there backs for a living.

~ Charge each out of state car for the Seagul droppings they collect during there time in town.

~ Charge people to view the Seaguls at the waterfronts and parks around the area.

~ A goose crossing fee added to all purchases at Ceder Point

~ Triple the rate of a fishing License for those visiting us

~ Require each tourist to take a test on local current events before they are allowed to stay and visit the area

~ Hire a Gorilla for each hotel, resort and motel in the area.  Make the gorilla stand at the front door when each guest arrives they are to pick the guest up turn them upside down and shake till the money falls out of there pockects.  two men in black suits that stay with the gorilla pick up the cash leave the plastic and all are paid for by the new taxes on water.

This is what happens when one is tired and find a crazy report and remembers there log in info!

Raoul Duke

Tom, seriously, are you suggesting that Sandusky residents should be allowed to break any law for the good of the local economy? Because, that's what it sounds like. I'm not arguing that there is a need for weekly rentals here. But I can tell you that I wouldn't want to live next door to one. We need schools too, but I wouldn't want to live next door to one. We need stores, and factories, and fire stations, and water treatment plants, and animal shelters, and hospitals, but I wouldn't want to live next door to them. That's all I'm saying.

Boy with the Boot

First the disclaimer, none of my suggestions should be acted on until the city hires an outside consulting firm to study the issues and write a report. This consultation should cost no less than $150,000 and will not be accepted if completed on time. Now, with that understanding, let's move on to the suggestions.

1. Since those rentals targeted by Mr. Kaufman are merely the tip of the iceburg, all city property owners with homes valued at $100,000 or higher should be fined. This will ensure that all guilty parties are equally punished.

2. All non-city residents found within the city limits should be subjected to TSA full body cavity searches. Who knows what these evil outsiders may try to bring into our city.

3. Any non-city resident seeking treatment at FRMC should be charged double and required to pay in cash at the time of service. This should eliminate most of the delay our local shooting, stabbing, and/or beating victims experience.

4. Local businesses and restaurants may not serve non-city residents prior to 10:00 PM during the week or before midnight on weekends. This will allow our local thugs to sleep it off all day without fear of missing out on potential victims.

5. Any additional manpower requirements generated by the above suggestions should be assigned to the Harmless Behavior That Annoys Rich People Squad. Funding for the HBTARPS will be provided through a retroactive tax on all current and former city residents. This tax will based at a rate of $10 per 30 days of local residency from birth and will be collected by an outside firm of $150 per hour lawyers.

The New World Czar

If the ordinance says no, then no means no. Zoning ordinances are created for a reason.

 

SamAdams

Where, exactly, in the column OR in the letters sent to the accused "offenders" does it so much as IMPLY these landlords aren't paying taxes? The only issue in question here involves zoning, which seems ridiculous in and of itself.

One post in a related article pointed out, as an excellent example of stupid and selectively enforced City ordinances, the regulations involving signage or building improvements for businesses. This isn't any different. You open a bar in your basement, there are issues. You let people rent SHORT term instead of long term, and it's suddenly some sort of a heinous crime???

I can't argue that the law is the law, but I WILL debate the uneven enforcement of silly (or unconstitutional or needless) laws all day long. Here's a tip for the City: Rescind this particular silly (and stupid) law, or decide not to enforce it. You're going to get far LESS money (and spend much too much) going after these folks than you'll get if you just leave them alone.

Oh, and no crying and whining about not enforcing laws. There are still laws on the books that prohibit spitting, swearing, or bathing with horses (yes, really), but you don't hear about task forces assigned to THOSE duties, do you? And why not? BECAUSE THOSE LAWS ARE STUPID!

Norma J-C

some of us are missing the point. If I go somewhere else to vacation, it is to see the sights and not create mayhem and then leave. If the transient renters are just hear to party and go home, where is their investment in making this a better place to live? Their money goes to the business/home owner first and then to whomever. It reminds me of  a parent sending their child off to college and that child comes home an alcoholic because the child spent all their free time drinking. Party, party party.

A crime is a crime and a law is a law. Why do we say it's no big deal for some crimes and the death penalty for others? Because we try to change behaviour by punishment and not by example? Get it? If you want a better town, be better people.

Return of Dragon II

If this is all about getting money from the tourists........ why not make some of those blue signs that say "Waterfront", "Ferry" and etc. and make some that say "24 hour street pharmacy" and point our tourists toward scenic Hancock St.?

Julie R.

When I first saw this I thought Bryan Dubois was back. This is tooooo funny!

blackjack82

I happen to own a vacation rental (not in Sandusky) and have stayed in several myself.  I DO pay the bed tax and am proud that I am able to house families that get together once a year for a week of vacation and family time.  Most are grandparents that rent the home so their kids and grandkids can get together from distant places for a week of Cedar Point, Kalahari, beach time, etc.  Just look at the license plates from around the USA you see in this area. THEY SPEND MONEY HERE because they are here for a week and need groceries, supplies and go out to eat in local restaurants, unlike the daytrippers that eat in the park and spend no money outside the park.  Every time they purchase something, they also pay LOCAL SALES TAX which funds our County government.  Do you really think that popular vacation spots like Florida, Myrtle Beach, etc have zoning restrictions on weekly rental?? They would not exist if they did.

Zoning is the law but if the law does not reflect the desires of ALL citizens, it should be changed.  Zoning is meant to reflect a community and its land use desires - THIS IS VACATIONLAND !!  Or it used to be. 

 

  

OMG.LOL.WT_

It says a lot about a community when the two largest employers are an amusement park and a hospital

If you are not sick or want to ride the roller coaster, why go there?

Itsntallaboutu

OK! GOTTABUSTYOUOUT~

I really don't have a problem with any of these people except for one~and I would be willing to bet you know which one~~don't care what they do as long as it doesn't hurt any human or kill any HELPLESS animal!   This guy and his buddy will DO ANYTHING to anybody or any animal just to have it HIS WAY.  They are not GOD and it's time they pay for all of the people they hurt and animals they have killed.   Hurt/kill anything/anyone that gets in the way of his crooked rentals~THEN I HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM!    Get a job!

Dick Tracey

If the city is going to pay a lawyer $100 an hour, they could have at least hired a real lawyer.

mrlizzzard

My My doesn't anyone know what a great thing this is.What we need is more of this.Lets get these dumps and creepy areas turned into vacation rentals.Give people these dumpsfor a song.Let's loan buyers rehab money at a fair interest rate.Let's let painters and plumbers work locally.Each rental gives Sandusky a concerned small business man or woman who will take care of the neighborhood.EVERYONE WINS!!!!

START ON HANDCRACK ST!,OR WHATEVER THE HIGHEST CRIME AREA IS.

 

1-I thought I owned my property?

2-I know some motel owners are involved in this crackdown.

3-bed and breakfast are allowed in Sandusky.

 

BW1's picture
BW1

Darkhorse:  There are not separate rules for the rich.

Where did anyone advocate separate rules for the rich?  Please, lay it out. This should be amusing
 

BW1's picture
BW1

Raoul Duke: Tom, seriously, are you suggesting that Sandusky residents should be allowed to break any law for the good of the local economy?

No, but some laws have no business being on the books.  History is full of examples of people we laud for breaking unjust laws. I'll bet some of them are among your personal heroes.

 I'm not arguing that there is a need for weekly rentals here. But I can tell you that I wouldn't want to live next door to one.

WHY?  What impact would it have upon you that wouldn't involve breaking some OTHER law?  What impact would it have upon you that couldn't take place with an owner/occupant next door to you who is an unmitigated jerk?  DEMONSTRATE THE CAUSALITY STEMMING FROM THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE TO WHICH YOU ARE OBJECTING

We need schools too, but I wouldn't want to live next door to one. We need stores, and factories, and fire stations, and water treatment plants, and animal shelters, and hospitals, but I wouldn't want to live next door to them. That's all I'm saying

And some people don't want to live next door to people of a certain race, creed, nationality, etc., but we specifically outlaw their efforts to serve their preferences.  You and I may not agree with their preferences, but who died and made you and I Elvis?  Why are YOUR personal preferences entitled to be enshrined in law?
 

BW1's picture
BW1

This action is just another example of Sandusky's leftist government governing for the benefit of those who reject the social contract and to the detriment of those who keep it. 

 

BW1's picture
BW1

T. A. Schwanger: let's put a tax on ice cream cones sold on Perkins Ave

OR, we could just spend all our time rabble rousing to stop any non-socialist or private sector development on the waterfront, eh?

BW1's picture
BW1

mrlizzzard:What we need is more of this.Lets get these dumps and creepy areas turned into vacation rentals.Give people these dumpsfor a song.Let's loan buyers rehab money at a fair interest rate....START ON HANDCRACK ST!,

Wow, somebody gets it.  The only problem is that clowns in Washington keep giving the parasites on Handcrack rent money so their landlords are foreclosure-proof.

1-I thought I owned my property?

Silly - didn't you know that under the current statist regime, the Bill of Rights is void where prohibited by law?

2-I know some motel owners are involved in this crackdown.

Well, duh - the entrenched major players always support more nannystate regulation, because it protects them from competition by creating barriers to entry for their industry.

3-bed and breakfast are allowed in Sandusky.

And don't think for a minute that the major hotel owners aren't quietly lobbying to change that.

verdict

edit post: woops nvm, i was wrong it seems

Raoul Duke

BW1-I wouldn't buy a house that was next door to one of those businesses, so when I buy a house, I expect that one of those businesses won't open up next door. What's so hard about that?

BW1's picture
BW1

Raoul Duke: BW1-I wouldn't buy a house that was next door to one of those businesses, so when I buy a house, I expect that one of those businesses won't open up next door. What's so hard about that?

The problem is your expectation that what goes on beyond your property line is any of your business or subject to your approval or control. Your neighbor's right to swing his fist ends at your nose - i.e. he is free to do as he wishes until he MATERIALLY infringes upon your rights.

You've not presented any way that his choice of who stays in his house, for how long, and on the basis of what relationship, financial or otherwise, deterministically represents an infringement on your rights in some way that isn't covered by existing, term-of-occupancy-neutral law. Claiming the right to prohibit these rental arrangements next door differs in no substantive way from claiming the right to control how many barflies the would be Cassanova next door brings home each week to have wander out his front door the next morning, or to veto your neighbor's right to have his best friend from college come and spend the week as his guest, or have his inlaws house-sit while he's on vacation.

You've not demonstrated how this regulation is related to the reasonable ends of protecting you from excessive noise or any other material infringement on your right to enjoy your property. In essence, your justification boils down to being a nosy busybody who is vaguely uncomfortable with the concept of a vacation renter being next door. If a vague sense of discomfort is a sound basis for dictating to a homeowner who may stay in his house, what happens when the bigot next door doesn't like the ethnicity of your houseguests?

Like I said in another thread, every single goal of this law can be better achieved by banning fatherless families from the neighborhood, so would you support that as readily? I wouldn't, because, apparently unlike you, I'm not willing to use the hammer of government to impose my personal tastes on my neighbors.

devilsadvocate

 Let's see - let's buy up the houses around you and - since it is our land - let's build a

 

1.  nudist bar on one side  2.  shooting range behind you   3.  fireworks store on the other side

 

All three would bring in money -  it is their land.  Bet you would want those rules followed now. You owuld be demanding action - at any cost.   And for those people who think renters bring in money - let's see, five to six families in a house - cost divided by 6, bet it isn't as much as in the hotels.  There is a reason they rent this way - to save money.    Plus they have a kitchen so tjhey don't eat in restaurants and I bet they bring their own food.   So what money do they really bring in. Tickets to Cedar Point?

 

 

Obamagalomania

Great column.  The city leaders are acting like their usual selves.

LivinOnTheLake

Mr. Jackson,

Your tongue in cheek article is pretty good and I think you point out a real problem in Sandusky, but using local homeowners who rent out their home to tourists is missing the boat somewhat. The real problem Sandusky and it's governmental leaders (who are the mouthpieces for the "good ole boys" network in town) show to the rest of the world is that they are Anti-Business. The city has never really demonstrated or proved may be a better word, that they were business-friendly. There are many examples to cite, such as applying a parking tax on Cedar Point, sending a new manufacturer (Okamoto) a delinquent water bill from the previous owner who stopped paying it, to this latest faux pas. The kind people of Sandusky are so sefl-absorbed in trying to be better or bigger than Perkins Twp and Erie County, that they do not realize that "perception is reality". The funniest comment in your article Tom is the last line about putting more money into Erie County Economic Development. Sandusky won't ever make a substantial commitment of funding to ECEDC because they are scared ECEDC will use the money to develop Huron, Milan, Perkins Twp, Margaretta Twp., etc. Political & community leadership in Sandusky can't get beyond themselves, which is why the city keeps losing people, Sandusky High School keeps getting smaller, and there is no real investment going on in that town. Until the City gets some good leadership, with vision beyond next week, Sandusky will continue to slowly decay and ultimately be pretty much a ghost town with people just driving through it to get to Cedar Point. The waterpark tourist don't even need to drive into downtown.