Mail call

Pity the poor postal workers who’ve had to sort and deliver the plethora of political mailers to Alameda households this election season.

But take heart, Alamedans.  You don’t have to read ’em all.  Today, the Merry-Go-Round offers a rule of thumb for routing the stack to the appropriate receptacle:  The more cash an organization has to spend, the less trustworthy its campaign literature will be.

And, no, we’re not talking just about Alamedans United, the misnamed cabal funded by out-of-town unions and developers to foist a pro-labor, pro-development slate on the local electorate.

Alamedans United’s mailers, particularly its hit pieces, are so puerile they’re amusing, albeit unintentionally.  (More on that later.)  But the flyers put out by the “independent expenditure” committees opposing Measure M1, the rent-control initiative, are no laughing matter.  Indeed, they’re serious enough to be dangerous if they misstate or overstate their case – which they do.

Take the mailers paid for by the California Apartment Association Issues Committee.  This committee, an offshoot of the outfit describing itself as “the nation’s largest statewide trade group representing owners, investors, developers, managers and suppliers of apartment communities,” was formed to oppose rent-control ballot measures in five Bay Area cities, including Alameda.  The latest campaign disclosure reports filed with the state show that through October 21 the committee has spent $151,549.73 specifically to oppose Measure M1.

The CAA committee sent out its first mailer a couple of weeks ago, but, unless you looked closely, you wouldn’t know it came from the apartment owners’ group.  Instead, on the front and back, the mailer used the name and logo of the “Legislative Analyst’s Office, The California Legislature’s Non-partisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor.”  And it proclaimed, front and back, that “California’s Legislative Analyst Shows that Measure M1 Hurts Renters & Alameda.”

In fact, the LAO – an organization that really does exist – never “showed” any such thing.

Open the booklet and – under the same headline, now used for the third time – you’ll see text from an “Official Affordable Housing Report – February 9, 2016.”  On that date, the LAO did indeed publish a “brief” entitled, “Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing,” which included the quoted text.  But the brief hardly could have been intended as an analysis, much less a condemnation, of Measure M1.  Indeed, the initiative wasn’t even filed till a month later.

The more fundamental problem is that the quote from the LAO is taken wildly out of context.  Last year, the LAO issued a report arguing that the remedy for the statewide housing shortage was to build more market-rate housing.  In the February 2016 brief, it took on the more difficult task of showing that this strategy would solve the statewide affordable housing crisis as well.

Many critics – including elected officials like San Francisco Supervisor David Campos and experts like those at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies – found the LAO’s argument unpersuasive.  (So did we.)  But the LAO’s point in the paragraph quoted by the CAA was not that rent control “hurts renters.” It was that, in the LAO’s view, rent control was not an effective way to increase the supply of affordable housing – or at least not as effective a way as the LAO’s preferred alternative.  A pot shot, maybe; a full-barreled assault, hardly.

The CAA committee followed up its original mailer with a second one that also garbled the LAO’s conclusions.  More campaign literature may be on the way from Sacramento in the two weeks remaining before the election, but recently the most prolific sender of anti-rent control mailers has been another committee called “Real Rent Control for Alameda, Yes on L1, No on M1.”

This group, whose headquarters are on Webster Street, is giving CAA a run for its money in spending cash to defeat Measure M1.  Through September 24, contributions totaled $50,005.33, led by $10,922.67 from Gallagher & Lindsey, the local real-estate firm.  Then, on October 3, two apartment-complex owners from Walnut Creek with properties in Alameda – Tower Apartments and Ballena Apartments – dropped $50,000 apiece into the pot.  After that, the original funders, again led by Gallagher & Lindsey, added another $40,789.34.

By our count, “Real Rents” has sent out five mailers opposing the rent-control initiative (and supporting the “rent stabilization” ordinance adopted by Council).  Real Rents sounds many of the same alarms as the CAA does, but its flyers tend to be less audacious than the CAA’s.  For example, both groups cite the cost of administering the regime established by Measure M1 – stated to be $3.7 million – as a reason to vote against the measure.  The Real Rents mailer argues that this administrative cost will “siphon resources”from other City services, and stops there.  The latest CAA mailer goes a step further:  Measure M1, it says, “forces” the City to impose a new “rent control tax.”

Both claims distort the facts.  Start with the $3.7 million.  As far as we can tell, that figure comes from one sentence in a staff report presented to Council on July 5:  “The consulting firm that conducted the fee study for the City’s rent program has prepared a fiscal analysis, based on similar rent programs in Berkeley and Santa Monica that largely mirror the rent program under the Renters’ Initiative, and estimates the cost to administer that program to be $234/rental unit, or $3 million–$3.7 million annually, depending on the number of units covered by the Initiative.”

No further details are given, and the “fiscal analysis” itself is not attached to the staff report.  We don’t suspect that staff or the consultants made up the figures, but they don’t purport to represent a rock-solid number.  (Indeed, the mailer recently sent out by the City comparing the two ballot measures pegs the cost of administering Measure M1 at $3.3 million.)

[October 24 update:  At our request, Community Development Director Debbie Potter forwarded us a copy of the “fiscal analysis” to which the staff report refers.  From the two-page memo, it appears that the consultants looked at the annual registration fees charged by City of Berkeley and the City of Santa Monica and decided, for reasons that are not entirely clear to us, to use the former number as the basis for estimating the costs associated with M1.]

Even more troubling is the implicit assumption in both the CAA and the Real Rent mailers that the cost of administering the M1 program will be paid entirely from the General Fund.  That simply isn’t so.  In fact, section 6(n) of the ballot measure states that the costs of enforcing the new law “shall be funded” by a “rental housing fee” charged to landlords in an amount to be set by the Rental Control Board.  This mechanism is no different than the one established by the City’s own rent stabilization ordinance, which imposes a “program fee” on landlords to cover its costs.

The M1 opponents could argue – and they have – that it is “unfair” to make landlords pay for the “benefits” the initiative provides to tenants.  But it is misleading to imply that it is the taxpayers who actually will be footing the bill.

The Real Rent mailers harp on one other theme in a way we find disturbing.  In the earliest versions, the flyers claimed that Measure M1 made it “difficult or impossible” for landlords to evict “bad” tenants, which subsequent mailers defined as “tenants engaged in disruptive or illegal behavior.”  The latest version, which arrived in our mailbox Friday, is even harsher:  Measure M1, it contends, “[m]akes it nearly impossible to evict tenants engaged in criminal activity.”  (emphasis supplied)

Oh, yeah?  True, Measure M1 prohibits landlords from evicting tenants except for one of the enumerated causes.  But nowhere does the measure exclude “criminal activity” from the list of evictable offenses.  To the contrary, section 5(c) states that eviction is permitted where the “Tenant has continued, after the Landlord has served the Tenant with a written notice to cease, to commit or expressly permit a nuisance in, or cause substantial damage to, the Rental Unit.”  We don’t hold ourselves out as landlord-tenant lawyers, but we’re pretty sure that the courts would find that the term “nuisance” encompasses “criminal activity.”

Perhaps the intent of this argument is to distinguish Measure M1 from the Council-adopted ordinance, which also makes committing or permitting a nuisance an evictable offense, but which dispenses with the notice requirement “if the Tenant’s conduct is illegal activity, has caused substantial damage to the Rental Unit or the common area of the rental complex, or poses an immediate threat to public health or safety.”  If so, this distinction gets lost in the hype about M1 rendering landlords unable “to remove drug dealers and problem tenants from their buildings.”

We could go on with the critique.  But we hope our point has been made.  We don’t expect campaign literature to be “objective”; it is supposed to be argumentative.  Nevertheless, it bothers us when the advocates mangle the facts to suit their purposes.  We think Alameda voters would be better served if they threw out all of the mailers and made up their minds about Measure M1 after reading the debate among Eric Strimling, Monty Heying, Paul Foreman, H. MacKenzie and others that can be found in the comments section for our piece on the rent control initiative.

And now for the comic relief.

Yes, it’s time to talk again about Alamedans United, the committee formed by the firefighters’ and grocery workers’ unions that, through October 5, has taken in $42,250 from out‑of‑town labor union PACs and $10,000 from out‑of‑town real estate developers. (Total contributions stand at $56,750).  We don’t think the group intended its mailers to be funny, but, after reading them, it’s hard not to laugh.

Alamedans United began its campaign with a mailer whose headline was “Join Us Make History.”  Immediately below were photos of Hillary Clinton and Barbara Lee, followed by photos of the three women on the slate of six candidates Alamedans United is pushing for local office.  Honor by association, we guess you could call it.

But when we checked their campaign websites, we found that none of the local candidates pictured in the mailer actually lists Secretary Clinton or Congresswoman Lee as an endorser.  So it’s not quite clear how close the ties really are between the national and Alameda candidates.  Of course, maybe one is supposed to assume – Donald Trump would – that, since they’re all women, they must support each other.

Since then, Alamedans United has devoted itself to mailers pillorying incumbent Councilman Tony Daysog and promoting Alameda-born, San Leandro-raised Teamster lawyer and Mills College “visiting scholar” Malia Vella.

As our readers will recall, the first hit piece accused Mr. Daysog of being “anti-senior” because he voted with the Council majority to overturn a Planning Board decision declaring “senior assisted living” to be a permitted use at a site located about a mile from the end of the runways at the Oakland Airport.  This week, we got another mailer from Alamedans United charging Mr. Daysog with a far greater sin:  He’s a Republican – or at least he suffers from pronounced Republican tendencies!

The latest accusation bears the fingerprints of one of Alamedans United’s co-founders, United Commercial and Food Workers Union Local 5 communications director Mike Henneberry, who is known for using “Republican” as a pejorative.  (See, for example, how he trashes City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy in op-eds published in 2011 and 2015.)  In Mr. Henneberry’s universe, a Republican is the lowest form of life – except for, possibly, a banker.

But Alamedans United has had to doctor the evidence to justify calling Mr. Daysog an ersatz Republican.  Let’s look at the statements cited in the mailer as demonstrating the Councilman’s perverse political affiliation.

No. 1:  “When asked how he differentiates himself from his opponents, says: ‘I’M THE ONLY MALE CANDIDATE. . . .”

Putting to one side the oddity of the drafters’ equating gender with political party – but remember that initial mailer! – red flags go up whenever a quote ends, as this one does, with an ellipsis.  Here’s the full quote, taken from Mr. Daysog’s response to the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus questionnaire (with emphasis supplied):


So not only was Mr. Daysog’s statement literally true – of the five candidates seeking the APADC endorsement, four were women – it was meant as a joke.  (Incidentally, the hit piece correctly notes that Mr. Daysog “failed to secure [the APADC] endorsement.”  But it doesn’t mention that Ms. Vella herself tried, and failed, to get the nod.  In fact, only Council candidate endorsed by the organization was former Councilwoman Lena Tam.)

We’ll skip the ellipsis-laden second statement attributed to Mr. Daysog, since its source is identified as the East Bay Citizen, a willing outlet for farcical charges against Mr. Daysog.  So on to No. 3:  “Calls Democrat Hillary Clinton a Republican, as though electing the first woman President in this environment is a laughing matter.”

Although only the url is given, this quote is taken from a source well-known to us:  the comments section for our piece last May about which Democratic presidential candidate our Council members supported.  Mr. Daysog told us he was backing Secretary Clinton and then posted a follow-up comment:

I contributed to Clinton in 2008 – I think something like $50.  Also:  I did contribute to Clinton this year by way of purchasing my signs (cha ching:  $20!).  As an aside:  my running gag line to the Bernie folks I often see at the Farmers’ Market when they ask who I’m supporting has been that, “while I am still a registered Democrat, as a quasi-Republican (albeit quasi moderate-Republican), of course I’ll support the Republican on the ballot – Hillary Clinton!’”  That’s a gag, folks. (emphasis supplied)

Another joke by Mr. Daysog, another clumsy edit by Alamedans United.  Let’s just hope the cabal’s creative team doesn’t know how to Photoshop, or the next thing you know we’ll be getting a mailer picturing the pro-labor, pro-development slate being blessed by the Pope while Franklin D. Roosevelt and Rosa Parks look on.

We’ll end by noting the irony in the latest mailer.  The headline on one side reminds voters that, “THIS ELECTION IS NO LAUGHING MATTER,” a statement that can’t be made about the flyer itself.  It continues:  “VOTE FOR LEADERS WHO’LL SAY WHAT THEY STAND FOR.”  The bottom half of the page then is devoted to touting Ms. Vella’s candidacy.

But, of all the candidates running for Council, guess who is the only one who has refused to take a stand on Measure M1, the rent-control initiative?  That’s right:  Ms. Vella.

Almost every weeknight, we watch Rachel Maddow, who delights in taking apart the latest absurdity uttered by Donald Trump.  Having read the mailers sent to local voters, we’ve begun to wonder whether Alamedans United and its fellow “independent expenditure” committees have hired the Donald as their media adviser.  Maybe Rachel’s Mom, Elaine, a mainstay of the Redwood Canyon Women’s Golf Club, can ask her to dig into this for us.


Measure M1:alameda_rent_control_initiative_-_full_text_0

Measure L1: alameda_rent_stablization_act_-_full_text

July 5, 2016 staff report: 2016-07-05 staff report re rent control initiatives

May 25, 2016 SCI Consulting Group memo re costs of initiative: memo-cost-and-fee-estimate-for-proposed-alameda-renter-protection-initiative-r5

California Apartment Association Issues Committee (Filer ID No.1388537) campaign finance disclosures:

Real Rent Control for Alameda (Filer ID No.1390679) campaign finance disclosures:

Alamedans United campaign finance disclosures can be found on the City Clerk’s website:




About Robert Sullwold

Partner, Sullwold & Hughes Specializes in investment litigation
This entry was posted in City Hall, Housing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Mail call

  1. wordist45 says:

    (Another excellent blog. Thank you Mr. Sullwold.).

    “The consulting firm that conducted the fee study for the City’s rent program has prepared a fiscal analysis, based on similar rent programs in Berkeley and Santa Monica that largely mirror the rent program under the Renters’ Initiative, and estimates the cost to administer that program to be $234/rental unit, or $3 million–$3.7 million annually, depending on the number of units covered by the Initiative.”

    A dishonorable opponent will invariably hand you a club to beat them with. This is precisely the case with the $3.7 Million Lie, the origin of which is detailed below. When people realize they have been lied to, they react strongly, and there are signs this is happening in comments all over Facebook.

    Alameda’s city management publicizes on its web site a grossly overstated $4.3 million estimate of the operating budget for Measure M1’s Charter Amendment. Councilmember Jim Oddie published a commentary in both local newspapers emphasizing this fraudulent $4.3 million, and the realty opposition echoed the cry in TV commercials. Photos of the mayor and Member Oddie appear in campaign mailers declaring M1’s $3.7 million cost as “Too Expensive,” including a fraudulent four-page piece purporting to be from the Legislative Analyst Office, for which the LAO denies responsibility. Everywhere signs tout the fraudulent $3.7 million purported “cost of Measure M1.”

    They have a right to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

    The source of the $3.7 million is the City’s consultant, SCI, who was contracted to conduct a fee study for the City’s new rent program,(NOT for the Alameda Renter Coalition’s charter amendment, Measure M1. To arrive at $4.3 million for M1, City management simply tacked-on another $600,000 for the special election for M1’s Rent Board. The $600K is a one-time start-up cost, and including this one-time expense in the annual operating budget is a deliberate distortion designed to frighten voters.

    The $3.7 million is grossly overstated. The $4.3 million borders on fraud. Both exaggerated amounts are designed to mislead voters so that Measure M1’s Charter Amendment will fail.

    I obtained and analyzed SCI’s supporting materials and found that the $3.7 million for M1 was nowhere to be found in their written report. None of the detailed analysis performed on the City’s ordinance was performed for the $3.7 million. NONE! SCI’s analysis for the ordinance was thorough and competent, but the $3.7 million for M1 was at best an ill-intentioned guess.

    A consultant who wants to live well keeps the client happy. The City of Berkeley has the highest per-unit program fee in California. For M1, SCI merely used the City of Berkeley’s fee of $234 multiplied by Alameda’s 14,899 rental units, then padded their number for some vague undefined legal costs to create their fantastic $3.7mil. SCI made no attempt to explain why their $3.7 million for Measure M1 was double the $1.8 million budget developed by Alameda Renter Coalition (“ARC”.)

    ARC used $120/unit, a reasonable fee compared with West Hollywood’s $120/unit, or Oakland’s $30/unit, or Los Angeles’ $24.48. Why did SRI choose the highest program fee in California? Because SRI knew City Management was hostile to rent control and wanted a high number to make M1 look bad compared to the City’s $2 million for their Measure L1.

    I’m retired CPA. I smelled a rat at the Council meeting when the SCI consultant spoke. I was struck by his lack of documentation for that huge M1 estimate–no charts or graphs and zero analysis. He merely referred to costs in other cities and something vague about legal costs. The follow-up from the dais was pitiful. No councilmember asked why the consultant’s number was $2 million more than ARC’s estimate and almost twice their own estimate for the City’s ordinance, a cumbersome law far more complex than M1, coverings 36% more activity by attempting to regulate units that are exempt from rent control by state or federal law.

    The $3.7 million cannot be justified, and the play it is getting from City management and the realty opposition is highly suspicious. Our City management has perjured itself in a material and highly visible manner. How can we now believe anything they say? People will consider this when filling out their ballots.

    • steve says:

      Here is the actual budget for Santa Monica’s rent control board. Once again, I know Santa Monica is larger than Alameda, but you will still need about the same staffing and office needs for a new agency.

      Click to access Adopted_Budget_2015-16.pdf

    • Monty,

      In response to my request, Debbie Potter sent me a copy of SCI’s “fiscal analysis,” a link to which I posted in the “Sources” section.

    • David says:

      Here is another Santa Monica rent control board document pegging the cost at $288 per unit, or around $5 million per year.

      Click to access s2014070808-C-1.pdf

      • steve says:

        If the staffing and office expenses are similar to Santa Monica and Berkeley but the number of rental units are less, it would seem that SCI’s per unit fee numbers are substantially lower than they should be. Measure M1 states “The Board shall review and assess yearly that sufficient number of staff are employed, including an Executive Director, hearing examiners, housing counselors and legal staff, as may be necessary to perform its function efficiently in order to fulfill the purpose of this Article” and “The City Council and the City Manager shall have no authority to oversee, supervise, or approve this budget”, So we have no Idea how expensive this could be and there will be no apparent over site.

  2. Kurt Peterson says:

    As the old saying goes, Follow the Money. If it the mailer looks TOO GOOD to be true, it probably isn’t These totally applies to this and even past Alameda elections. Unfortunately, final contribution figures aren’t released until after the election. Please wise up Alamedans and vote for locals who REALLY care about what is best for Alameda’s future.

    • AN says:

      If a mailer looks too bad to be true, is it true? I received an anti-B1 mailer that looked like it was put together by a teenager in their bedroom. Who is paying for it?

  3. First note- You have reversed the L1 and M1 links above.

    Second note- where do you get your expenditure figure for CAA? As I read the filings they have spent $256,584.33. On form 496-4 they show $54,750 each for Polling and TV advertising. Then on form 496-1 there is $77,250 for printing. Then, on 496-3 they show three separate lines, $79,983.40 each, without saying what they are for. It seems reasonable that they are Polling, TV, and Printing. I also assume that they are such even numbers because the CAA is spending regionally and are just apportioning a part of a much larger number to Alameda. And finally, on form 496-6 they write $16,635.33 for on-line advertising. So, I show the grand total, revealed so far, as the above $256,584.33.

    But they have raised $748,296.90! All but $35,050 of that from outside Alameda (Carmel Partners IV Marina View LLC gave $25,000). 6 donations from out of state even!

    Then there is Yes on L1, Alamedans for Fair Rents. They Claim to be the “loval” face of no rent control, but 2/3 of their funding comes from Off Island. Over half, $12,000, comes from a single Los Angeles realty firm. However they must have more money than is on the disclosure forms given the number of mailers they have sent, and plan to send. Each mailer costs $10,000 or more. They have only disclosed $23,000 in contributions, so it doesn’t add up.

    • Eric,

      First, thanks for catching the error in the links. I must have forgotten that L precedes M in the alphabet. I fixed the links.

      In response to your comments:

      I found the Form 496s for CAA available on the City website somewhat confusing, so I went to the CalAccess site run by the Secretary of State. ( I put in the CAA group’s filer ID no. (1388537) and searched the “electronic filings” for forms that identified expenses specifically for Alameda. The total I used in the column is the sum of such expenses from the Form 460 and Form 496s. Try replicating this process and let me know if you get a different result.
      Also confusing is that two pro-L1, anti-M1 groups use the phrase “Yes on L1, No on M1” in their name. One is called “Yes on L1, No on M1: Alamedans for Fair Rent,” and its filer ID no. is 1389877. My review of their Form 460 and Form 497s shows a total of $33,647.03 in contributions (including non-monetary), but I am aware of only one mailer under their name. The other group is called, “Real Rent Control for Alameda, Yes on L1, No on M1,” and its filer ID no. is 1390679. This group is the one that has raised nearly $200,000 and sent out the five mailers, and it is the one to which I refer in the column.

      • David says:

        >>The other group is called, “Real Rent Control for Alameda, Yes on L1, No on M1,” and its filer ID no. is 1390679.

        And much of that money is local…

    • RJS says:

      Typical, Eric. If you look at 496-1 – the real expenditure for printing is $2,500, not $77,250. On 496-4, (this is an amendment of 496-2) the real expenditure is a total of $54,750 – not $54,750 each. (Either you don’t know how to read the form, or you are intentionally spinning the numbers here.) On 496-3 they have a total of $2,733.32 – not the $79,983.40 you say. On 496-6, you finally got it right, (almost) as it it $16,633.33 for on-line advertising. Oddly enough, you missed 496-5 – which has $18,917.00.
      The total of all of these is pretty high – at $95,533.65 – but it is sure not the $256,584.33 you state.
      Get your facts straight, Eric. The CAA is indeed spending big bucks – but it is also fighting 5 ballot measures in the BAY area, and yours is only 1 of the 5.

  4. MP says:

    The campaign run by the CAA has been disappointing, ham-handed (churning, poss.?) and may have done more harm to the cause than good. That is an unfortunate because there are plenty of very good and important reasons for supporting the City’s approach over the M1 approach without exposing your “side” to claims of distortion. Half of those good reasons appear from reading the actual text of M1 and another good handful can be gleaned from the statements of City Council members (and candidates as well) who have actually grappled with the issues.

  5. MP says:

    Mr. Daysog, to paraphrase a perhaps apocryphal quotation of A. Khomeini, “There are no jokes in [Alameda]… There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”

  6. Roger Baer says:

    Robert. Is it possible to get the total $ donated and by whom, PAC and other, to each of the council candidates before the election? Roger Baer

    • The short answer is, Yes — with a lot of effort. The Council candidates are required to file their second pre-election campaign disclosure statements by October 27, then file reports of contributions > $1000 thru election day. All these statements are available on the City Clerk’s website. A different set of rules applies to PACs. In addition to the City Clerk’s website, you may need to check the County Registrar of Voters website and/or the state CalAccess website as well.
      I will be writing about the latest round of Council disclosure statements in the next column, but I don’t expect to provide a complete picture for all of the candidates.

  7. MJane says:

    If one campaign spends more money than another, is the one that spends less automatically right? By that logic, if one side of an issue raises nothing at all then should everyone vote their way without considering the details because they must be RIGHT. What if both sides spend nothing? Then who do you vote for?

    More logical is to consider funding sources along with the merits of the issue, and not look at who supports a measure as the sole determiner of right and wrong. In the case of L1 and M1, renters have a lot to gain if M1 passes. M1 is not about “fairness” to tenants, it negatively affects the whole community. M1 is a social experiment that aims to transfer rights that the property owner purchased to the tenants, but without the accompanying responsibilities that home and property owners contend with. M1 is largely funded by out of town people and labor unions, to the tune of 50%. A more reasonable approach in L1 controls unfettered rent increases and evictions, thus targeting the much-publicized problems caused by a very small number of landlords. But it doesn’t guarantee a minuscule rent increase in perpetuity regardless of the market or expenses faced by landlords. L1 supporters also have out of town contributions. Is the question now one of simply who got more dollars, or a higher percentage from out of town, to decide which measure is “right”?.

    Tenants who support M1 see an opportunity to gain for themselves at the expense of others. By casting all landlords in the same bucket as “greedy” they hope to convince people that tenants somehow DESERVE below-market rents. They should hope they never want to change homes within Alameda if M1 passes, as new rents will be much higher than without rent control because landlords know they will be stuck with almost the same amount of rent forever. Both tenants and landlords know in their guts that things cost more over time and that by limiting rent increases to less than costs go up they are punishing their landlords. Why even think this way and foment an us versus them battle in our town? I hope they don’t expect to have a good relationship with their landlord after that.

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