The sense I’m getting from reading some of the post-Tuesday analysis is that renter advocates are feeling very betrayed by Jim Oddie’s decision not to back a “just cause”/elimination of no cause eviction modification to the rental ordinance. Jim Oddie has held himself up as an ally to the renters, letting them know that he needed a third vote on the Council in order to create policy that would really protect renters. When push came to shove, he balked. That probably feels a lot worse than simply being on the opposing side from jump.
The rationale used by both Trish Spencer and then Jim Oddie was that the voters in November claimed that they liked the current ordinance just the way it was by not supporting the renters’ M1 initiative. It’s not a bad argument except for the fact that it boils both ordinances down to only the elements that you agree with or want to frame as key point of the initiative.
I’m not sure about you, but personally I voted against both L1 and M1, not because I don’t support a just cause eviction/elimination of no cause eviction but because I felt as though M1 overreached just a wee too much. But I could totally get behind a just cause eviction ordinance.
If Jim Oddie’s reason for not voting for just cause evictions — now that he’s had the ability to sleep on it a bit — was because he didn’t want to craft policy at night without the benefit of public vetting, that’s fine too with the exception that Malia Vella tried several times to continue the meeting to some other day and time to allow for clearer heads to decide.
In case you couldn’t tell from the video from yesterday the whole rent review agenda item was continued to today when either Jim Oddie will feel duly chastised by his progressive brethren that he had to face days afterward or will feel empowered by the landlord…I mean “homeowner” groups that have sent him supportive message announcing that they have his back.
I will point out that Jim Oddie (up for re-election in 2018) already is facing down a contender who is stalking the progressive cred that Jim Oddie had previously held. Planning Board member, David Mitchell, put out this statement on Tuesday night, it’s also part of the Council packet as well:
If you’re interested in weighing in on the topic, City Council meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. to continue talking about this agenda item.