Fact Check: Is David Alvarez Protecting Home Values?

Fact Check: Is David Alvarez Protecting Home Values?

File photo by Sam Hodgson

The Property Value Protection Ordinance created a registry of foreclosed homes and contact information for banks to ensure the city can hold those who don't maintain their properties accountable.

Image: FALSEStatement: “[David Alvarez] held big banks accountable, protecting people’s property values when banks foreclose on neighboring homes,” The San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council, campaign flyer for David Alvarez for mayor.

Determination: Misleading

Analysis: This weekend, a young supporter of Councilman David Alvarez showed up at my home. Alvarez, of course, is running for mayor.

He was very sincere and he asked if he could count on my vote. I told him no, I’m going to remain neutral for now.

And he left behind this flyer. It included this passage:

alvarezproperty

The line about protecting property values comes from one of Alvarez’s two major legislative accomplishments. Last year, the city implemented his Property Value Protection Ordinance, which requires banks or lenders that foreclose on homes to pay a $76 fee and provide contact information for the steward of the property.

Lisa Halverstadt recently reviewed the impact of the legislation and the data the city’s collected.

Money quote:

The city has logged roughly 1,700 residential properties in its foreclosure database and collected more than $190,000 in associated fees. But a city code enforcement manager charged with overseeing the program couldn’t detail how it’s help the city crack down on problem properties, or even say whether it’s helped code officers reach the banks responsible for those homes more quickly than they would have without the measure.

The idea is the city would be able to spot abandoned homes that were causing a blight on a neighborhood and, armed with contact information, could demand the owners of the homes keep them up.

The city has only hired one of the three people it determined it needed to carry this out.

Nobody claims that the city has actually forced an owner to maintain a property better because of the law.

I spoke with a representative of the Labor Council, which made the claim in the flyer that Alvarez’s law was “protecting people’s property values.”

Kirsten Clemons, the political and legislative director at the Labor Council, said the law was having an effect.

“The intent was, and we think this is happening, that property values are being protected because of the accountability and responsibility banks feel they now have to maintain their properties. There’s no evidence to say that’s not the case,” Clemons said.

But there’s no evidence, either, that it is the case. The city has no data. What’s left is just an assumption Clemons is making that because banks have to send in a check and contact information, they are taking better care of their properties and that is “protecting people’s property values.”

Clare Crawford, the president of the Center for Policy Initiatives, which championed the proposal, said her organization was not using the claim that Alvarez had protected property values as a reason to support him for mayor. But she defended Clemons’ reasoning.

She said that it’s logical to assume that banks are responding regardless of the city’s lack of any enforcement because of the ordinance.

“They definitely should be doing more proactive monitoring, but just because the city hasn’t yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not working. There’s a deterrent effect because they know they can be found. The likelihood goes up that they’re going to maintain their properties,” Crawford said.

But, again, there’s no evidence that they have or that this has protected people’s property values.

Clemons claimed that it would be too early to judge an ordinance’s impact. It only went into effect in February, she said.

Judging its impact is exactly what Clemons and the Labor Council did, however, when claiming Alvarez’s signature legislation was protecting property values.

That was a leap that has not been substantiated.

Unfortunately, like with other similar claims, we don’t know for sure that it’s false, which we define as clearly not accurate, with no element of truth.

This claim may be accurate, but the claim that Alvarez’s law is having an effect on property values is a stretch and it is misleading based on the data and evidence available.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis

I'm Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

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61 comments
Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin subscribermember

G McG.
Squeaky gear gets Oil.
The same situation was present in my neighborhood although it wasn't a bank property but deadbeat owner.
A woman in the neighbor hood came by and organized several of us to call our council person, code enforcement, vector control and county agriculture dept (person had a pool).
Took a consistent stream of calls but did result in action.(eventually)
In the case of the bank I would consider adding the regional manager, investor relations and the CEO if they are publicly traded. Banks don't need bad press. They do a good enough job of that on their own.

G McG
G McG

I was just reading the same thing in the Voter Information Pamphlet that came with my ballot. The vague reference does not mention what this so called law is so I goggled it and found this article. The law is news to me. Come to the corner of Alabama & Lincoln and see how well this law works. The house next door has been vacant for around a year now. The roof is falling in. The previous owner gutted the place when she couldn't sell it (short sale). Shortly after the house was occupied by homeless people and according to one of the neighbors who checked, the tub was full of human excrement. That neighbor and another nearby were seen over there after that boarding up the front door. I think they are gone now but the home is in obvious disrepair and the landscaping is not being maintained. A dead hedge surrounds the place. I don't see anybody enforcing the bank to do anything on this place. A $76 fee is a joke; chunk change to the banks. Sounds like creative resume building to me.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

My point is that this isn't a political hit piece. It's not going to make anyone think Alvarez is a chowderhead who doesn't already think that. And yeah, I like "cannot be proven," but it's not on the list of Fact Check verdicts. But I'm now going to hold my breath until it's added. … erp…. medic….

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

C'mon. This is a political hit piece? It's about as aggressive as a puff of smoke. You think it's going to change anyone's vote to say, essentially, that a political claim can't be proven yet but might be later, we just need more information? Jeez.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

"I don't understand how the purpose is evidence of impact." (Scott Lewis)

Conversely, how does lack of evidence of impact demonstrate that the purpose is not being served?

Pat Flannery
Pat Flannery

Scott, you may indulge in all the spurious, diversionary, convoluted semantics you wish but this article is clearly a politically motivated attack on a mayoral candidate, David Alvarez. If it is not a political attack then you and your writing staff need to study the logic of cause and effect.

You accuse others of “a leap that has not been substantiated”. You are the one who made that leap. You drew a conclusion where none is warranted. You ruled as “misleading” a statement that the Alvarez-sponsored bank foreclosure law “held big banks accountable”. Your assertion that without evidence a claim must be false or misleading is a misapplication of basic logical principles.

You point to a small particle (mote) in one candidate’s eye while ignoring a beam in the other: Faulconer is a corporate kind of guy who naturally sides with corporate banks. This article is not commentary it is political advocacy on behalf of Faulconer.

Pat Flannery
Pat Flannery subscriber

Scott, you may indulge in all the spurious, diversionary, convoluted semantics you wish but this article is clearly a politically motivated attack on a mayoral candidate, David Alvarez. If it is not a political attack then you and your writing staff need to study the logic of cause and effect.

You accuse others of “a leap that has not been substantiated”. You are the one who made that leap. You drew a conclusion where none is warranted. You ruled as “misleading” a statement that the Alvarez-sponsored bank foreclosure law “held big banks accountable”. Your assertion that without evidence a claim must be false or misleading is a misapplication of basic logical principles.

You point to a small particle (mote) in one candidate’s eye while ignoring a beam in the other: Faulconer is a corporate kind of guy who naturally sides with corporate banks. This article is not commentary it is political advocacy on behalf of Faulconer.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

If a law said that it would end climate change, it doesn't mean that it actually does or has. I don't understand how the purpose is evidence of impact.

Lucas OConnor
Lucas OConnor

Can you objectively mislead someone to an unknown destination?

This is a burden of proof argument which is based on nothing more than the personal preference of the author. Given that, it really shouldn't have sniffed a fact check to begin with.

Lucas OConnor
Lucas OConnor subscriber

Can you objectively mislead someone to an unknown destination?

This is a burden of proof argument which is based on nothing more than the personal preference of the author. Given that, it really shouldn't have sniffed a fact check to begin with.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Why is a false statement being given a misleading?

"Big banks" are not being held accountable by this toothless tiger of a law, nor are peoples property values being protected, if they are then show concrete evidence. There is none, the "too big to fail" banks are not being held responsible nor has there been any corresponding increase in property values that can be tied to this ordinance. In fact it could likely hurt property values if enforced and banks decide to dump properties to get out from under enforcement.




Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Why is a false statement being given a misleading?

"Big banks" are not being held accountable by this toothless tiger of a law, nor are peoples property values being protected, if they are then show concrete evidence. There is none, the "too big to fail" banks are not being held responsible nor has there been any corresponding increase in property values that can be tied to this ordinance. In fact it could likely hurt property values if enforced and banks decide to dump properties to get out from under enforcement.




Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

I disagree with this Fact Check for the following three reasons.

The statement being checked is, “[David Alvarez] held big banks accountable, protecting people’s property values when banks foreclose on neighboring homes.”

First, did David Alvarez initiate an effort to hold big banks accountable? Yes he did. According to the UT: “Banks will now have to register San Diego city homes in the foreclosure process into a tracking database starting early next year. The new requirement, approved by the City Council on Tuesday on a 5-3 vote, is meant to help city code enforcement officers track and address potential problem properties, which could trigger crime, safety issues and drops in property values.”

Second, does this ordinance protect people’s property values when banks foreclose on neighboring homes? Of course it does. There are myriad reports of problems during the economic downturn of banks foreclosing on homes and leaving them in shabby conditions, but cities being unable to figure out who owned them so that they could require remediation. Property values are most certainly affected if you neighbor a derelict home.

Third, Mr. Alvarez made it clear in promoting the ordinance that it is intended to be prospective for the NEXT downturn in the economy: “We could get another wave of foreclosures and defaults," said Councilman David Alvarez, who was the key council supporter of this ordinance. "This will prepare us for the next wave."

The Labor Council statement does not assert that the ordinance HAS protected any specific property values. It asserts the ordinance PROTECTS property values.

The statement, on its face, is quite simply true.
Foreclosure registry measure passes in San Diegohttp://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/Nov/13/foreclosure-registry-headline-goes-here/Banks will now have to register San Diego city homes in the foreclosure process into a tracking database starting early next year. The new requirement, approved by the City Council on Tuesday on a 5-3 vote, is meant to help city code enforcement offi...5 Things David Alvarez Has Donehttp://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/09/26/5-things-david-alvarez-has-done/Mayoral contender David Alvarez has represented the city's southwest neighborhoods for nearly three years but many San Diegans are only just getting to know him. The relatively quiet, low-drama councilman must bolster his public profile to succeed in...

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

I disagree with this Fact Check for the following three reasons.

The statement being checked is, “[David Alvarez] held big banks accountable, protecting people’s property values when banks foreclose on neighboring homes.”

First, did David Alvarez initiate an effort to hold big banks accountable? Yes he did. According to the UT: “Banks will now have to register San Diego city homes in the foreclosure process into a tracking database starting early next year. The new requirement, approved by the City Council on Tuesday on a 5-3 vote, is meant to help city code enforcement officers track and address potential problem properties, which could trigger crime, safety issues and drops in property values.”

Second, does this ordinance protect people’s property values when banks foreclose on neighboring homes? Of course it does. There are myriad reports of problems during the economic downturn of banks foreclosing on homes and leaving them in shabby conditions, but cities being unable to figure out who owned them so that they could require remediation. Property values are most certainly affected if you neighbor a derelict home.

Third, Mr. Alvarez made it clear in promoting the ordinance that it is intended to be prospective for the NEXT downturn in the economy: “We could get another wave of foreclosures and defaults," said Councilman David Alvarez, who was the key council supporter of this ordinance. "This will prepare us for the next wave."

The Labor Council statement does not assert that the ordinance HAS protected any specific property values. It asserts the ordinance PROTECTS property values.

The statement, on its face, is quite simply true.
Foreclosure registry measure passes in San Diegohttp://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/Nov/13/foreclosure-registry-headline-goes-here/Banks will now have to register San Diego city homes in the foreclosure process into a tracking database starting early next year. The new requirement, approved by the City Council on Tuesday on a 5-3 vote, is meant to help city code enforcement offi...5 Things David Alvarez Has Donehttp://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/09/26/5-things-david-alvarez-has-done/Mayoral contender David Alvarez has represented the city's southwest neighborhoods for nearly three years but many San Diegans are only just getting to know him. The relatively quiet, low-drama councilman must bolster his public profile to succeed in...

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Dotinga: Note the headline. It aims at Mr. Alvarez, not the Labor Council. But it is the Labor Council's claim (not a claim of Mr. Alvarez) that is being fact checked.

Pat Flannery
Pat Flannery

Randy: "what would I call a claim that lacks evidence if it's not "false" or "misleading"? I would simply call it "unsubstantiated" at worst.

It is impossible to produce evidence of what MIGHT have happened if certain actions were not taken. Many "unsubstantiated" claims are self-evident e.g. that all men are born with certain inalienable rights. Would Scott Lewis require evidence for the Declaration of Independence? Would he characterize it too as "misleading"?

Condemning Labor's claim on behalf of Alvarez was an awkward attempt to discredit David's candidacy.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

Fact Checks shouldn't rely on "easy speculation" or even difficult speculation, which applies to all my own personal speculation.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

Ok, so what would you call a claim that lacks evidence if it's not "false" or "misleading"?

I'm a fan of "cannot be proven." Kind of like saying a defendant is "not guilty." They're not really innocent either, and heck, everybody might think they did it. It's just that they can't be proven guilty.

Pat Flannery
Pat Flannery subscriber

Randy: "what would I call a claim that lacks evidence if it's not "false" or "misleading"? I would simply call it "unsubstantiated" at worst.

It is impossible to produce evidence of what MIGHT have happened if certain actions were not taken. Many "unsubstantiated" claims are self-evident e.g. that all men are born with certain inalienable rights. Would Scott Lewis require evidence for the Declaration of Independence? Would he characterize it too as "misleading"?

Condemning Labor's claim on behalf of Alvarez was an awkward attempt to discredit David's candidacy.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

Fact Checks shouldn't rely on "easy speculation" or even difficult speculation, which applies to all my own personal speculation.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

Ok, so what would you call a claim that lacks evidence if it's not "false" or "misleading"?

I'm a fan of "cannot be proven." Kind of like saying a defendant is "not guilty." They're not really innocent either, and heck, everybody might think they did it. It's just that they can't be proven guilty.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

I told a source once that I was annoying people on both sides of an issue, so I must be doing a good job. "You might also be incompetent," she said.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

What arguments would you make that the ordinance is protecting property values? Or are you just saying I shouldn't have written this?

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

I told a source once that I was annoying people on both sides of an issue, so I must be doing a good job. "You might also be incompetent," she said.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

What arguments would you make that the ordinance is protecting property values? Or are you just saying I shouldn't have written this?

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

"Cannot be proven" would be a good addition to the possible verdicts.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

This was a debate in the office. Our definition of false is pretty black and white. We don't have evidence that it's not true just as they don't have evidence that it's true. We're considering a category of something like "not true" or "no evidence for the claim" to handle situations like this.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Jones: Imagine you own a home and a bank forecloses on your neighbor's home, then fails to maintain it. Moreover, imagine you don't know who foreclosed or how to hold them accountable and neither does the city. You'll recall during the recent economic downturn many people experienced situations like this in which homes beside them were foreclosed and left in very bad condition or even inhabited by homeless people; and they couldn't figure out who owned them.

Under this ordinance, banks are now required to divulge ownership of property on which they foreclose. There is not a claim made that this ordinance has had a retrospective benefit. The claim at the time the ordinance was passed was that if a home near you is foreclosed on, there will now be clear ownership and if there is a problem with maintenance, drug dealing, unlawful inhabitation, etc., the owner can be held accountable for addressing the issue. I think it is clear that having homes in your neighborhood that are in poor repair affects your property value.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

"Cannot be proven" would be a good addition to the possible verdicts.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

This was a debate in the office. Our definition of false is pretty black and white. We don't have evidence that it's not true just as they don't have evidence that it's true. We're considering a category of something like "not true" or "no evidence for the claim" to handle situations like this.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Jones: Imagine you own a home and a bank forecloses on your neighbor's home, then fails to maintain it. Moreover, imagine you don't know who foreclosed or how to hold them accountable and neither does the city. You'll recall during the recent economic downturn many people experienced situations like this in which homes beside them were foreclosed and left in very bad condition or even inhabited by homeless people; and they couldn't figure out who owned them.

Under this ordinance, banks are now required to divulge ownership of property on which they foreclose. There is not a claim made that this ordinance has had a retrospective benefit. The claim at the time the ordinance was passed was that if a home near you is foreclosed on, there will now be clear ownership and if there is a problem with maintenance, drug dealing, unlawful inhabitation, etc., the owner can be held accountable for addressing the issue. I think it is clear that having homes in your neighborhood that are in poor repair affects your property value.

kirstenclemons
kirstenclemons

Scott, the Municipal Code actually states that property values will be protected as a result of this ordinance. We stand by our position.

§54.1101
It is the purpose and intent of this Division to require lenders who issue a Notice of
Default or foreclose on residential properties to register current contact information
with the City so that code enforcement officials can track, inspect, and monitor these
properties, and easily identify and contact the responsible party if the property lacks
maintenance or security, thereby protecting the safety, welfare, and property values of
neighborhoods.

http://docs.sandiego.gov/municode/MuniCodeChapter05/Ch05Art04Division11.pdf

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Lewis: Thanks. If the Labor Council claims that this has had a salutary effect on property values of late, they need to back it up with facts. I have no idea if that's the case.

You said of me, "You believe and trust that requiring banks to submit contact information and pay a fee both a) HAS MADE THEM maintain properties better and b) HAS HAD AN EFFECT on home values." (my emphasis) I did not profess that belief. I don't know of any retrospective benefits of this nature. My point is that "protecting" is not just past or present, but also future.

The headline question is, "Is David Alvarez Protecting Home Values?" If you look at the UT quote from him, he was not claiming this would be a value in the short run. He claimed it would protect homeowners the next time there are waves of foreclosures in a recession. There are myriad examples of frustrated homeowners during the last economic downturn who had neighboring houses upon which foreclosures had taken place, the home had gone to ruin, and no one had been able to make anyone accountable because the ownership was unclear. That is why I believe that forcing disclosure of ownership protects neighborhoods and neighborhood values qualifies as protecting in an ongoing sense. Basically, who wants to live beside an uninhabited foreclosed home and who wants to buy in a neighborhood with a lot of foreclosed homes?

To use another example, I am protecting myself from loss by having fire insurance for my house. Must I have a fire to demonstrate that this is beneficial? As a homeowner, I feel protected.Don't let foreclosed homes ruin your neighborhoodhttp://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23758565Vacant or foreclosed homes can diminish an area's quality. As they deteriorate from neglect, these homes become eyesores that drag down the property value of other homes in the neighborhood. Luckily, you don't have to sit back and watch a foreclosed ...

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

Hi Chris, I appreciate the note.

I disagree and will go through your points.

On your first point. OK. I have a broader definition of what holding banks accountable would mean but I'll accept it's subjective. If the statement had stopped at "holding banks accountable" I would not have touched it.

On your second and third point, I'll take them together. The Labor Council does not agree with you that this is about the future. Clemons made the point that home values have risen. She compared it to crime rates. If they go down, you may not know that it was because of policing but you know rates have gone down, she said. Same here, she claimed. Home prices have gone up. We may not know it's because of this ordinance, but they have.

I clarified to be sure, and yes, they believe homes are worth more than they would have been had the law not been implemented.

My point remains that there is no data at all to back this up. You believe and trust that requiring banks to submit contact information and pay a fee both a) has made them maintain properties better and b) has had an effect on home values. But that's just faith. There's no evidence these two things are true.

The city fully admits it has not used the data it collected for any enforcement effort. It claims it is not staffed to do anything with it. Nobody can yet point to one home that has been addressed.

Stating it as fact that properties are being better maintained and that this has had an effect on home prices is misleading.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Lewis: Thanks. If the Labor Council claims that this has had a salutary effect on property values of late, they need to back it up with facts. I have no idea if that's the case.

You said of me, "You believe and trust that requiring banks to submit contact information and pay a fee both a) HAS MADE THEM maintain properties better and b) HAS HAD AN EFFECT on home values." (my emphasis) I did not profess that belief. I don't know of any retrospective benefits of this nature. My point is that "protecting" is not just past or present, but also future.

The headline question is, "Is David Alvarez Protecting Home Values?" If you look at the UT quote from him, he was not claiming this would be a value in the short run. He claimed it would protect homeowners the next time there are waves of foreclosures in a recession. There are myriad examples of frustrated homeowners during the last economic downturn who had neighboring houses upon which foreclosures had taken place, the home had gone to ruin, and no one had been able to make anyone accountable because the ownership was unclear. That is why I believe that forcing disclosure of ownership protects neighborhoods and neighborhood values qualifies as protecting in an ongoing sense. Basically, who wants to live beside an uninhabited foreclosed home and who wants to buy in a neighborhood with a lot of foreclosed homes?

To use another example, I am protecting myself from loss by having fire insurance for my house. Must I have a fire to demonstrate that this is beneficial? As a homeowner, I feel protected.Don't let foreclosed homes ruin your neighborhoodhttp://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23758565Vacant or foreclosed homes can diminish an area's quality. As they deteriorate from neglect, these homes become eyesores that drag down the property value of other homes in the neighborhood. Luckily, you don't have to sit back and watch a foreclosed ...

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

Hi Chris, I appreciate the note.

I disagree and will go through your points.

On your first point. OK. I have a broader definition of what holding banks accountable would mean but I'll accept it's subjective. If the statement had stopped at "holding banks accountable" I would not have touched it.

On your second and third point, I'll take them together. The Labor Council does not agree with you that this is about the future. Clemons made the point that home values have risen. She compared it to crime rates. If they go down, you may not know that it was because of policing but you know rates have gone down, she said. Same here, she claimed. Home prices have gone up. We may not know it's because of this ordinance, but they have.

I clarified to be sure, and yes, they believe homes are worth more than they would have been had the law not been implemented.

My point remains that there is no data at all to back this up. You believe and trust that requiring banks to submit contact information and pay a fee both a) has made them maintain properties better and b) has had an effect on home values. But that's just faith. There's no evidence these two things are true.

The city fully admits it has not used the data it collected for any enforcement effort. It claims it is not staffed to do anything with it. Nobody can yet point to one home that has been addressed.

Stating it as fact that properties are being better maintained and that this has had an effect on home prices is misleading.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Agree. I think if you can't be definitive, based on clear, objective facts, it's best to pass on the exercise entirely. In this case, it seems like there was an editorial decision to judge the retrospective effectiveness of the ordinance (which I think was not appropriate). In that regard, you could speculate in either direction, which is the antithesis of fact checking.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

"Cannot be proven" may be a possibility, but in this case I think "cannot be refuted" would be more apt. Specifically, it appears that VOSD found no evidence that a property foreclosed after this ordinance was enacted fell into disrepair and that it was impossible for the city or adjacent homeowners to address the problem due to unknown ownership. It seems there was plenty of evidence of this sort of problem prior thereto, but the problem has apparently abated. One could easily speculate that banks who have foreclosed since the ordinance took effect have been more responsible, knowing they are more accountable.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Agree. I think if you can't be definitive, based on clear, objective facts, it's best to pass on the exercise entirely. In this case, it seems like there was an editorial decision to judge the retrospective effectiveness of the ordinance (which I think was not appropriate). In that regard, you could speculate in either direction, which is the antithesis of fact checking.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

"Cannot be proven" may be a possibility, but in this case I think "cannot be refuted" would be more apt. Specifically, it appears that VOSD found no evidence that a property foreclosed after this ordinance was enacted fell into disrepair and that it was impossible for the city or adjacent homeowners to address the problem due to unknown ownership. It seems there was plenty of evidence of this sort of problem prior thereto, but the problem has apparently abated. One could easily speculate that banks who have foreclosed since the ordinance took effect have been more responsible, knowing they are more accountable.

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin

Evidently you just annoy the left and right Scott.
Guess your doing your Job.
LOL

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin subscribermember

Evidently you just annoy the left and right Scott.
Guess your doing your Job.
LOL

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Great, if you want fact check to be more of a joke than it already is then start being ambiguous as well as wrong.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Chris, your argument is strong on me "imagining" and short on any facts.

There is more evidence Bush was right about WMD in Iraq than there is for claims that Alvarez has held big banks accountable or protected people’s property values.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Great, if you want fact check to be more of a joke than it already is then start being ambiguous as well as wrong.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Chris, your argument is strong on me "imagining" and short on any facts.

There is more evidence Bush was right about WMD in Iraq than there is for claims that Alvarez has held big banks accountable or protected people’s property values.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

"I don't understand how the purpose is evidence of impact." (Scott Lewis)

Conversely, how does lack of evidence of impact demonstrate that the purpose is not being served?

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

If a law said that it would end climate change, it doesn't mean that it actually does or has. I don't understand how the purpose is evidence of impact.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Lewis: You stated: "If you do not believe that banks have maintained properties better or that this has helped property values, then you agree with my conclusions." Interesting construction of my views. I agree that if the Labor Council is claiming some past value, they have to demonstrate it, but I am not. I am simply viewing the statement literally and believe this ordinance serves to protect homeowners.

"There's no evidence the city has done, can or will do anything to a home if it goes vacant and into disrepair. Nobody disputes this." I dispute it. That's what code enforcement is for. Homeowners are required to maintain properties to certain standards and I am fairly sure code enforcement has taken action on various violations related to poorly maintained homes over the years. The ordinance in this case simply makes sure that code enforcement officers can know who owns the property, which wasn't always the case in the past.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

The fact check was on the Labor Council. Not on Alvarez. As to your insurance analogy, it's simply not analogous. Fire insurance will pay if there is a fire. There's no evidence the city has done, can or will do anything to a home if it goes vacant and into disrepair. Nobody disputes this.

If you do not believe that banks have maintained properties better or that this has helped property values, then you agree with my conclusions.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Lewis: You stated: "If you do not believe that banks have maintained properties better or that this has helped property values, then you agree with my conclusions." Interesting construction of my views. I agree that if the Labor Council is claiming some past value, they have to demonstrate it, but I am not. I am simply viewing the statement literally and believe this ordinance serves to protect homeowners.

"There's no evidence the city has done, can or will do anything to a home if it goes vacant and into disrepair. Nobody disputes this." I dispute it. That's what code enforcement is for. Homeowners are required to maintain properties to certain standards and I am fairly sure code enforcement has taken action on various violations related to poorly maintained homes over the years. The ordinance in this case simply makes sure that code enforcement officers can know who owns the property, which wasn't always the case in the past.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

The fact check was on the Labor Council. Not on Alvarez. As to your insurance analogy, it's simply not analogous. Fire insurance will pay if there is a fire. There's no evidence the city has done, can or will do anything to a home if it goes vacant and into disrepair. Nobody disputes this.

If you do not believe that banks have maintained properties better or that this has helped property values, then you agree with my conclusions.