New Britain City Journal

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Landlords Plan Informational Meeting for April 9

Landlords fighting against licensing fees and hot spot fees made under Mayor Tim O’Brien are planning a meeting on April 9 to update people on their progress.

Last week during a smaller Connecticut Property Owners Alliance (CTPOA) informational meeting at Roma’s Restaurant, an attorney for the landlords – Dan Silver – stated that the City wanted to negotiate the licensing fees possibly lowering it to as much as zero or changing the ordinance. He said he was seeking input from property owners on how to proceed.

“The City wants to sit down and negotiate with us everything in the ordinance,” said Silver. “They recognize that they were wrong.”

In the last few weeks a letter went out to landlords for licensing information. Silver advised residents to return the letter with their information. Some landlords in attendance were concerned about fees charged for inspection. Some fees could be as much as $150 per inspection.

The letter was supposed to go to Silver for approval before sending it out to property owners, but the City sent it out without giving it to him first. Some property owners said they felt the City broke trust by not doing as they promised. Other property owners did not understand why the City needed information, such as their address, if they sent them a letter to their address. Information concerning the letter and the City’s action will be discussed.

Last week state lawmakers forwarded a bill to stop 911 calls from being charged. Rep. Larry Butler D-Waterbury who started the bill, stated that the bill had a good chance of passing and that if it is, it would be enacted on Oct. 1.

“We are planning a day at the Capital in April to go up there and meet people and explain the position we are taking,” said Bob DeCosmo, president of the CTPOA. “Legislators do agree with us. They feel it is not a good idea to be charged for 911 calls.”

Rep. Robert Sampson, R-Southington, is also proposing a similar bill.

DeCosmo is also asking residents to send letters to legislators asking them to pass the bill.

Both of these items are expected to be discussed on Tuesday as well as new information that has become available.

According to an ad in the New Britain City Journal, the landlords will also discuss information on the effort to repeal bad ordinances, learning how to protect your rights, finding out about the latest version of the City ordinance and getting an update on the lawsuit against the City. Landlord Sam Zherka is expected to speak.

The landlord group formed shortly after O’Brien began several ordinances in order to charge out of City property owners funds for doing business in the fall. Something landlords have called a “money grab”. The landlords and the mayor’s office have been embroiled in a heated battle ever since.

O’Brien has refused comment to the New Britain City Journal.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Whinstone Tavern (at the Stanley Golf Course), 245 Hartford Rd.