By Steven Pinto
There are clearly some politicians who prefer rental apartment in sprawling new developments over condos or home ownership.
The new upscale rental market is really not too concerned with how city government operates. Renters in the new Everett are about as aloof as they can be.
They are not concerned about schools unless they have a child in the school system. They are mostly concerned about paying their rent and not getting involved in the community where they live.
These new large rental apartment buildings have a very high turnaround of residents.
Units are rented for a year maybe two. Then the tenant is off to somewhere else.
Because of their short stay, they don’t really get involved in city government.
They don’t care much about taxes, water bills and wasteful spending. Their stay is brief. When their rents increase, they don’t blame the politicians. They blame the owner of the building.
In these new buildings, the tenant will blame a management company. They will never meet or see the property owner.
These new buildings let politicians off the hook. They don’t get blamed for bad financial decisions and overspending, all of which contributes to higher taxes and rents.
Years ago when people rented an apartment in Everett, they stayed for many years. They came to know their neighbors. They came to know the city. They knew their city. They were concerned about their city. They knew their politicians. And they also voted.
It’s all changed now and this change is a good thing for self-serving politicians. It’s no longer the best scenario for a city built that was built by long term residents and business owners.
There is a housing shortage. People need a place to live. People need a place they can afford. These new apartment buildings are far from affordable.
Once the word “luxury” is added to rental ads for apartments here you can believe it comes with a luxury rent.
Not all renters need a swimming pool, game room, gym, grilling stations, movie or internet/ office room. They just need a place to live.
It’s clear to see the goal for Everett is to push out an entire group of people that can’t afford luxury apartments, as if to say, who needs blue collar working class folks living in this city.
We have a mayor who makes almost 200k a year. He doesn’t want to be the mayor of a poorer, underprivileged community.
The easiest thing to do is to make Everett unaffordable by relying on developers and on these luxury apartment buildings.
Get people to fill them that only stay one or two years and that don’t get involved or vote.
It all works out in the politicians’ favor.
Like global warming, I feel we are about to reach the tipping point.
But just maybe we still have some time to step back and take a breath.
Let’s look at what we have done to Everett so far before we reach that tipping point, which I am afraid, is a point of no return.
Steven Pinto writes about Everett for the Leader Herald. He is a longtime resident of the city.