Friday, February 29, 2008

KINGS INN AND OUR TAX DOLLARS



















This is a disgusting set of circumstances. The Ulster County Dept of Social Services dumped taxpayers money on this substandard form of housing for the most vulnerable of our citizens and the owners neglect to pay their share of taxes. Where is the outrage?

The Freeman has the Mayor quoted saying "What amazes me is when you look at the number of times we have to respond to the King's Inn when it's open." "We constantly send police, fire and rescue while the payment of these expenses for the various departments comes out of the tax collection, which the King's Inn has chosen not to pay."

I too am amazed. Amazed we didn’t see this earlier. AnnMarie isn’t the only member of the Council miffed at this situation. But she is the only one the Freeman contacted on this issue.

The revitalization of the midtown business district has been an ongoing effort by several members and several councils, showing only small increments of success. This building has been the black-hole of our efforts for too long. With it’s demise, there is a renewed sense of hope.

You have to ask, where is the oversight on the part of the DSS? There is no excuse for this continuation of the harboring of people in deplorable living conditions. Roberto Rodriguez should be brought in for questioning.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You give Cruella too much credit. She and Sootired, I am sure are fully aware of the non-tax issue.

Move the cancel the eminent domain attorney to save the City the $25k in legal fees, too.

Then request that the City start proceedings for taking the property for taxes.

Anonymous said...

The removal of the Kings Inn from Midtown Kingston is essential to the rejuvination of that neighborhood. The fact that it has been permitted to continue operating as a susbstandard D.S.S./Parole fueled shelter is an ebarrassment to both the City of Kingston and Ulster County.

Obviously, there is an abundant need for affordable housing, both temporary and permanent, and social services that are not being met. I am looking forward to hearing what are leaders are proposing to address this problem.

Just remember that razing the Kings Inn may take care of the eye sore, but it won't eradicate the need for safe, clean shelter for those Midtown residents in need.

By the way, Alderman M, why so secretive about the new blog? Does Blaber know about it?

Long Live the First Amendment!

Jon Sennett

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Mike. I used to work for an organization that served teenage parents, and DSS would all too often, when these youth were in need of housing, send them (and often their young children) to the King's Inn and/or (possibly worse yet...) Elizabeth Manor, where the conditions were deplorable and they were surrounded by drug addicts and such.

Great way to get a start in life, eh? As if you weren't already in a serious bind as a young parent (often mothers, on their own) with a small child...

I've also known a number of addicts, trying to get "recovery," and often mandated to treatment programs, whom - at the end of the day - had to return to deplorable conditions with the offer of a toke, a drink or a snort waiting (at the King's Inn or Elizabeth Manor) right outside their door...

What does that equate with for an addict trying to go straight? An almost definite relapse scenerio... or worse.

One young woman I knew (she had two or three children) died at the King's Inn - of an alleged (what I heard) overdose.

VERY, VERY, VERY SAD.

But how many people (other than those that are stuck in such places) - and the few that (in some capacity) work with them - are aware of these things?

NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE, apparently! Which is where these blogs and KAPA are such an asset!

I could go on and on, but I'll end by saying that I agree with you about the need for some people to be called to task about the deplorable way some folks are being treated around here...

And that the King's Inn, whatever its future might be (if the taxes aren't paid, the place should be snaffued...)should NOT be used (bad location to begin with) to house ANYONE through a city, county, or state-funded program...

Hurt people all too often hurt people - and they need (if they are going to have any chance of breaking through negative patterns and cycles) to be separated - or at least given decent living quarters that afford them safety, privacy and the basic necessities of an efficiency or an apartment - not thrown (in a heap) into some dump that will make their situation even worse.

BTW, thanks for the blog :)

With much respect,

N.S.

downingfan said...

Hey Mike, Good move putting this together. We've had one in the City of Newburgh for 10 years now, and city hall swears up and down they don't read it- but they sure react to it- and come up with some great ideas that just coincidentally show up on the blog right before they propose them.

Anyways, we have a similar problem in the City of Newburgh, however the slumlords do pay their taxes. Housing is so tight and expensive that Section 8 and DSS (offices strategically based far away- with no public transport- in uppity county seat, Goshen) regularly relocate people to our city as it's the only one that has housing that fits into the rent limits that S8/DSS pay.

The city just did a reval thanks to our ASSessor, who sidelines as a minister taking care of the homeless, and raised my taxes to over $20g's. So now I may have to sell because I am now too poor to afford to live in the city I call home by choice.

One of the "projects" owes the city over $2million in back water/sewer fees but, get this, the feds won't allow us to collect because it would substantially affect the viability of the housing! So, not only am I paying for their shortfall in my local taxes, but my fed taxes are paying for these projects that can't even manage themselves. And to pour salt on the open wound our local building department refuses to enforce the law on many of these substandard subsidized slums.

As much as a liberal as I tend to be, I say out with them! Until the county and state equalize the responsibility- and burden- of subsidized housing- and related services- to ALL communities, how can I be concerned if this problem is pricing me out of my home?

Michael G.

Peter Mack said...

The Kings Inn has been an eyesore and a great detractor from the midtown area for years. It has been a source of constant police presence, building code violations, and owners who could care less about the residents or the condition of the building. The only thing they cared about was the check they received from DSS each month.

Shame on Roberto Rodriguez for not exercising supervision over one of his sponsored shelters. Shame on the Kings Inn owners for not maintaining their property, paying their taxes, or providing safe and secure residence for the occupants.

The lawyer who said he is going to meet to obtain a building permit needs a reality check. The building is unsafe, dirty, and a safety hazard. Furthermore, the unpaid tax bill is reason enough to seize the property and tear it down.

I hope our leaders will see this issue through completion.

Time to stop the bleeding and start the healing in midtown.

Anonymous said...

Make it into a police precint. Perfect spot right on broadway.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and what about the way the residents of KHA are treated? Relatively better for sure...but all persons involved turn the other way when anyone points out the serious abuses of employees stealing from residents...which has apparently gone on for years under everyone noses and everyone knows about it...where is the outrage for THAT? The police dept. has never done anything and one of the main reasons is there is NO cooperation whatsoever from KHA administration on the issue-- NONE, NADA, EL ZILCHO, ZERO. Certain crimes are evidently "sexier" to those in power than others.
Cruella Provenzano exhibits none apparently--or not enough to do anything about it. Warlock Zweben is a stonewalling shill as well. Perhaps no Seniors have been ripped off yet, so she feels she is safe. What about the council? Are they out of the loop because quite obviously the culture doesn't ever do anything so they are never complained to on this?
Hey, not your ward Mike--it became a Republican one in recent years in part because the Dems never did anything. I dare ya to post this, I doubt you have the nonpartisan bones to do so.
WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
What a bunch of do-nothing phoney-baloneys!!