Tomoko and I went to the city-sponsored “Earthquake Retrofit Fair 2014.” There were hundreds of puffs of grey hair grazing around. There were candies, logo-emblazoned sunscreen and suppliers of all sorts.
For those on our side of the show booths there was a different vibe. The prevailing body language seemed to be saying, “There’s lots to eat but somehow I’m not hungry. Bessie, something is gonna happen and it’s not going to be good”.
The seismic retrofit work will not change your property tax. A mandatory administrative bill that triggers a good tax boost would have made things much more lively.
I stopped by the San Francisco City Rent Board booth. There was a beleaguered woman handing out calculators and pens and answering questions, of which there were many. She was a good soldier.
“Well if the tenants are displaced during the retrofit you must provide them with $250 per day per diem and if they need to vacate for a long period they must be given $5,000 per person relocation payment.
“… and if they won’t leave?” asked one questioner.
“If the eviction is valid you will need to get an attorney to begin proceedings after which the Sheriff will do the eviction,” she replied.
“Sheriff, attorneys, and court all takes time and a lot of money,” a questioner commented.
Noting the rhetorical nature of the comment the smart but besieged Rent Board Lady didn’t respond.
Tomoko asked, “Once they have been evicted and have been given $5,000 where will they go?”
A guy inserted, “I know you are aware that there is a shortage of apartment space right now.”
“Perhaps they could couch surf for a while,” the woman said. Who ever said being a city employee was easy? This brave woman sure earned her keep yesterday.