Top Ten Comments on Somerville News Weekly News

Top Ten Comments

On:Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting

Judy Locchi Jacobs say:

Watch the BOA meeting from last Thursday, March 15. It’s another 4 hour meeting so if you want to see some highlights, watch it starting at 8:30 p.m. until the end.

My take is – indecisiveness ruled the meeting. Aldermen Bill White advised aboard members to write out their comments in advance so the meetings are not wasted.

Alderman Mark Niedergang, in defense of the transfer tax, stated that he paid $195k for his home which has grown to market value of $1.2 million. Then added he didn’t move here because he knew it was going up in value.

I challenge his statement- I know that urban planners, which Mark is, have privileged information well in advanced as others in the business of urban development. He also said he doesn’t think rich people should have social security. I hope he’s prepared to forfeit his at retirement. According to public records, he owns three properties- one he mentioned which is in Ward 5, the Ward he represents. The other two are in W7, close to Tufts, where he and his daughter are alum. So he’s trying to claim that although he owns three properties in Somerville, an urban planner who allegedly is involved with the Beacon Street hotel project, he’s not rich. And that’s even before knowing what his wife’s profession is, which I’m inclined to believe it’s similar to his career opportunities and benefits.

Let’s move on—while Alderman MaryJo Rossetti made a good pitch to inform homeowners by USPO mail, Alderman Lance Davis of Ward 6, strongly objected due to his insinuating this proposal is bias against tenants who should also be invited. Interesting comment since we know that most of the tenants are transients who are only living here for college and first job- then off to better opportunities. I can attest to that as I have been a landlord for twenty years, and former tenants have left only for this reason— better jobs and less expensive housing.

I got the impression that Lance is primarily concerned with his transitory tenants who obviously are lobbying for this transfer tax, because he also states that he objects all exemptions for homeowners. We know Lance’s background so there’s no surprise here. Corporate lobbying at its worst.

Katjiana provided some humanitarian efforts to the debate by sharing that our W7 elders, most who are women are not “rich”, as implied by some of her colleagues. That they are in fact just getting by on social security and some don’t even have that since they raised families as stay at home moms.

Alderman Rossetti also challenged clarification of the HUD grant which does not cover just Somerville residents but everyone outside the city. Yet, this practice is common among the non-profits who have been doing this for years. But I do give her some credit for bringing it to the attention of residents who were watching the meeting from their homes who were unaware. There were also other comments made to the city solicitor (I believe), who she asked to speak privately about these details.

Some of the other board members appeared to be unsure of where they stand on the transfer tax. Lots of waffling back and forth. In my opinion, it’s a matter of which constituents will be happy or unhappy about their vote.

My overall impression of the meeting and everything else witnessed, there is one thing which remains abundantly clear—

Homeowners, tenants and neighbors have been pitted against one another as a way to deflect the real issues.

What we need is common ground for everyone to fully understand the ramifications of transfer tax. If residents don’t know the negative impacts, why should they vote for it?

Their failure to hold developers accountable to paying for these incentives and others has created the problems we have today.

I strongly suggest they drop both. In the long run, it will not benefit any tenant or homeowner. The only ones benefitting are those who already have taken too much.


On Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting

A Moore says:

Thank you John. Unfortunately my alderman is in ward 5 and has a deaf ear to whatever we want. He has his own agenda and that does not include the people in his ward.


On Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting

A Moore say:

Not to my surprise. I met him once and knew he was bad news for this city. This is only one of the many bad ideas he has coming. Private property eminent domain is also high on his list. And who knows what else. But then we had no real choices in the last election.


On Somerville Realestate Fee

Tonto say:

its difficult to keep rents down when expenses increase.

The next time an apartment turns over, or there is a rent increase, property managers and landlords should mention how there were recent increases in things such as water/sewer, high property taxes, common electric, prop xfer tax, block rate water billing.

As operating costs escalate it translates to higher rents. Maybe the idea to put the small landlord out of business. The small landlords in older wood framed buildings tend to have lower rents than the newly built big complexes.

My question is – which pols who support these ideas own rentals and rent to middle or low income people?


On:Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting

Patricia Farrell Brosnahan says:

Welcome to SOMERVILLE – ward 5 Alderman also stated when it was suggested for mailings to go out to residents that there was “ no money” for postage – multi million dollar properties sold every day taxes paid water paid ridiculous fees added on water bills – yet there is no money for postage to notify residents – complete joke ! Plenty of money for honk fests – fluff fests- porch fests – etc etc But zero to keep residents informed of major issues – not all use computers especially our elderly!!!


On The Cross Examination of Crooked Captain Coverup

Courtney O’Brien Driscoll says:

Someone HAS to do something about this situation!!! How does a relative of the mayor get his job back and his pension and is NOT behind bars but a GOOD officer and detective is going through ALL of this….. where is the justice???? Dante has always protected and served!!!!


On: tell them no one transfer tax in first right of refusal

Judy Locchi Jacobs says:

Ana Karina DaCosta Tim Toomey made this statement which was quoted in the media…. the elderly are planning to leave their homes to their children so these proposals won’t generate a lot of sales.

There are lots of varied scenarios to these debates on both proposals. Every homeowner has their own situation and if they want to remain in their homes, they have every right to do so.

I doubt every local is going to put up their homes up for sale so the desperate home buyer can have their wish come true, wait until next year flip it for $100k and move to another town. In some cases homes and condos have been flipped 10-20 times in the last ten years that created rents, condos and homes to be unaffordable— you’re blaming the wrong people.

Those to blame are the speculators of suburbia who cashed to use for down payments for homes off Rt.2.

The issue is lack of supply. The reason being is few locals wish to sell. Most need the equity for their retirement and its well deserved.

There are other towns to buy condos why not try them? This city is overpopulated.

Just be prepared to pay $7-10 k on taxes and $3-4K on water, permits, repairs. We have to pay for a $285 million dollar highschool and $50 million for GLX.


On: tell them no one transfer tax in first right of refusal

Jessica Turner says:

So yes, it does benefit Somerville residents. Homeowners are Somerville residents. If you’re selling for profit then you pay. Clarendon alone would make at least $300,000 and just in the sale. That goes into the City. The tax revenue after is more than 4x that amount yearly. How can you expect the City to function well, keeps it’s values, programs for kids etc, if there is no revenue coming in? Depend on Federal funding? Have you seen other cities that don’t offer what Somerville does? The quality of life isn’t nearly as great as it is here. If you want to sell and not live here then take the small hit and leave 😊. Otherwise support the HRP and move forward so everyone can move forward.


On: tell them no one transfer tax in first right of refusal

Jenell Colleen

Jessica Turner small hit?! 😂 why should a homeowner have to take any type of hit. Plenty of other towns and cities offer programs for kids etc and they are not thinking about taxing the hard working homeowners who decide they don’t want to live in the city anymore.


On: tell them no one transfer tax in first right of refusal

Judy Locchi Jacobs says:

Jenelle Colleen , Jessica Turner and everyone else:

After reading all of the exchanges, it’s clear the administration has yet again managed to create another case of pitting resident against resident- in this case which is common, tenants against homeowners who cannot afford to live here.

It’s really frustrating to try and explain to tenants what the city administration and developers are trying to do. Some of these politicians are not your friends. They need their jobs like a lot of city workers who must go along so they cannot break that pack. That’s the short answer. For those of us who grew up here, we two have been divided- some remain dependent on the administration because they fear retaliation which some of us against these policies have experienced.

I know one family who lives at the Clarendon Hill Towers. I’m not sure if they still live there. We were once long time neighbors. I worry for them as this plan is underway and how it will effect them.

I wish I could believe that the people involved in this plan are doing so in the best interest of tenants at Clarendon Hill Towers.

Just take a look around the city. How many affordable units are left? How many have been built?

How do you really know for sure that you will be able to return once the units are ready? You can’t. These people who are responsible for the displacement of thousands who already were forced from their apartments and homes— most were working families too and elderly who had zero chances to remain.

I’d like to believe that someone is watching out for these tenants but after what we have witnessed already, I just don’t have confidence that they will do the right thing here.

The GLX is planned to go as far as RT. 16, Medford near Whole Foods and possibly further into Medford. There is a Tufts donor who has committed to building the train station at Boston Ave, by the post office. They are in desperate need of housing for their students and the 30 homes they already own in Somerville will be converted to house students as their campus is expanding and further encroachment into our city is gradually underway. As someone who once worked in academia, I know there is an effort to keep building to accommodate the students and employees who are anticipating the accommodations promised to them.

The only way they achieve that goal is to push out the local community.

It’s taken me years to accept this reality. Of course some of us will still remain. However, gradually many others will move out because the demographics will be completely transformed.

I’m not certain they will be able to achieve that goal entirely but it’s clear they have already managed to do enough damage already through unethical practices of eminent domain and bad developers.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Comments on Somerville News Weekly News”

  1. For the very first time in my long life, I’m happy that I left Somerville. It’s so painful to see this happening. I’m disgusted by Curtatone and his band of thieves aka Board of Alderman.

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