The following letter was provided by Jansen Robinson, Chair of the Edgewood Community Council:
On Thanksgiving night, there was a MURDER in the Edgewood Community of First Harford Square. Also on Tuesday night, the proprietitor of the convienence store across the street from Royal Farms on Edgewood Road was injured during an apparrent Armed Robbery.
Many will point fingers at the Sheriff’s Dept, some for political reasons and others simply because they just don’t know. This is not simply a Law Enforcement problem. This is a community problem.
In Harford County communities where there is a high percentage of homeownership, violent crime such as what we experience in Edgewood is “almost” non-existent. And we don’t have to look far (Joppatowne) for an example. Most (not all) of the violent crime occurring in Harford County can be linked to RENTERS-persons who do not have a vested interest in the community (and not just Section 8).
I am not calling for a ban on the ability to Rental residental property, but I do think that it is time that landlords of both single and multi-family units, be held accountable for the actions of the people to whom they rent.
Let’s try enacting legislation (State/Local) that will hold Landlords financially and/or criminally responsible for the actions of the people to whom they rent. If we can hold government and businesses accountable for their role in polluting our community, we should certainly hold landlords accountable as well.
I realize that this legislation (if enacted) will only be as effective as the enforcement of it, but it will give us another measure with which can be used to demonstrate to current and future home owners that every reasonable and necessary measure will be identified and undertaken to improve the quality of life for ALL residents in Harford County.
If we don’t get a hsndle on violent crime along the Route 40 corridor, we will continue to see homeowners leave. Those who can’t sell their property will rent them out to anyomne who is capable of paying and so the problem continues to spiral out of control and this is UNACCEPTABLE. We will either have to change policies/directions or change the people responsible for enacting policies/direction.
At the request of citizens of Edgewood, Councilman Guthrie has drafted local legislation that we ask you to review and support.
“If we continue to do what we have always done-we will continue to get what we have always gotten”.
common sense says
Where do I sign?!?!
With due respect, Mr. Robinson, I disagree with just about everything you have to say. First of all, there is no way that your proposed legislation would ever fly. A lot of Edgewood is predominantly rentals–what do you intend to do, tear down Harford Commons, Meadowood, Harford Square, etc.? Or else hold the leasing agent criminally responsible? That is pure nonsense. And as far as not blaming Sheriff Bane, are you on his payroll or something? You are so deluded into thinking that he is the answer to the salvation of Edgewood. What has changed in Edgewood since he came on board? There is a lot of talk coming from him and he has instituted the gang unit, but what changes have truly been made? Odds are, the murder of the young man in the article above is gang-related. If a football coach doesn’t get the job done–he is fired. If the manager of a store doesn’t see profits increase–he is gone. Bane, by virtue of the fact that he is the Sheriff and nothing is getting accomplished, needs to go. Now go worship at the altar of Jesse Bane and maybe no one will be murdered on Christmas.
Harford County is reaping the harvest of yet another Liberal feel good policy. Back in the 80’s,I believe it was, the liberals said it was just not fair that people of means (whites) could flee the spiraling out of control cities, while poor folks (blacks) were forced to remain in the culture that they created. The Section 8 concept was put into law. We were told that the folks who benefited from the opportunity afforded would become suburbanites. In reality, the only thing accomplished was to create pockets of inner city enclaves of a criminal underclass that have wreaked havoc for citizens and law enforcement alike. For all of these years, Political Correctness, the policy that makes the speaking of truth socially unacceptable, has been in force. If one spoke a truth, as I have above, they were branded a racist. I prefer the truth, and think that anyone who hides from it is doing so for political reasons or are simply a fool. The truth is that after a half century of Liberal policies, the fabric of the inner city family has been destroyed, the people remain in poverty, and Baltimore has become the equivalent of a third world country that is unsafe to venture in without massive police protection. If my pointing out these realities and my not appreciating the importation of the citys worst problems to Harford Co, gangs, murders, drug cartels, etc., make me a racist, then so be it. End the Section 8 policies that inject the criminal underclass into our neighborhoods, and the worst of our crime will be eliminated. But to have a policy enforced by law that landlords must adhere to, then want to penalize the landlords for adhering to it places the blame wrongly, in my opinion. It is not “renters”, per se, that are the problem. I, myself, am a renter who engages in none of the above mentioned crimes. It is inner city Section 8 renters that are the problem.
B.O.H. – Bravo – well stated.
Nice guy Jesse Bane is in way over his head. No real leader can try to appease everyone all the time and actually achieve results. Let Jesse become Head of his expanded County Jail and then he can befriend all the criminals that he’d like.
George Robinson says
This legislation would not even come close to passing the sniff test on a constitutional basis. Further, unless there are aspects of conspiracy, there is no way a landlord could be found criminally responsible for the actions of another. However and this is a bit of a stretch…………there is a law in tort actions called negligent entrustment, that typically pertains to owners of automobiles who allow others to drive their vehicles. Under this theory, the auto owners, if constructively or actually aware of a danger that a particular person poses behind the wheel of an auto, can be held liable for his actions in their vehicle. Not likely to happen, but it would be an interesting theory that a landlord would be required to conduct criminal background checks on the tenants before allowing them to rent, otherwise they could be held civily liable for the actions of their tenants. Again, highly doubtful that this would happen, but it does draw an interesting legal theory. Any Plaintiff’s lawyers game?
If you dont pay your taxes…do certain reporting…you can be denied professional licensing by the state of Maryland. Why not expand this to sect 8 housing and remove those who look at it as an upscale welfare benifit.
Go Dagger !
To be clear…when a sect 8 or welfare recepiant is convicted…..remove eligibility for social benifits.
vietnam vet says
Most section 8 Houseing.has a clause as too criminal record’s the problem is ”Mommy” is not going to see her baby boy out in the street. then of course there is a Girl friend problem.
She apply’s for the apartment with a ”Clean” record the boy friend with the record, moves right in. inspections are done no clotheing is found. he is allowed to visit for a week at a time.
He rarely work’s. except for peddling, drug’s. rarely shares his money with the girl friend. lives of her public assistence check.
The problem that exists is a family problem, not a landlord problem. As vet says, the tenant on the lease has a clean record, and the guest, (boyfriend, date, parent) is the problem many times. The family needs to address the issues. I was raised to respect God, my parents, any adult and then my friends/schoolmates. The majority of youngsters do not respect anyone or anything,including themselves, and the evidence is shown by the large volume of single parent/multiple partnered young women abandonded and/or alone that are trying to exist in this society that sec. 8 promotes. The number of young women with little or no basic skills would dumbfound most people over 50 years old. I am sure that the amount of money that is available to pregnant or single women seems like a lot for some, but the reality is that the expectations of our young women are so low, that they settle for scraps, instead of reaching for the moon. I am disappointed that girls do not believe they can have a real life, a job, a family and success, and that they settle for the first guy that pays attention to them. As a mom, I fear that for my children and their friends, too. Instead of fining landlords, maybe we should be teaching parents how to parent…teach kids how to speak to adults, to teachers, to other people in clear language, not slang, slurs or grunts… it’ll will surely make a difference in the real world.
Vet you make some excellent points. Landlords are rarely going to check to see who the actual tenants are as long as they are getting paid every month. The community needs to speak out in this situation and stop making excuses for everyone and stop blaming the police. Would you have the Sheriff’s Office flood the streets of Edgewood and declare Martial Law to take the town back??? I wouldnt mind that one bit because crime would go down indefinitely but everyone would cry civil rights violations…. Lets hear some solutions from the almighty BLUE!
One thing that might work is to tie the social benefits, ie sec. 8 or foodstamps to school attendence. The children that live in the housing are registered and the parents would be required to either volunteer at the school or at the state or county owned facilities or at the hospitals or nursing homes. The parents, both mom and dad, would have to participate to recieve help. That way, the family unit would be strengthened, the community would benefit and much like Habitat for Humanity, the outcome, safe and secure community, would far outweigh the costs.
vietnam vet says
BPB: you’ might find this ”surpriseing” federal subsidy’s as in public houseing. Not section 8 houseing.most often restrict what the land lord can do.
A notice of intent to inspect the apartment, must be sent prior to inspection. that allows them plenty of time to ”Hide” clotheing drug scales etc.
usally hid in the car parked on the opposite side of the street. the smallest subsidy houseing unit I’am aware is about 120 unit’s no land lord present on the week end’s. simply no way too control the drug flow.
Educated Individual says
The embarrassingly poor quality of this letter is counterproductive to your point. The writing itself is terrible, but you also offer no statistics to back up your point of view. How can you so confidently endorse this legislation if you have no information to prove it will be effective?
the poor mans plight is the working mans problem. this problem stems from the fact that the landlords are not held responsible why should we has tax paying non welfare using citizens have to suffer because tanisha couldn’t keep her legs closed. that is not my problem life’s about choices and sorry if these section 8 losers made the wrong one. there needs to be some thing done if the female is being an enabler to her boyfriend allowing him to sell drugs out of an apartment she pays 50 dollar rent on she needs to be put outon the streets jesus socialism at its finest give them what they need with out working for it hand outs damn how this nation is falling
Tony Passaro says
There you go again, using a 12 gauge shotgun to kill a rabbit.
Crime is a function of the Community, not the landlord. Instead of blaming an innocent businessman, trying to make a living, in the Edgewood Community, why not form a comprehensive Neighborhood Watch Group. Use the local citizens and get them to do something about crime. Tie it to the local Police via special cell phone numbers and police the streets 24/7. See a drug deal going down, tape it and call the police. See a domestic dispute, tape it and call police. See a breaking and entry, etc… Stop trying to blame the wrong people. The problem is with the community. Getting the government to impose draconian restrictions on local businesses will not reduce crime one bit. Claiming “We are the Victims” does not wash any more. Fix it yourselves for the perpetrators live among you.
As long as you condone “Street Crime” it will continue to haunt you…..every day and every night…….
Just sayin says
Pants on the ground – pants on the ground.
-lookin like a fool with your pants on the ground.
-rock on Edgewood!
As an aberdeen resident my entire life I must say that i am extremely impressed with the way the the city has handled areas like Washington park. Initiating a curfew and having mandatory identification on residents has definitely put a dent in what used to go on in that area, not to mention the APD also cracking down in that area. Maybe something similar in Edgewood would be beneficial, if there isnt already something like that in place. Im open to anything, Im just tired of Edgewood being the Scarlett Letter of Harfco.
What about simply holding the guilty person responsible? Why should the landlord have to pay for their tenant’s bad behavior. My husband and I were “landlords” for 3 years while stationed in Germany with the Army. We unfortunately rented to less than the most honorable tenants. We hired a property manager to insure all was taken care of in our absence. It wasn’t. My neighbors, not the paid for property manager, emailed to inform us of the barking dog, not in contract, the probable drug sales, and that she thought they may have left. They had. Moved out of state without paying rent. My husband took leave to rent a truck to unload unspeakable trash from our home. The tenants’ deposit didn’t begin to touch the damages. Now, you are saying that if these same tenants would have murdered someone, we should have been held accountable. Can’t support that argument and I think you need to readdress it. Crime stems from many sources. This is another example of how innocent people would pay the price again.
If Landlords like yourselves were held accountable for the people that you rented to, you would be less likely to rent to drug dealers and hustlers, thus preventing an entire apartment complex ala washington park, from being one giant drug compound. I agree with you for the most part though, hold the criminals accountable. I was just playing devils advocate.
ted r. says
Landlords are not allowed to discrimnate against a certain group. If you do not rent to them, you will be commiting a crime.
Really Ted R??? they are allowed to discriminate against people with bad credit aren’t they? Have you never scene a gated community before?, no drug dealers running rampant there huh.
They can refuse to rent to people with bad credit, poor or no references, no income, etc. They can also choose not to be Section 8. They can also put clauses in the lease that state every person living in the unit must be listed on the lease, no drug activity, no big parties, etc. If the tenants violate those clauses they can get booted.
Yes, just saying “I’m renting to black people” would discrimination and illegal. Saying “I’m not renting to drug dealers, prostitutes, career criminals, and deadbeats” is not.
“They can get booted” makes it sound as if eviction is a simple and straightforward process. Not so. The burden of proof is on the landlord. Proving anyone other than the tenant actually resides there is very difficult. So is proving drug activity and excessive noise. In Balt City there is a nuisance property statute that sounds wonderful but is notoriously difficult to use/prove.
I own a home in Balt City (the area now called Brewer’s Hill) that has been rented for the past 10 years. Of three tenants two were evicted after protracted efforts on my part. The first was in law enforcement, the second an RN at Hopkins. Both had good credit (not great), references, and presented well. Both left the property trashed and owing several thousand in back rent. Go figure.
Evicting a Section 8 tenant is extremely difficult. Since the money comes from the gov lack of payment is almost never the issue. That leaves the other issues which are, as previously stated, hard to prove. That said, it is absurd to think I could be held responsible for crimes committed by those who rent my home.
Farmwife in Joppa says
I agree with the people saying the slumlords are responsible. If they are renting to Section 8, to drug-sellers, prostitutes, gang killers, people crowding into the apartment illicitly, they shouldn’t be: there should be legal action against the landlords when crimes are done by these types.
Someone needs to be responsible, and guess what?? It’s sure not going to be the people who spend their lives killing each other and doing drugs.
Remember this http://www.daggerpress.com/2009/09/04/harford-schools-will-not-broadcast-obamas-live-address-to-students/ .
The two White House stalkers are being allowed to do exactly as Obama supposedly told kids to not aspire to…the reality star…football career.
Do as I say not as me and my friends do….!!!
You wonder what this has to do with the current threads…its an example of the slim grasp of reality most people cling to.
Al J Thong says
Blue and Braveheart I’m with you. Jesse Bane takes no responsibility for the growing problem of gangs or the drugs and violent crimes they bring. Saying they are a social problem and not a law enforcement issue is pure politics. Simply stated Bane lacks the motivation to dedicate the energy and necessary resources to effectively fight crime in Edgewood because he doesn’t need their votes to get elected. Defacto its a policy of containment that is both elitest and racist.
You can not hold landlords criminally responsible for the actions of tenants, forget the constitutional problems, it is a bad idea. The police have failed, in their failure the criminal element feels no fear in executing someone within yards of my childhood home, my parents still live in Harford Square. Jesse Bane is a good man, but he has not done a good job. Landlords are not the problem, renters are not the problem, and especially the color of someone’s skin is not the problem. Horrible decisions regarding section 8, made in the late 80’s, and law enforcments inability or refusal to deal with the issues effectively is the problem!
Explain to me Law Enforcement’s refusal to deal with the problem?? Is there not an Edgewood Substation right off of 40 right where all of this shit happens at? There are multiple patrol units as well as specialty gang units that spend most of their time in the high crime areas of Edgewood. The police cant predict crime. The chances of a patrol unit driving down the road and running right into a random act of violence are slim. So if the people that live there and the landlords aren’t the problem then who is the cause of the crime?.
The crime is caused by the people in that area, and it is supported by a large group of people in that area who dont trust or want the police around. The people that dont support crime never speak out and obviously dont call the police to deal with it, even when they hear gunshots. The police cant respond to a crime if they dont know it’s happening. Police have rules too. They cant just run around Edgewood and grab people up in hopes of preventing a crime, Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause, Look those definitions up.
You are quick to blame the police but accept no responsiblity as an Edgewood resident, and you also offer no solutions. Tell me what exactly you want the police to do to improve the patrol tactics in that area. Keep in mind that the Sheriff’s Office has little support or cooperation from residents or Landlords in that area. Remember “Dont Snitch” either, thats a community state of mind now, not just a drug dealer guideline. Its certainly not the Police’s fault that people in this area commit crimes, thats just an asinine observation on your part.
vietnam vet says
First of all we have a problem, with absente land lords. second is managers liveing on the premise’s ? the renter is more likely to use caution about who is coming and going. if the manager was likely to see who was comeing and going.
BPB: I agree with everything you say about law enforcement. It is not the fault of the deputies that Edgewood is a battle zone. But I definitely agree with Colin in that Sheriff Bane has not gotten the job done. He’s plastered all over the front page of the Aegis every month spouting off about his crime initiatives and how he’s constantly combating the gang issue. I remember laughing a few months ago about a new “weapon” being used to fight the problem of gangs in Edgewood. I can’t remember exactly what technology it was, but he said the agency had been using it since 2007. This is a new crime fighting technique? He is just blowing smoke up the asses of the Edgewood residents to get them to think that Jesse Bane really cares about them and Edgewood, but if they sit back and examine the facts, what has the man truly done? Nothing, and Edgewood continues to fester.