Brian Nakamura is about to raise rents all over town – complain to him about it.

I have been so busy lately I can hardly sit down for five minutes. It’s just that time of year, the world moves faster in Spring, and I feel I have to run to keep up.

I always feel taken advantage of when I put out the time to g0 to city meetings, but I was glad I went to yesterday’s Finance Committee anyway. For one thing, Mark Sorensen’s little meeting rules – fill out a card, you get three minutes – are WHACKED!  I’d forgotten all about them, and after the garbage consultant finished his report, I had a question. Clerk had reported, no speaker cards filled out – in a packed room? That’s because the citizens who’d packed that room didn’t know anything about the new rules.  I asked politely if I could ask a question, and  Sorensen just plain had to let me in. Then everybody started talking.

But Sorensen made those rules so he could pick and choose who gets to say what. I went ahead and filled out a card for the next topic – Nature Center loan deferral and possible FORGIVENESS! $206,000 folks, and Nakamura, to whom this amount is chump change, wants it forgiven for some mysterious reason he wouldn’t elaborate on. So, I wanted to make a suggestion that they ask for the center’s books, and that they consider opening this city-owned building to a daycare operator who can run it responsibly. Sorensen didn’t even give me my full three minutes, he raised his voice at me and told me I was off -topic. Then he asked the NC folks about their books – he’d never seen them! 

The nerve of this officious little prick! 

Well, I got friends too. I got some important friends, the behind the scenes kind, who own a lot of shit around here. I had a little meeting of my own, and what I gathered is, RENT IS ABOUT TO GO UP!  One of my sources is the manager for one of the biggest rental companies in town, so you can take that to the bank, Honey. 

I raise my rents incrementally every year, so I don’t have to make a big jump – I tell my tenants that, and they appreciate it. They know I have bills to pay in relation to the house, and those bills go up every year. What I don’t know how to tell them is, the increase is going to be a lot bigger this year, because of the increases in water and garbage. I’ve already talked to them about the water rate increase, but I don’t know how much they have heard about this garbage increase.

I try to keep my rents pretty middling. I know if you charge too much, they move people into the closets and kitchen cabinets and the next thing you know your house is trashed and your neighbors are pissed off. I like tenants to stay a while, and high rent means a turnover every six months.But, I’m not a charity, I have kids to feed and tuition to pay.

So, rent is going up, and I guess I’ll tell them to complain to Brian Nakamura about it.  That’s






6 thoughts on “Brian Nakamura is about to raise rents all over town – complain to him about it.

  1. Hignell is charging a special monthly fee on top of the rents for 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. It’s $20 a month sewer fee and a $5 a month water fee for one bedrooms and $10 a month for 2 bedrooms.

    Do you know why they are charging so much? For a one bedroom that’s an extra $60 a year for water and an extra $240 a year for sewer. And that’s on top of the rent they already charge. That seems outrageous. Why are they doing this?

    • Well, I won’t blame Hignell – the city has hiked the sewer fee, especially commercial (apartments), and Cal Water is probably going to be getting about a 20% hike out of the Cal Public Utilities Commission very shortly.

      The sewer fund was pilfered, is currently completely tapped, to pay pensions and other expenses for Brian Nakamura and city staff. These folks only recently made a deal to pay more of their pension and benefits – management now pays 9 percent, up from 4 percent. We pay over 30% now, and our share keeps going up. We pay their health benefits, and we pay for pensions that amount to 70 percent of their highest year’s salary, available at age 50. Our ex-city manager Tom Lando currently receives a $135,000/year pension – that’s over $11,000/month, can you imagine!?! But Nakamura will clean our clock when he walks away – his current salary, about $212,000/year, plus benefits, plus stuff like, a $50,000 allowance for housing, etc. If we end his contract in mid-term he walks away with a full year’s pay as severance.

      Mark Sorensen is a good source of information on the sewer fund, it’s funny lately, he ain’t talking about that too much.

      I’m sorry about rent being raised, but I’ll probably have to raise my rents too. I’ve watched this happening, and I’ve tried to tell my tenants, but I can’t say, “Hey, you idiots, help me fight this thing, or I’m stapling it to your rent!”

      Let me ask you – should landlords send notices to their tenants about stuff like this ahead of time, tell them to help fight it? Most of my tenants act as though a conversation beyond “thanks for the rent” is prying into their private parts.

  2. I think your idea is a good one about the landlords sending out the letters.

    Right now I am in an apartment complex in Chico and would like to live in a less crowded setting.

    I am interested in renting a small house out in the Durham/Dayton area. I don’t see much on Craigslist and the property management Web sites have next to nothing for that area.

    Do you know of anyone I can work with on this? Thank you.

    • Thanks Joe, I’m glad I asked.

      as for rentals in the Dayton/Durham area – you always have to work harder to find rentals in rural areas, but they’re there. What my husband and I did when we were looking for a house to rent/buy was cruise neighborhoods, see where we wanted to live, then watched and watched. That’s also how some of our tenants found us – they’d pull up in front of our For Rent sign and say, “I’ve been looking for a rental in this area for months…” Even years. We bought one house that came with groupies who wanted to move in as soon as we kicked out the transients.

      Here’s an interesting bit of information – before Craigslist, we got almost all our tenants as drive-bys or word-of-mouth (their friend heard about it or drove by). We NEVER got a tenant out of the Enterprise Record, in fact, we hardly ever even got a call out of those ads, so we stopped running them (expensive!). Now we get a lot of our tenants off Craigslists, but we still get drive-by’s and word of mouth.

      So, I would also say, talk to people, like you asked me. I’ll keep an ear to the railroad tracks for you, and if I hear anything, I’ll pop it up here.

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