Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Thanks for the friendly reception today. I also want to thank you for the bill. I want to express my solidarity -- I'm just a free-lance activist. I don't like belong to things, but I work with the institutions that were working on this land bank bill.

I express my solidarity with the supporters of the independent and equitable, efficient land bank, and I also would like to say, like the first speaker on this bill, that I'm here to stay also. I express my gratitude to City Council for last week's amendments, which chipped away at unnecessary bureaucracy and approval of land bank dispositions, and my only concern was regarding the -- they didn't change the section from the original bill about the staff of the land bank having the right to approve without second guessing all transfers under 50,000. I thought that amount for the fair market value of transfers approved was unrealistically low, especially since that would be like single lots and things, but usually a lot of these lots would be bundled for a developer to even be worth his time to get the lots to develop, like there might be on one block, like RDA lots. You see the boarded up houses. Each one might be worth 10,000, but maybe there would be more than, say, five of them but maybe ten or so conveyed. That's why I thought 50,000 should have been changed to a higher figure, 100,000, 250,000. I'm a little surprised that that wasn't changed.

But they made a lot of other good amendments, and my only reason for speaking, my main reason, is that the land bank would be a big improvement over what you've been doing now, because I think 45 minutes was spent last week, because I tried to say it last week, spent 45 minutes approving the transfer of this lot, transfer of that, and all that takes a lot of your time and you have a lot of business to do, especially at the end of the year, and even today you had a lot of those types of transfers that hopefully the land bank can do now.

I want to applaud the part of the bill that assigns liens, tax delinquent liens and all, to the land bank so they can pursue it more aggressively than the City has done so far with a lot of tax delinquencies such as 1401 North 5th Street, the eight-story vacant umbrella factory, which kind of shows that City Council maybe wasn't up to speed on that, but hopefully the land bank will be.

Thank you very much for your time.

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