Legislative Update


GMAR Director of Realtor® and Community Affairs
 Grant Meade

Those Who Show Up Govern

There is no political process without participation, the question is who shows up. There will always be people driving the process, whether it is bureaucrats, elected officials or concerned citizens. The importance of showing up cannot be overstated, neither can the impact of the presence of dedicated advocates for a cause.

The number of times that volunteerism and service to the community has been advocated at REALTOR® events is innumerable. REALTORS® live with service at the core of their ethics. Those that make their careers in real estate have wound their way through the foundation of their community. I would highly encourage any member looking for the next step in their community to look at volunteering with a local board or commission. Often, municipalities seek citizens to volunteer for committees or boards.

Not only can you benefit your community, but you benefit yourself and your peers. REALTORS® see all the things that make communities desirable. By getting involved with your local government you can help guide the developments in your own backyard.

The City of Eastpointe has been facing properties that are actively looking to avoid rental inspections. To combat this, the City of Eastpointe staff suggested updating their rental ordinance using the Primary Residence Exemption (PRE) to delineate rental properties from non-rental properties. However, PRE does not indicate the properties use, and the lack of a PRE does not indicate a rental. This type of ordinance has unintended consequences, opening private property owners up to inspections dependent on how they file their property taxes.

This is a situation where the city would benefit from having a REALTOR® on the inside of the discussion that understands private property rights. We advised the city about the potential consequences of this legislation, but city staff had access to council that we did not. We were not able to adequately refute all the claims made by city staff. The motion passed city council for now, and we believe that Eastpointe will be worse off for it. We are still engaging to see if this detrimental policy can be changed.

Shifting political tides will put more importance on the actions of local governments, but the same holds true for the state government, those who show up govern If you have ever been curious about public service, now might be the time.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”— Plato