Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mark Saroff for County Commission seat 1A

Mark Saroff was one of the first people to offer me support when I was still running for the County Commission, and I find him not only to be a likeable person, but one who is committed to Republican ideals. That, however, is not the reason that I am endorsing Saroff for the 1A seat and asking those in the First District to vote for him by writing his name in. Locals may know Saroff as the man who owns the infamous McClung Warehouses downtown, and a few might be aware that those warehouses have faced threats of eminent domain seizure and threats of being declared a "blight."

What some people may not know is that not only does Saroff want to renovate the dour warehouses, he is desperately trying to do so. At every turn, the city and county have stood in Saroff's way by throwing building code regulations at him, or any obscure legal provision they could find to prevent Saroff from renovating the property-they don't want Saroff to renovate the warehouses so that they look nice and fit in to historic Downtown Knoxville-the city wants Saroff's property so they can do with it as they please.

Saroff has said “I have learned that if you don’t get involved in politics, politics will come to you.” He is right, of course. Beyond Saroff’s personal grievances, however, I think Mark Saroff understands better than most people do the importance of local government protecting property rights in the wake of the Kelo decision, because Mark Saroff has experienced what it is like for the government to try and take your property.

Aside from property rights issues, I think Mark Saroff understands the issues of living in an urban environment like Knoxville better than a lot of people on the County Commission, and he is very aware that city dwellers are citizens of Knox County, too-he believes in the notion that if the city isn’t giving you the services you pay for with both the city and county taxes you pay, you have ought to have the right to go to the county for redress.

Because Mark Saroff has real respect for people and a belief in basic human dignity, I believe First District voters should write in MARK SAROFF for the 1A County Commission seat in next Tuesday’s Republican Primary.


At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
How long has Mr. Saroff owned the McClung Warehouses? I suspect alot longer than the current city/county administrations have been around. But, nevertheless, it's all their fault??? No, he's had plenty of time to do something ... anything and nothing has ever happened. He should sell and walk away. I'm sorry but I really can't feel sorry for him.


At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:21:00 PM, Blogger TheRep said...

Would you feel the same if I said the same about you and your property?

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:36:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Amen, brother!

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:57:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Heil Haslam!

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 6:54:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

I don't own property and it's not visible from the freeway and property owners can be cited for delapitated property. Eminent Domain usually isn't used becuase the property owners usually abandon the property and it get siezed due to non-payment of taxes. That's what happened to the old house that was next to therep's uncle's place.
Seizing property from home owners that maintain their property for private development like what in the Kelo Caase is wrong. In the case of the McClung Warehouses there's been little to nothing in the way of any maintance - it's a heap slowly falling down and crumbling to Knoxville's detriment. I don't Mr. Saroff is a bad guy (ie: Slumlord). I think he's in over his head with this property.
Regardless, I just don't feel for him. Something could have been a long time ago. He's just let it reach a crisis point and now he wants on the county commission so he can prevent or put off the consequences.


At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 6:58:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

How about the city trying to stop Saroff from developing by throwing loopholes in his way? They just want Saroff's property for their own use-they do not want Mark to succeed in redeveloping the warehouses.

I think Saroff's larger point is that they can do this to anyone they want to-it may start with the Mark Saroff's-it will end with someone's grandmother's home.

Never trust the government Mule-always keep a weary and watchful eye.

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saroff is a good guy. He just can't get the financing of his project. That's OK, but he needs to fix his property (thankfully, he's doing some work), or he needs to sell it to someone who can put a project together. Whining about govt. credits is nonsense. As a conservative, I am for the property rights of those who have to live nearby the eyesore Saroff has neglected for so long. His ignorance of the McClung Warehouses has an adverse effect on the greater good of the entire downtown Knoxville. Downtown property owners have "property rights" too...Let's not demogogue Eminent Domain too much to the point of ignore rules, regulations, and yes, taxes (which Saroff has neglected as well over the years).

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:04:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

So "Saroff is a good guy, he just can't get the financing," yet Saroff "neglected" an "eyesore." If he's trying to get financing, he certainly isn't neglecting a thing-that's a contradiction.

At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 11:45:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
Trying to get financing is not the samething as getting financing. The buildings are neglected. That is an empirical fact - all you have to do is look at them to see that. So he's trying, OK, well how long has he been trying? How long will it take? I'm sorry but time's up for Mr. Saroff.
And I agree with you about keeping a wary eye on the government - if you don't they might start a war for bogus reasons, leak national security secrects for political reasons, run up huge defictsnad all manner of bad things. On the other hand, being wary of the government might get you labeled as unpatriotic or worse, a liberal!


At Thursday, April 27, 2006 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Or it might get you labeled an "anarchist," or being accussed of "association" with someone's opponents in a Primary.

My contention is that since Mark Saroff owns those buildings, it should be up to Mark Saroff to decide what to do with them. They belong to Mr. Saroff, not to the City of Knoxville or Knox County. Now, if Mr. Saroff weren't making his bank payments on the property, that is quite another matter. If those buildings were mine, I'd feel the same.

Your jab is interesting, considering that I was opposed to the Iraq war to begin with. Before you make interesting little jabs you think might push my buttons, it might do some good to ask me how I feel about this or that!

At Thursday, April 27, 2006 7:46:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
The jabs (which I didn't meant them to be) weren't meant for you or anyone in particular. Apologies if you thought they were.


At Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:44:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Its cool-just wanted to set the record straight. Earlier you had said that liberals often mistakenly believe Republicans hand pick candidates and we in the grass-roots fall in lock-step.

Another thing the Left often mistakenly believes is that we all think alike.


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