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Lee Walton

The Cottages at Longborough

As predictable as flooded streets, crime on the East Side, and empty DASH buses on a Sunday afternoon, when anyone dares to let a little air out of one of Mayor Riley’s world-class social engineering balloons, the Palter and Chatter can be counted on to promptly counter with a public relations blitz to repair any perceived damage to the Mayor’s ego and image. Such was the case again last Wednesday when that journalistic wonder of Columbus Street, David Slade, countered recent criticism about one of Riley’s most heavily taxpayer subsidized deal-estate projects, The Cottages at Longborough. Slade’s latest sop to Riley, “Affordable city condos draw dozens of applicants”, dripped with the typical kudos, personal endorsements, high praise, and favorable spin which typifies articles by Slade as he and his Palter and Chatter puppet-masters do the Mayor’s bidding and damage control.

The most stinging criticism and soft underbelly flaw in Riley’s high-stakes, $7 million plus taxpayer subsidized, 42-condo affordable housing project is his 99-year deed restriction and punitive claw-back provision that restricts buyers to a paltry return on their investment of no more than the increase in the Consumer Price Index from day of purchase to date of sale. In previous articles by Slade, Riley defended his 99-year deed restriction as a way to “…prevent buyers from reselling the units for large profits.” In Slade’s latest endeavor, Riley’s deed restriction is defended as a way to “…limit the possibility of windfall profits…” Since when did the American dream of home ownership and the opportunity to financially gain from the equity investment in one’s own home become a windfall profit? Home ownership has long been recognized as one of the best and most secure long-term investments for middle-class retirement security. Has this bedrock goal of the American dream now become just another politically incorrect target to Riley and other neo-socialist, post-Christian era progressives? Is this what Riley and his socialist cronies mean by “spreading the wealth” as they attempt to demonize equity profit from home ownership?

Charleston Local Development Corporation (LDC)

Last Friday’s Palter and Chatter article singing the praises of Charleston’s LDC went to great lengths to tout the SBA’s recent $400,000 loan to the LDC and the micro loan program it is intended to fund. Strange that reporter Allyson Bird didn’t also take the opportunity to report of the balance outstanding on the Charleston Place $10 million LDC loan that has grown to almost $19 million without a single dollar received as repayment for over two decades. On a smaller scale, the LDC also made a very questionable $10,000 loan to the former husband of a recent City Council Member to build and sell birdhouses for Purple Martins. Maybe Ms. Bird could report on the status of that strange little loan in her next LDC article.

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