Wilmington officials still divided…At Monday’s agenda-review meeting, the council was presented with the planning department’s recommendations on how to move the long-simmering issue forward. Proponents of the rentals see it as a means of extra income to rent out rooms or whole homes to visitors through online services like AirBnB or HomeAway. Opponents, meanwhile, fear the introduction of short-term tenants will lead to disruptions in neighborhoods…READ MORE
—–Margaret Haynes: Wants homestay issues dealt with first. She believes whole-house rentals are more complicated and wanted to take more time with that issue.
—–Kevin O’Grady: Still remains vehemently opposed to any kind of short-term rentals. He still believes this is commercial businesses operating inside residential neighborhoods. Wants both homestays & whole-house rentals dealt with in June meeting at the same time.
—–Charlie Rivenbark: Doesn’t believe opposition to short-term rentals extends beyond the historic downtown district. Doesn’t see more regulation as the answer to this problem
Hotel industry leading the fight against short term rentals…The main prongs of the association’s plan to constrain Airbnb include lobbying politicians and state attorneys general to reduce the number of Airbnb hosts, funding studies to show Airbnb is filled with people who are quietly running hotels out of residential buildings and highlighting how Airbnb hosts do not collect hotel taxes and are not subject to the same safety and security regulations that hotel operators must follow…READ MORE
Why is the hotel industry worried?
Here’s why: Airbnb has raised more than $3 billion and secured a $1 billion line of credit, according to the research firm CB Insights. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, has said the company could be ready to go public in a year. Investors have pegged Airbnb’s value at around $30 billion; in contrast, Hilton’s market capitalization is $19 billion and Marriott’s $35 billion.
Is Wilmington City Councilman a shill or corporate America…The biggest liberal on the entire Wilmington City Council is doing the bidding of some of the largest corporations in the world. Add this to the fact that 5 years ago O’Grady wanted to give 60 million dollars of taxpayer dollars to a company with a market capitalization of just under 80 billion and it really makes you wonder. Why do so many people think liberals hate corporations? They’re practically reading from the same playbook…READ MORE
Tax day is today…April 15 is one of the most well-known dates on the American calendar: the day when tax returns are usually due. But if you’re one of those procrastinators who hasn’t filed yet, you’re in luck this year. That’s because Tax Day has been pushed back to Tuesday – April 18 – because of a Washington, D.C. holiday…READ MORE
Social Media & Politicians
Representative Carl Ford has social media policy…“I have been called every one of these names and many more in the past week,” he wrote. “I can take it, but I don’t have to leave the vile language and threats on my Facebook page. More than 3/4ths of the comments had to be deleted and yes many blocked. I will not listen to foul mouthed individuals or be threatened.” READ MORE
Understanding Larry Pittman’s comment last week…What was the Facebook argument about?
Rep. Pittman had been one of the sponsors of a recent bill filed to block gay marriage in NC. Local media reported on the Facebook fight and comments that ensued over the bill, but only reported on Rep Pittman’s singular poor choice of analogies out of the hundreds of replies on the thread…READ MORE