Is a Wilmington City Councilman a corporate shill?

By Tyler Cralle, in Blog Tyler Cralle on . Tagged width: ,

The debate continues in Wilmington to decide what should be done about short-term rentals.  Yesterday the Wilmington city council met and a solution doesn’t seem ay closer than it has in the past…

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.

The “disruption in neighborhoods” argument is key to understanding the divide on the council.  In a meeting in February Councilman Kevin O’Grady proposed a very bizarre scenario, “So an entire street could become party central,” O’Grady said. “What about the one person who decides to stay in their house?”  O’Grady has brought up this scenario many times despite never citing any evidence that this could ever or has ever happened.  He might as well propose the possibility of aliens being more attracted to AirBnB neighborhoods because that has about as much evidence as his hypothetical.

What’s funny about O’Grady’s opinion to short-term rentals is why he opposes them.  It’s quite obvious to anyone paying attention that he is venting the frustration of the Residents of Old Wilmington.  A group made up of so many curmudgeons they make the old men on the muppets spryly in comparison.  ROW are the worst kind of liberals.  Notice I didn’t say progressives.  Progressives want things to move forward.  These miserable misers want everything to stay exactly the same.  Except, of course, their housing values and COLA for their northern pensions funds.  Those can gladly increase with time.  However, everything must stay exactly the same.  Especially you darned kids with your darned cell phones and fancy apps.

O’Grady isn’t just a shill for ROW, he’s also doing the bidding of corporate America.  The New York Times yesterday highlighted the lengths that the industry was willing to go to stop AirBnB and their competitors from succeeding…

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.

The Times points out has this has not always been the modus operandi of the hotel industry.  They for the longest time have ignored the start up in the 9 years it has been around but recent financial realities have made the industry stand up and take notice.  Airbnb’s ability to raise 3 billion dollars combined with it’s 30 billion dollar evaluation has put the hotel industry on the defensive.  This is what makes Councilman Kevin O’Grady’s attacks on short-term rentals so ironic and fitting.

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.