SMLA Subverts the Will of Voters With a Lawsuit to Punish Renters


Renters Belong Here, Even if City Officials Disagree.

“Mayor Kate of Portland” Opposed to Five Referenda on the November 3 Ballot That Would Have Eased the Plight of Renters and the City’s Workforce if Passed. Behind Her is city manager Jon Jennings, Her Advisor.

People First Portland Citizen Initiatives on November 3rd Ballot.

Subverting the will of Maine voters who. disgusted with the city’s anti-renter policies,  overwhelmingly voted last November to place a cap on Portland rents, the firm of Bernstein & Shur filed a lawsuit on January 27, 2021 on behalf of The Southern Maine Landlord Association, (SMLA) – alleging that the outcome of the election is unconstitutional and should be revoked immediately.  Sound familiar?

The suit also charges that the Ordinance “upends the historical relationship between landlords and tenants.” In other words, Portland landlords need to maintain the status quo – as it has been for decades.  It’s the 21st century, but in a revealing charge, the SMLA prefers to remain in past centuries.  For that and other equally invalid reasons, landlords fear changes to their system that has long been in place in this toxic environment.

That toxic environment has been supported by the “Republican Press Herald” who was opposed to all five (5) referendum questions on the November 3 ballot, including an Act to Protect Tenants – the mouthpiece for city hall. Speaking of which  most of the city council and Mayor Kate of Portland have backed this ignorant position as well.

That ignorance was  well-expressed by the “Anti-Renter Housing Committee” chaired by former City Council Jill Duson.  During her chairmanship of the Committee, she never introduced or supported any local legislation that would relieve the plight of Portland renters.  The city’s failure to implement common sense policies on behalf of renters has played a part in the success of the referenda – An Act to Protect Tenants passed last year. Some record!

Briton Vitalius, is the president of SMLA, a non-profit membership organization. who brought the lawsuit intended to punish renters in Portland.  According to his affidavit, Vitalius said members are ‘very concerned’ about the Ordinance and its impact on their properties.  “They are struggling to understand its effect and operation, particularly in light of the vague and ambiguous language in many of its provisions.”   Get an attorney!  Hire Mary Costigan at Bernstein Shur – a preparer of the lawsuit to punish renters for being renters!

As to the legal opinion offered by the SMLA’s attorneys in the lawsuit Kate Sykes, speaking exclusively for herself wrote mhn;com:  “… their legal opinion is mostly smoke and mirrors, a ploy to overturn the results of a democratic election because they don’t like the result, which should be pretty familiar to people by now.   It is how Trump built his empire, but its not unique among the business elite of the country.”

Sykes statement continues:  “…it’s worth noting that the city’s decision to include Short Term Rental under the Rent Control ordinance opens up the possibility that AirBnB will join the suit…it casts the city’s decision in a very questionable light.” (Please visit post herein dated January 15, 2021 for the “City’s Interpretation of Rent Control” Ordinance for more background information on the above statement of Sykes).

Does it surprise you that the city would meddle in such affairs?  It doesn’t surprise me.

The last heard from the city, twenty-eight (28) people had applied to serve on the Rent Board.  Interviews were being conducted and the name of  finalists will be announced when available.

( apologizes for the length of time to took to post this important story.  Unfortunately, this computer has been under repair for most of today).