Donald Mochrie makes an impassioned presentation to the Common Council on Tuesday night.

by Dave Warner

Donald Mochrie took up the majority of the Common Council meetings agenda on Tuesday night with an impassioned presentation regarding his home at 74 North William Street. He stated “I have an issue and a problem, and I have amendments to back me up on this.”

Mochrie went on to say that everyone works hard for their money and that we expect to get what we paid for. He also recently moved here and that he loved Little Falls. His problem appeared to be with the landlord that he was renting from and the codes officer that he felt was not supportive enough of his position and some of the issues that he had discovered with the house after moving in.

“I thought everything looked nice. We went through the place and we moved in and next thing you know, the first thing we had to do was buy a $700 stove because he didn’t tell me the stove didn’t work. It kept going on and on. I fell on the back steps and turned my ankle and my knee. I asked the owner politely for his insurance information because it’s a New York State law that a landlord must have his property insured. He told me FU and gave me a 30-day vacate notice,” said Mochrie.

Mochrie went on to say that he had constantly been calling the codes officer and had even talked to Alderman Justin Welyczko about the issues. Mochrie then addressed City Attorney Jennifer Chrisman and asked “Did you ever call Mr. Green over an issue about me having contractors come into my home and do work on Wednesday of last week?” Chrisman said “I did.” “And did you tell them if I did not let them in that I would be arrested?” stated Mochrie. Chrisman replied “No I did not.”

Mochrie stated that he had a witness who had seen just that exchange between himself and Mr. Green. He also went on to detail a letter that he had been told to write, the medical issues that had interfered with his ability to have contractors come into the house and a litany of problems with the home, including a lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, being unable to properly lock doors, pipes leaking and snow coming in under those same doors.

Mochrie continued to state that he felt the codes officer was not doing his job. Mochrie stated “Why can’t we look at what Oneida, Elmira, Syracuse have done and be tough on these slumlords. Be accountable.”

He continued, talking about a meeting with the Mayor and the codes officer that did go well and how the Mayor was trying to build the community up. Machrie said that he was going to bring the issue to the attention of the Attorney Generals office and the Division of Building Standards and Codes in Albany.

“If it’s me that you need to put these slumlords out of business, then I’m going to help you,” stated Machrie.

Mayor Blask jumped into the discussion to give some background on the problem. “What this is, is a landlord tenant problem. A problem that you are having with your landlord. I first heard about it Friday before last, called a meeting and got you and your fiancee and Phil Green together and all four of us sat in the conference room at 10 o’clock in the morning for an hour. We put the landlord on speakerphone – we found him.”

“Once Phil Green heard about the smoke detectors and CO2 he told him these would be in next week and the guy said yes. One of the frustrations has been you should really allow the people in to do this work,” stated the Mayor.

Mochrie stated that he did not want the contractors in because when they had come in, they had been unsafe. He stated that the woman who had showed up had pulled an electrical outlet away from the wall and tried to cut it with a pair of snips while the outlive was live. “We still have an outlet that has a cut wire and we don’t know if that (the house) will burn down,” stated Mochrie.

The Mayor stated “If you need things fixed and the people are there to fix it…if you won’t allow them in, then I’m not sure what the resolution is. We made him (the landlord) pay for a third party to come in – not one of his, not one of yours – to asses the situation.”

Mochrie said “It seems like everyone wants us to move so that they don’t have to do paperwork or crack the whip on a slumlord.”

Chrisman said “I don’t think that’s a fair statement to put on us here.”

Mayor Blask stated “This is solvable. At the end of the day, if you want your stairs fixed, they will get fixed. The electrical, that will get fixed. So let’s just get to the end zone on this. Let’s not move the goalposts, let’s not add things. Come up with your list and hand it to Phil (Green) tomorrow.”

Blask continued to explain that if Mochrie ended up not happy, then at some point, he’d just have to take the landlord to court.

In other news

Another citizen took to the microphone to ask if there was going to be some curb put on the cow that was roaming the town. According to resident Bill Bennett “My shrubs have been decimated by white tailed deer for years during the winter. If that isn’t enough, several days ago, I looked out to see if the offending animals where at my neighbors, only to see a cow in front of his house. Since then, I have seen this cow in front of several other homes, and as you know Mr. Mayor, that cow was in front of your home as well. My concern is will the City have the animal control officer address this udderly ridiculous situation or will the cow simply wander away.”

Editors Note: of course, the ‘cow’ that is being referenced is Lemel, which has been rotating among city employees front yards. You can read all about it by clicking here.

In other items the council unanimously approved two resolutions:

  • Reappointment to the Board of Assessment for Samuel Roorda, term to expire in 2023.
  • Appointment to the Tourism Committee for Laura Power, term to expire 12/31/2020.