You can call me naive but I believe that most of the time our judicial system gets it right as evidenced by Judge Huguelet’s recent ruling against the city of Homer concerning condominium assessments. I may be looking through rose-colored glasses, but I think the judge used some good old-fashioned, country common sense in reaching a decision.
City Manager Walt Wrede wanted to charge lucky customer number 1, $3,200 for 100 feet of gas line and not- so lucky customer number 2, up to $40,000 for that same piece of pipe. Kind of like “we cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.”
The judge would have none of Mr. Wrede’s Soapy Smith-style shenanigans.
Now our city administration is pondering (brooding?) further legal action against condominium owners at God only knows what cost to the city. Walt has “lawyered up” and believes that by parsing language from the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act that treats condos as seperate parcels, mainly for ease of taxation by municipalities, he can still sell that hundred feet of pipe for $40,000 to some unlucky fellow citizens.
I gotta believe that common sense will prevail once again. Of course there are legal precedents out there.
For those of you who are really bored you can Google up the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act which clearly prohibits discrimination against a condominium form of ownership in assessments. Or Alaska Statute AS 34.08.730. How about that pesky Steinbach v. Green Lake Sanitation District Court case in the Lower 48? There is a hint in there somewhere for the Homer City Council — put your reading glasses on.