Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why We Hate the Government

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have a rental property in Oakland. I have a professional management company manage the property. This is for two reasons:
  • I don't want to deal with tenant problems, particularly late at night
  • The City of Oakland and the State of California, are so anti-landlord it is quite dangerous financially to make a simple management mistake and open yourself up to huge penalties
The "waste management" company that services Alameda County, of which Oakland is a part, is Waste Management of Alameda County. Early this week, I recieved a letter from Oakland that stated I had not paid my garbage collection fee to Waste Management, and if I did not come to a hearing to protest this, Oakland would put a lien on my property.

There was one especially significant problem with the letter. The address of the property was incorrect. I don't own the property on which the lien was threatened to be placed.

I did call the city and the waste management company and point out their error. They didn't seem too concerned. It seems this happens with some non-negligible frequency. I was just trying to help out the poor schlub who obviously didn't get the letter, and was probably going to get a lien on his property because he didn't get the letter to be able to respond.

Our governments seem to be filled with a surfeit of functionally incompetent automatons.