Another bad week for foreclosures in Longmont (getting tired of saying that), with 14 new foreclosures reported, an average of 2 per day! What made this week odd was that Ward 1, which has the most and usually gets the most new foreclosures, actually had the fewest new foreclosures (3). Even odder was Ward 3, which has the fewest but had the largest increase this week, which was 5. A large number all by itself. Ward 2 sat right in the middle with 4. (You math geniuses will notice that doesn’t add up to 14, 2 had Longmont addresses but weren’t in the city limits.
So, lets look at Ward 3, the northwesternmost ward in the city. The councilmember representing that ward is Sean McCoy. You may have noticed he wasn’t at the recent City Council meeting. While normally that would be a welcomed respite for the senses, turns out he wasn’t there because he was at the Colorado Municipal League (CML) Conference in Vail, Colorado. I heard Mayor Roger Lange attended this as well, but I also know he spent a late night at the City Council meeting Tuesday, as did I.
Here’s what you may not have heard about that CML “conference”, courtesy of joint investigation between the Denver Post and 9News: (read the whole article at the link below, I’ll just paste a few relevant sentences)
Official Colorado confab puts scrutiny of work into play
At a time of layoffs, furloughs and budget cuts in Colorado municipal governments, about 600 officials from towns large and small have convened at a Vail resort for three days of taxpayer-funded networking and seminars interspersed with parties and golf.
“It’s a little extravagant, don’t you think?” asked Ed Bagwell, director of the public-services division for Teamsters Local 17 in Denver. “We’ve heard complaints from our members. Why are they spending this much in a down economy?”
…But a reporter, producer and photographer from 9News who visited the conference Thursday found plenty of municipal officials who had decided to forgo the panel on “Maintaining Your Infrastructure in a Tight Economy” and instead hang out in the halls and lobby.
Unaware she was speaking to a reporter and being taped, Glendale City Council member LuVerne Davenport said the city brought six people to the conference so they could rotate through the panels and no one would have to go to all of them.
So what do they do when they are not in the seminars? “We goof off,” Davenport said.
Municipalities paid about $190,000 in registration fees and for meals.
Central City Mayor Ron Slinger said he planned to attend every session — and still make a 4 p.m. tee time.
“I look forward to Breckenridge next year,” Slinger said. “It’s even better.”
While you vomit over that, and wonder how Mr. McCoy spent his time there, here is this weeks map and numbers. Afterwards, a relevant article about housing and unemployment.
View Longmont Foreclosures in a larger map
Blue= 4/11/09 16 new entries (41 total)
Red= 4/18/09 20 new entries (55 total)
Green= 4/25/09 8 new entries (47 total)
Yellow= 5/2/09 9 new entries (48 total)
Purple-5/9/09 13 new entries (62 total)
Magenta-5/16/09 9 new entries (56 total)
Blue(pin)-5/23/09 16 new entries (52 total)
Red(pin)-5/30/09 15 new entries (62 total)
Green(pin)-6/6/09 9 new entries (63 total)
Yellow(pin)-6/13/09 9 new entries (57 total)
Purple(pin)-6/20/09 14 new entries (62 total)
Breakdown by Ward since I started keeping track (4/11/09)
Ward 1=63 (Councilmember: Brian Hansen, most foreclosures-least responsive)
Ward 2=52 (Councilmember: Karen Benker, up for re-election Nov ’09)
Ward 3=36 (Councilmember: Sean McCoy, rumored Mayoral candidate Nov ’09)
Keeping the above info in mind, there was an article on US News & World Report by Rick Newman entitled Why the Economic Recovery Won’t Feel Like One. Again, here are some excerpts from it: (emphasis added)
Everybody’s tired of doomsayers pointing out how much worse the economy could get, so let’s just focus on two factors: housing and jobs. Most people agree that plunging home values need to stabilize before there’s any kind of economic recovery. And jobs have to return. Until they do, mortgage and other loan defaults will continue to rise as millions of unemployed borrowers come up short paying their bills. Consumers who are still employed but are worried about their jobs will continue to hoard money, depressing the market for homes, cars, and many other products.
Home prices have fallen about 30 percent nationwide since they peaked in 2006. Isn’t that enough? Surely they have to stop falling soon, right? Maybe not. The Federal Reserve has projected a total home price decline of somewhere between 41 and 48 percent, with a bottom in 2010.
Housing matters for several reasons. When the economy is healthy, housing and everything associated with it accounts for about 20 percent of economic activity. If the housing market is in the dumps, odds are that the economy will be, too.
Most economists predict that the unemployment rate will keep rising through 2009 and into 2010, topping out somewhere between 10 and 12 percent. It will be genuine good news once the unemployment rate starts to fall, but we’ll still be trudging through a few years of scarce jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, for instance, predicts that the unemployment rate will drift down slowly and won’t return to “normal” levels of 5 percent or less until 2016.
Glad I could make your day. I was asked in the radio interview with Amy Oliver why I’m mapping these, why I’m talking about it. Just read the above articles, look at the map and numbers, watch our city council in action (both 1 and 2 word versions applicable) and see what they talk about (chickens, prairie dogs, suing neighbor cities, hiring consultants, overpaying staff heads and attorneys, no mosquito spraying) while Rome is burning around them.
But what a grand time in Vail, eh?