In a unanimous vote last night, but with widely different motivations, the City Council repealed the rent control ordinance narrowly passed in early August. The ordinance was suspended by a successful petition drive, and the City Council had two choices, (1) place it on the ballot for either June or November 2016, or (2) repeal it.
Advocates for rent control apparently believe they have a better chance of passing a rent control ballot measure that starts as an initiative than defending a ballot measure described as a repeal. It is also thought that supporters of rent control want an ordinance even more draconian than the one passed in August, which because of its rushed drafting, was full of legal and technical glitches. Presumably, there will be a petition drive for the ballot measure beginning sometime in the next few months.
It was eerie to see the year’s hottest and most divisive local political issue die virtually alone with only two public speakers, no speeches from City Council members , no rallies, no t-shirts, no demonstrations and no fanfare.