Dear editor,

My name is Cheryl Kursave. I was given a notice of violation of Milton's Article 7 Sec 7.1-7.3. My "crime" is I rent out bedrooms in my home.

I have rented for nearly 23 years. I own my home free and clear. I pay property taxes and I pay taxes on the money I earn from renting my rooms. I earn approximately $14,500 yearly. I haven't been able to hold a job since my oldest son died in January 2012. The Lord had all those doors closed. My three bedrooms are the doors He opened and He's told me to bloom where I'm planted.

... When I received my certified letter and learned that my castle I paid for, that I can't rent rooms out of my own home — well it occurred to me you really aren't as free as you think. These roommates — two are in their 40s and one is in his 50s. One is a construction worker, one is surveyor and the other works for Publix and Pet Smart. [They] are all taxpayers.

The City Council keeps referring to my roommates as a "boarding house." According to Wikipedia, a boarding house is a house (frequently a family home) in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months, and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied.

Other websites and dictionaries' definitions basically say a guest pays for room and meals.

I'm not a smart person but I know the definition of a boarding house and I know that I don't run one. I have tried, and tried to get them to see common sense, to change their terminology, but they are stuck on that definition. I just have roommates.

Then there was discussion on how these "boarding houses" can bring down property values. No wonder taxpaying businesses are leaving the area. I've been considering it myself. In one of their meetings, they even had the police give them a list of how many times they had been to my house in 12 years and picked all through my dirty laundry.

How many businesses and/or taxpayers in Milton ever had to account for first responders' use?

So the city now proposes to change the ordinance so every one who has a roommate has to pay $250 for a special application. That application is no guarantee of approval and is voted on by a citizen board.

The next hurdle is they contact all your neighbors within 500 feet by certified letter to ask them what they think about you earning your money this way in their neighborhood. No response is concurrence but they have the right to come to the many meetings set up for this process.

After all those hurdles, then the city council will vote and say whether you can now have a roommate or not.

In Sept. 2lst's meeting, they discussed St. Rosa of Lima Church's request for alcohol wherein [City Councilman Alan] Lowery said, "Who am I to say what someone wants to do in their own house?"

Except for me of course, and for people who have roommates, right? Alcohol good, taxpayers and roommates bad — got it.

After this new ordinance passes, it sounds like there will be roommate witch-hunts. 'You're just the first one, Ms. Kursave.'

They have discovered an untapped revenue source and a way of getting their nose into people's houses.

This really stinks. What do you think?

CHERYL KURSAVE

Milton

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