Walking through New Paltz this rainy morning (it's what able-bodied, community-minded folks like to do from time to time) I see that my handmade sign that reuses an old plastic sign fared better in last night's weather than either of the large, wooden ones erected in opposition on Chestnut Street. (The two that are nailed illegally to a utility pole near 46 North Chestnut did just fine, but I will be calling Central Hudson to see if they intend on removing the signs from their private property, or if they'd rather publically oppose the project.) In particular, the shattered 2x4 on North Chestnut will have to be replaced, and that's going to cost money.
One thing most people in New Paltz don't know about me is that I was a landlord. Before I owned a home I had four multi-unit buildings (8 units in all). It was a small operation, but I completely understand what it takes to make a living as a landlord. It was probably tougher for me to make a buck than a serious landlord, because I'm not very good with tools (I had Henry Papka of In Living Color take care of most of the tougher work; his prices are reasonable and his results are excellent for all handyman stuff), didn't have much of a cushion to ride things out when I had a vacancy, and I couldn't really save money by buying supplies in bulk. I did review tax assessments of my properties to make sure they weren't being assessed at too high a value.
Probably the biggest reason I wasn't making money hand over fist as a landlord is because I did actually keep up with maintenance. I know a lot about the rental buildings in New Paltz, and I know that they (usually) comply with the bare minimum required. My wife lived in an apartment owned by a prolific landlord in this are for seven years, and after complaining about a dangerous maintenance situation for three of them she asked him to fix it before she would accept another rent increase. He decided to evict her instead, and has since only rented to college students, who don't complain so much. I've had access to many more buildings that confirm that her experience was no fluke.
I guess it's just cheaper to oppose giving our kids a safe and effective learning environment (which the state is requiring, after all) than to use that money to keep one's tenants safe and comfortable. At least that's my view as someone who has been both a landlord and a committed member of my community.