The deeds for both properties, one at 52 State Street and the other at 49-51 Clinton Street say that the properties are owned by Rich Miller’s wife Kathleen, but that’s just a ruse. There’s something shady about everything Rich Miller does.
Back taxes are owed on both properties: 49 Clinton Street; $65,603 and 52 State Street; $57,252.26. But what else would anyone expect from Rich Miller?
The 52 State Street property is the old Fowler Funeral Home that Miller tried to pawn off as “The Miller Mansion.”
It’s also the fictitious address that Rich and Kathleen Miller used to illegally register to vote in Brockport, even though the house was empty and the Millers actually lived more than 15 miles away, across the county line at 16729-Lakeland-Beach-Road in Kendall.
The Millers later plead guilty to illegal voting in Ogden Town Court.
Rich Miller has never had a good reputation in Brockport. His nickname is The Pest of the West, and most people in the village think that he is the single most obnoxious person around Brockport.
But after he was arrested for voter fraud, Miller lost all his credibility, especially with the local politicians, who had done his bidding for years in return for his financial support.
Miller used to have some clout in the Sweden Republican Party, but after his arrest and conviction the politicians treated him like a dog with fleas, and even the other sleazy landlords shied away from Miller.
But even as he walks out the door, Rich Miller is still breaking the rules, thumbing his nose at the Village Code, and daring the Village government to do anything about it. They never have in the past and Miller doesn’t think they will do anything now.
However, Pam Ketchum, who is a realtor, a landlord, and the head of Pro-Brockport, has had enough.
Pam, who is as quiet and soft spoken as a person can be, went to the open house for each of the properties, and thought that things looked fishy. So she looked into it and found that the house at 52 State Street is not in compliance with the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the property.
On Wednesday she sent out this email to the Mayor, the Trustees, and the Code Enforcement Officer.
“I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but someone has to bring to light the elephant in the kitchen. The property at 52 State St. has had 2 open houses and will have an auction tomorrow at 11 AM. It appears that it is being used illegally at this time. The C of O that was issued in June 2013 allows for two 800 square feet 2 bedroom apartments. Presently, there is a 3 bedroom apartment being rented to 3 college students using the entire 2nd floor which seems to be more than 800 square feet. I fear that this misrepresentation of what is "allowable" will cause someone to buy the property thinking that what they see is ok and correct and they can carry on the tradition.
This practice has happened many times over the years and we have all had to suffer the consequences. I'm not sure what can be done but I wonder if someone should contact the real estate company and/or make an announcement at the auction to correctly inform the buying public about what is the allowable use. I have pointed this out to the listing agent and to the people that I have taken through the property. But most real estate agents have the "buyer beware" mentality and don't say much except check with the village.
Also, what should be done now that we all know that the property is not in compliance with its' C of O? And, the bigger picture, how do we know that this misuse isn't happening in half of the rentals in Brockport? Perhaps that is why so many driveways are being inched out and driveways are turning into parking lots. Buildings / houses are being divided and divided again to max out every bit of rental income. This situation gives credibility to the need for annual inspections. Otherwise, it appears that we don't have a code that can and is being enforced.”
Under the provisions of Section 36-5 F of the Village Code, the C of O should be revoked, which means the property could no longer be rented until it complied with the provisions of the C of O.
Once again it comes down to whether Mayor Margay Blackman will tell Code Enforcement Officer Scott Zarnstorff to take the required action.
"What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."
G. W. F. Hegel
Scott Z works directly for the Mayor, so if she tells him to inspect the property and revoke the C of O if he finds a violation of the Village Code, he’ll do it.
If the Mayor doesn’t act on this, nothing will happen, because if history has taught Brockport residents anything, it is that Scott Z will do nothing about violations of the code unless he is forced to do so.