South Bend Common Council District 2 candidate Regina Williams-Preston owes about $77,000 in fees, penalties and back taxes relating to 10 properties she owns in the district she’s running to represent, the South Bend Tribune reported.
About $64,000 is related to code enforcement actions, which began in 2010, and about $13,000 in back taxes.
Williams-Preston, who is running as a Democrat, said that she and her husband bought 10 homes on Elmer, Longley and Kenmore streets in South Bend and planned to renovate them, but then her husband got sick. Williams-Preston and her husband lives in the one of the homes.
Her opponent, incumbent Henry Davis Jr. who is listed as a Democrat but is running as in Independent, said that the owed money is a sign that Williams-Preston is “a slumlord” and that she shouldn’t be elected.
- RELATED: Complaint filed against Henry Davis Jr. accuses him of submitting fraudulent campaign finance report, Oct. 21, 2015
Williams-Preston said that her fees are proof that the city’s code enforcement is targeting areas for gentrification.
“If the goal is to get a person to fix up their home, is the right process to achieve that goal fining them exorbitant fines rather than providing them alternatives and connecting them with resources?” she told the Tribune.
Read more about the fees and about separate complaints filed against both Davis and Williams-Preston in the full story from the South Bend Tribune.