News & Events

At Athens City Council's September 3 meeting, Ellie Hamrick and I address why the increased penalties for slumlords Council has proposed in response to Ellie and my campaigns won't be enforced unless we adequately staff the Code Enforcement office and get City Law Director Eliason to start doing her job.

"Athens candidates call for stronger housing policies"

Athens Messenger

September 5, 2019


"City Challengers: Proposed housing code reform insufficient"

Athens News 

September 4, 2019

"Mayoral candidate accuses City Council of co-opting housing reform initiative"
The New Political

September 4, 2019

"City Council: Candidates call for stronger code enforcement" 

The Post

September 4, 2019

In this great in-depth investigative report for the August 29 edition of The Athens News, reporter Conor Morris independently verifies my claim that Mayor Patterson for months was misinforming the public about the number of rental housing inspectors. Morris also uncovers that for many years City Law Director Lisa Eliason has been minimizing legal penalties for slumlords, contrary to what the city code appears to mandate. (I later took up both of those issues and more in my comments before Athens City Council on September 3, which will be covered in forthcoming articles by various local media.)

My August 22 guest column for the Athens News is not as directly related to my mayoral campaign as most items here, but I thought I'd include it anyway. In this column I support the effort to remove the Confederate flag from local festivals, but I come at the issue from a somewhat different direction. (About 100 of my columns, news articles, and letters to the editor have appeared in numerous publications, and I was project coordinator & editor of The InterActivist magazine from 2005 - 2008. Most of my published writing is available at









“Swing State of Mind: Athens Mayoral Candidate Damon Krane”

The Post (podcast feature interview)

May 1, 2019 (published July 15)


“Candidates weigh incorporating socialist principles in Athens city government”

New Political

July 1, 2019


“Indy candidates swim against the established stream”

Athens News

June 26, 2019


“Responding to opponent’s criticism, mayor dishes out bad info”

Athens News

March 31, 2019


“Challenger questions mayor’s code enforcement numbers”

Athens News

March 31, 2019


“Local business owner to run for mayor”

The Post

March 27, 2019


“Independent candidate says he will enter the Athens mayoral race”

Athens Messenger

March 7, 2019


“Candidate comes forward to challenge Athens mayor”

Athens News

March 6, 2019

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As the two articles below show, simply by running for mayor these past 6 months I have done more to get the city to crack down on slumlords than Mayor Patterson has done in his 4 years as Mayor and his 4 years on City Council! 

But in order for landlords to actually face the increased penalties for multiple code violations just passed by Council, the City Law Director, Lisa Eliason, will have to end her decades-long practice of letting slumlords off the hook by treating all instances of multiple violations as though they were a single violation. Also, violations will only be identified and corrected if we've got enough rental housing inspectors to conduct thorough inspections. And finally, the only way to stop landlords from passing the costs of code compliance onto their current tenants is for Athens to institute rent control.

What's more, dangerously run-down housing isn't the only way slumlords exploit and abuse tenants. Slumlords also improperly withhold tenant security deposits and enter tenants' homes without proper advance notice. Meanwhile, tenants get hit with exorbitant utility bills and our city gets saddled with an over-sized carbon footprint, all because slumlords don't adequately weatherize their properties. We need to strengthen our housing code to stop these practices, too.

By campaigning with Operation Slumlord Smackdown, Ellie Hamrick and I forced Council to begin acknowledging some of these problems. But we still need to implement each and every aspect of Operation Slumlord Smackdown. And if Ellie and I are elected, that's exactly what we'll do.

"Council votes to raise housing code penalties"

Athens Messenger

September 18, 2019


"City Council increases penalties for landlords who violate housing laws"

The New Political 

September 17, 2019

Web site paid for by Damon Krane for Mayor

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