Meeting Story Practice Exercise5
You are a reporter for the Harkensville Gazette. Use this information to write a
summary news lead for a hard news story. Your lead should be no more than 20
words and one sentence in active voice. Assume that Harkensville is in your
home state and that your news story will be published in print the day after these
events transpired. Make sure your lead contains correct grammar, punctuation
and AP style.
Harkensville currently has no regulations governing those who rent out their properties for less
than 30 days, meaning such activity is technically banned. However, city leaders in late 2015
opted to pause enforcement until they adopted short-term rental rules.
At Tuesday’s meeting, city leaders split over whether residents should be allowed to rent out
their entire house for short periods of time.
The split among city leaders is keeping Harkensville from legitimizing residential rentals through
online services such as Airbnb and VRBO.
More than 30 people attended the Tuesday meeting to advocate for whole-house rentals.
Prior to the meeting, a council majority that included the new mayor, Nancy McDish, had
appeared ready to ban whole-house rentals.
A proposal to allow residents to put up to two rooms for rent, but not an entire house, died
Tuesday night after a rare 4-4 vote by the City Council because one council seat is vacant.
Harkensville will continue to have no rules as it goes back to the drawing board.
The city leaders who opposed the plan said at the meeting that they feared legitimizing whole-
house rentals would bring unwanted traffic and noise.
Proponents said banning whole-house rentals would be unenforceable and harm Harkensville’s
image as an innovative city that embraces a 21st century business model.
A ban whole-house rentals would make Harkensville’s rental market less accommodating than
comparable cities such as Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Durham, N.C., the proponents
A ban would strike a blow to the online service VRBO, short for Vacation Rentals By Owner,
whose hosts only rent out their entire homes.