Monday, February 24, 2014

Politics and Investment In Roanoke City

As real estate investors and business owners we are heavily involved with the local government of the towns that we do business in. The decisions that the local politicians in that town make often have a direct impact on how easy or hard it is to do business in that area.

Roanoke City has had an unfriendly attitude towards investors under the currant administration. They have refused to work together with REI of Virginia to develop good solutions to tenant accountability issues. As a matter of fact, Ray Ferris (now running as an independent) and Court Rosen (not up for election this time) both told me that tenants will never be held accountable for their own actions within the city as whatever these grown adults do is the direct responsibility of the landlord since we are the one who owns the property.  I can tell you one thing for a fact, as long as tenants aren’t held accountable for their own actions, nothing will ever change. There is no amount of punishment or fines that they can give to a landlord to solve a tenant issue.

The currant administration has all unanimously voted for things such as the Rain Tax that you will be paying this summer and the sale of multi million dollar building(s) and land for 10 bucks to their friends some of which have criminal backgrounds, amongst many other controversial issues.

They have even taken it to the degree where they have been rude to our members that have attended city council meetings in an attempt to stomp out any disagreement with what they are doing.

So Why Invest In Roanoke City? That’s the question I have been asking myself for a long time now. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they will never buy another property in the city.

Investors such as ourselves have a vested interest in the city. We all want property values to increase so we can make some equity with our investments. And we have the currant city council standing in the way preventing this city from becoming a great place to live and invest. It seems to me that it’s really all about wealth envy and has nothing to do with making Roanoke the best it can be.

Some economics 101 for those that are reading this email within the upper levels of government. We all need to work together. I have been saying this for years. I’ve stuck my hand out in friendship on many occasions as many of our members have and you’ve turned your backs on us.

When you drive investors out of the city you create a glut of extra property on the market. When there is too much supply of property than the property values go down as there is a limited amount of people that want to purchase that property. Because you drove them away. When property values go down than you are hurting the homeowners in the city. The very people that you “say” you are helping.

The opposite happens when you are business friendly and you encourage investment within the city. When investors feel like they are working together with the city to make it a great place to live and conduct business than property values go up. Investors in this type of relationship with the city feel good and want to pump more of their hard earned money into the city rather than the surrounding areas that they have been pushed to. At this point properties are harder to come by so they have to pay more to get one. They go up for the average homeowner and everyone makes money including those who did nothing to make it other than watch the investors fix up the houses in their neighborhood.

A + B = C folks. It’s a pretty simple concept. Now let’s get on the ball and do it. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening with the currant administration as we have made countless attempts to work together and continually are rejected.

So at our upcoming meeting I am pleased to announce that we will get to meet the 3 Republicans running for city council this upcoming election.

We have:

Roger Malouf, who is a real estate broker and on the Board of Zoning appeals for the city. Also a member and officer of our group.

Jim Garrett, 21 years serving the infantry in the Army. He’s an internet technology guy that had a company he sold to Ntelos prior to the military and currently owns another internet service providing company.

Hank Benson, another business man who manages the branch office of an industrial battery company. Hanks position puts him in close touch with the concerns of the business community in Roanoke and will focus on jobs, lower taxes and business expansions that will benefit our city.

As always, REI of Virginia encourages all parties (Republican, Democrat and Independent among others) to come and talk with us so we have a good understanding of their views and which candidates that we would like to personally donate large sums of money to that we feel will be working together with us to help our companies.

I encourage Ray Ferris, Bill Bestpich and Dave Trinkle to come and speak with us. However they should realize that our members will have some very hard questions for them as we will for the Republicans. These men have a currant track record in the council of not being willing to work with REI and I would like to see what changes they plan to make this election year for investors.

We also would love to speak with the 2 Democrats that are taking Bestpich and Ferris’s Democrat nominations. Linda Wyatt and Freeda Cathcart who is currently reporting that she has over $196,000 ready to spend on this election for a job that pays a little over $15,000 a year. Donations that are coming from all over this country. Not just local. Got any special interest money? I think so… We would also love to see Valerie Garner who I’m told is another Democrat (running as independent) totaling 6 Dems running against the 3 Republicans.

So come on out to our REI meeting this Tuesday and lets meet some of the people running for office and see what ideas they have for Roanoke Cities business community.


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