Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Silver Street Painting Company & Discussion on Financing

Hello Everyone,

I’m going to have to make it short and sweet this week.

I have been really stressed out lately because my girlfriend just got diagnosed with the worst form of breast cancer that a woman can get. Abnormal cell structure, doesn’t respond to hormones, grade 3 which is the worst. We did some research and found the best cancer hospital in the world which is in Houston Texas. She has been down there twice in the past couple of weeks and now just started chemo.

For icing on the cake, I also just found out that my dog has bone cancer. It is the most aggressive form of cancer a German Shepherd can get. She is 11 years old and the vet said he could cut her leg off but it’s real hard on a dog of her age to do that. He said he has found when doing so it will only give them an extra 6 months of life. And it will be a painful 6 months trying to learn how to walk with a missing front leg. Apparently a dog can get along better if it is their back leg that is missing. He recommended against it. That dog is like my child. She is with me all day every day and has been since I got her 11 years ago.

So that, among several other things, is what's stressing me out right now.

This week our guest speaker will be a woman named April Medeiros. April is the owner of a business called Silver Street Painting Company.  They work with non profits and hire felons in transitional living to teach them a skill so they can become good productive citizens. This may mean better prices. I don’t know. We will find out. April is going to have a short discussion about her company and what she can do for REI members.

Following that we will have a discussion on financing. That’s all I know. I can’t give you any more information other than that as that’s all I have been told.

Come on down and spend some time with fellow successful individuals every week at REI. Doing so will help you keep your head in the game and your eye on the big picture rather than the day to day business.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Strange Landlords Website & Are You Getting Ready To Get Bit Or Licked?

1. Interesting article by the Roanoke Times about a Floyd landlord, Mr. Amour Kasongo… who came from Rwanda and settled in Roanoke. He now owns 6 houses and set up a website called Yardstick that is supposed to be better than Craigslist as it doesn’t have the scammers. He says he only posts verified rentals to cut back on the scams where a person posts your house for rent using your ad and photos and charges several people deposits on it before they disappear.

He also said he is considering offering a years worth of rental payments for a tenant allowing them to repay Yardstick with interest. The idea is the landlord knocks off the last month of rent to get the guaranteed 11 months of payment upfront and he makes money from the one month you knocked off and interest.

I have plenty of 11 month deals for Mr Kasongo. The only Yardstick website I was able to find is https://angel.co/yardstick 

I don’t think the Roanoke Times did their homework. This looks like they are promoting a Nigerian scammer with a bunk website. Interesting how his last name is different on the website than it is in the article. Does the Roanoke Times check anything they write?

Here’s the original article from the rag.

Click Here!!!

2. Feds charge landlord for not allowing tenant to have a dog for emotional support. 
 Ladies and gentlemen. There has been an ongoing battle since legislation passed a couple years ago requiring landlords to allow pets for handicapped people without a pet deposit, pet rent, or pet fee of any kind. Even if you don’t allow pets in that property. The laws that our congressmen passed were very vague. So they left them open for interpretation. And what does the government do when you give them an inch? Yes, that’s right, they take a mile.

We all know that these laws weren’t initially intended to allow anyone that wants to, to scam their pet into a landlords house that doesn’t allow pets via a fake disability. They were intended for real disabilities and we all know that. All of us except the enforcers of the law. They are the only ones that don’t seem to get it.

Doctors are writing prescriptions to tenants for emotional pets like it’s going out of style. They don’t understand the implications of what they are doing. They don’t understand that their emotional pitbull isn’t allowed by your insurance company. And when their emotional pitbull bites someone, the person that got bit is going to get emotional and sue the landlord for everything they have.

People… I don’t have any problems with pitbulls so don’t get me wrong. I love all dogs. Any dog that is raised right can be man’s, or woman’s best friend. But your insurance company doesn’t trust them as well as several other breeds. And that causes a problem for you as a landlord. Especially when you can’t require, the supposed handicapped tenant trying to skirt your fees, to cary any special insurance or anything like that.

Any doctor that gives someone a prescription for a medical pet should require that that pet is certified for whatever particular medical purpose. That will end this problem for the most part. And we need laws in place that allow landlords to require special insurance on a pet that is not insured by their insurance company. It’s just common sense. Lets start thinking a little before passing bills in congress. Maybe we will be better off not passing any more bills at all and start working on eliminating bills.

Read the interesting article of typical government overreach below.
Click Here!!!

Understanding money this week at REI.... Debt, leveraging, financing, etc.

This week at REI our special guest speaker will be Matthew Philmore of VIP Financial Education.

VIP teaches real estate investors how to accomplish the following:
Accelerating the payoff of all mortgage and non-mortgage related debt.
Maximizing monthly cash flow.
Increasing access to capital.
Accelerating the acquisition of investment real estate.
Increasing credit scores organically.
Unique and more effective budgeting.
Building Emergency reserves.

Matthew Philmore has studied under the founders of the FICO credit scoring system. He speaks nationally on the topics of credit scoring, debt elimination, fiscal responsibility and proper budget management.

He will be teaching the fundamentals of money, leveraging, taxes, and financing that are often not taught in schools. A good understanding of how all of this works together allows you to pay the least in taxes as a result of owning a business, create multiple residual income streams, own real estate free and clear faster than typical strategies, etc.

They are promising lots of good free information and techniques they call debt weapons that you can use at our upcoming seminar. We’ll see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Know And Understand What Is Happening Politically To Position Your Investments So You Win!

So, have you been thinking about buying some “safe guaranteed” government bonds or treasuries? How about some nice “safe” mutual fund that invests in bonds or treasuries? Lets look into the United States Debt and determine what you should NOT have your money invested in as we are in the middle of a government bubble. Smart investors never invest in a bubble. They buy at the bottom of the market after its popped.

US Debt and what it consists of:

It seems that most people I talk to know we have this massive 20 trillion dollar debt that Obama created but most don't know who owns it. Which helps in determining how it gets paid off, what gets negotiated, etc.

People act like China owns all of our debt but that simply isn't true. China did help cause our debt though. Their devaluing of their currency over the years helped create the debt along with reckless government spending and entitlement programs that aren't sustainable.

Over 5 trillion of the debt is owed to 230 federal agencies. This is Federal Debt to the Federal Government. These federal agencies bought US Treasuries. And the largest of all is Social Security at 2.8 trillion. You also have the military retirement fund, office of personal management, medicare, other federal government retirement funds, etc. Yes they do still have pensions set up for government employees and they will fight to keep their pensions rather than let them go into bankruptcy.

The rest of the debt is owned by the public. Of which 5 trillion is foreign public debt. Which mainly includes China and Japan. China's owed roughly 14% of the total debt and Japan 13% of the debt. 2.5 trillion of this public debt is owed to the Federal Reserve. I personally don't care about that. With their mismanagement of our economy they deserve to lose money. Especially when they are the ones that can print these notes out of thin air and require the US to pay them back interest on everything they print. As you probably know the Federal Reserve is a private business that is owned by the 12 largest banks in the US with insane powers no private business should have. So who cares about their debt. Besides the fact that their debt is interest we haven't paid them on money they printed. Federal Reserve "Note". They print and we pay them back the value of the currency plus interest. But they CREATED that currency out of thin air. How would you like the ability to print dollars whenever you want money. Then charge the people you give them to interest on what you printed. A huge scam.

Then we have 1 trillion that was bought by mutual funds. That would be the idiots that bought mutual funds that bought the debt. Would you buy government debt right now? If you would you deserve to lose your money. I don't care about their losses. I don't think we should guarantee anyone's bad investment. Maybe the day when the public starts guaranteeing my real estate investments is the day we guarantee peoples stock market investments. What kind of idiot guarantees someones bad investment?

Also in public debt there is local and state government pension funds. I also am not overly concerned about that. But I'm sure you are if you work for the government. You people need to stop this crap and set up 401K plans. What company these days still has pensions but the government? That total debt is 803 Billion.

Then you have banks that own 515 billion of public debt.

Insurance companies with 293 Billion

US savings bonds 174 Billion

Other (individuals, government-sponsored enterprises, brokers and dealers, bank personal trusts and estates, corporate and non-corporate businesses, and other investors) - $1.198 trillion

And that's the debt and who owns it. Now lets see what we want to guarantee and what we will negotiate. I personally think paying the people back for the government robbing them of their social security is important. Then government officials that bought treasuries with social security need to go to jail. Or better yet get on a payment plan to pay back what they spent. What do you think is important? And what isn't. I told you what I think isn't.

You Now HAVE TO Rent To Violent Criminal Offenders Or You Are In Violation Of The Fair Housing Laws.

Several years ago we were ankles deep in police state type control of the people. We are now much deeper. More like waist deep. And it’s getting deeper by the year. The government has found that the more they push you the less you fight back. The people feel weak and hopeless. Like they can’t make a difference. That’s because the government no longer listens to the Will of the people. There was a day when government officials thought of themselves as civil servants. That they worked for the people. But today they are more like mini dictators that’s primary objective is to control the people.

They know better than you do how to run your life. Don’t you know that? The people are too afraid to fight back or do anything about it so on almost every occasion the government wins. In Virginia, they have now decided to issue a dictate stating that if you don’t rent to violent criminals, rapists and child molesters you can be charged with violations to the Fair Housing Act. And if you do you can be sued by the neighbors for your negligence. You should have never put a child molester next door to a child that got raped by them.

The world is crazy right now. The government on local, state and federal levels is operating with absolutely no since of reason or logic. For the past 8 years they have been pushing as hard as they can to take away your rights and now we are in the wake of some very serious damage to this country which is potentially beyond repair.

See below the details of the new government mandate that Virginia has dictated. Do you agree with it? I can’t think of a single landlord who would. I’m 100% on board with the existing protected classes that we have but adding criminals to the protected classes is shocking. I do not see a huge problem that has lead to all criminals having to live on the streets as a result of landlords not renting to them. They always seem to end up not having a tremendous amount of difficulty finding a place to live. There are plenty of landlords that don’t care.

The free market system should be allowed to operate without this type of government involvement. You as a landlord should not be FORCED to rent to a criminal if you don’t want to. It’s similar to the news where they were trying to force the cake decorator business to make a gay cake. If he doesn’t want to make one than go to another cake decorator and spread the word around that that’s a bad business. Then one of two things will happen. Either the general public will agree and not support his business or they will disagree and continue to do business there. In the end it should be the public that chooses, not the government.

We had some laws in the Virginia General Assembly that were an attempt to force landlords to rent to people with a different gender identity. The law added to the list of protected classes. I personally didn’t know of some major problem that existed with landlords not wanting to rent to transexuals. I actually don’t know a single landlord who would care. I personally love my gay tenants. As a whole they are typically very clean people and they take great care of my place.

Government intervention where it is not needed. It’s time that they government backed out of our lives and stopped this intense pressure of new regulation where regulation isn’t needed.

Landlord Entitlement Program That Will Make You Money This Week At REI of VA

It’s nice to every once in a while be able to get back some of that hard earned money you give away to the government all year. It isn’t really an entitlement program but it sure feels like one. It’s very strange having the government actually put money back in your pocket. I’m so used to it being taken out. You will get the knowledge of how to take advantage of this program at this week’s REI meeting.

This week at REI of Virginia we are going to have our good friend Marla Robertson of Lead Safe Roanoke at our meeting. Lead Safe Roanoke is a Roanoke City government program that was set up by Marla and Ann Weaver.  These ladies apply for grant money which pays for lead abatement and encapsulation when the house has children in it 5 years of age or under, or if a pregnant female lives there. Right now they have funding again.

If you have lead paint on the walls or on a metal roof they will paint over to encapsulate it. They will also test the dirt around the house and if it has lead they will remove and replace it with several inches of mulch. If you have old windows or doors that have lead on them they will replace them as well. Painting over windows and door trim does not solve the problem. They have to be replaced. They are continually opened and closed which will rub the paint off and get back down to the lead paint again.

I have used this program several times and every single time the windows needed to be replaced and dirt had to be excavated around the house.

Come on out to our meeting this week to learn about this program so you can take advantage of it. There is only so much funding for this each year so you have to jump on it before it runs out.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Roanoke City Election Results

What a tight election that was. The votes were counted and recounted several times. John Garland and Trish White-Boyd were neck and neck. It turns out that REI of Virginia played a very important roll in this election.

This is a lesson to be remembered for all future candidates. You can not blow off the REI meeting if you are not the incumbent. We have 715 members in our organization. At least 1/3rd live within the city limits. It is a very bad idea to blow off the REI Small Business debate. If you don’t already have major support form being in office for several years, you may lose the election from not showing up to our debate. The proof is in the pudding below.

For Mayor the winner is:
Sherman Lea who got 82 %. Sherman was running unopposed. 17.8% of the public wrote in a different candidate. Surprisingly large number of people.

For City Council:
Anita Price               4,214 votes
Michelle Dykstra     4,143 votes
John Garland           3,534 votes - Showed up at REI Small Business Debate
Trish White-Boyd      3,487 votes - Wow that’s close - Blew off REI Debate
Freeda Cathcart          2,913 votes
Duane Howard           758    votes

REI of Virginia would like to congratulate the winners of the City Council and Mayor positions. Sherman Lea, Anita Price, Michelle Dykstra and John Garland. We know it was a long hard road for you. Now we hope that you will always act in the best interest of both the citizens and businesses. Creative thinkers are what we need. Relationship builders. A good relationship between local government, real estate investors & small business owners could make this city the Shining Star in the Valley again. 

How To Course on Airbnb ~ Limited Residential Lodging Act of Virginia


Hello everyone,

This week we’re going to have an in’s and out’s meeting about airbnb. For those of you who don’t know, airbnb its similar to VBRO (vacation rental by owner). But it’s much larger. Airbnb is a website where people can stay in someones house rather than a hotel when they travel. It’s the home version of Uber. With airbnb you can rent out rooms in your own house for a night or for a few days, whatever you wish.

What a great way for someone to make a few extra bucks. Several people across the country are using airbnb to avoid foreclosure when times get tight. Or to have money to buy a new car or whatever. It’s a fantastic survival tool just like the Uber concept where you use your own car as a taxi and drive for a while when you’re bored or need some extra cash. My tenants can even make money to pay me their rent with this fabulous new tool.

Our officer, Sue Brocker, has been an airbnb host in one of her properties for a while now and she is making some good extra money doing so.

Roanoke City was trying to control the citizens by making them jump through hoops and pay several hundred dollars to file a legal notice as well as a non refundable fee to plead before the board of zoning appeals for them to graciously allow you to let people to come stay in your own personal home. As if any government official has the right to prevent you from having people over at your house.

Boy… were some of the city council members mad when the state made it a RIGHT for you to do this rather than a privilege in this years general assembly meeting.  I personally spoke with one of the currant councilmen and he was hot. I was essentially told this.… (How dare they do this to us. Airbnb loved Roanoke City and how we created an avenue for the citizens to be able to rent rooms out of their homes…. We were even contacted by them…. We are one of the few progressive cities to do this.… It’s not fair to everyone who thought they were moving to a quiet neighborhood and the next thing they know there is a lot of traffic coming and going from their neighbors house…. This is why the board of zoning appeals process is important.… It allows neighbors to have a place where they can go to stop things like this…. Dallas do you know the calls I’m going to get when people call me and tell me that they can’t stand all of the traffic coming out of that house next door? What am I going to tell them Dallas? I guess all I can say is what I so frequently have to say….. our state politicians decided that you neighbor has the right to have people over at their house and I can do nothing about it. It’s too bad for these people that I can’t help them anymore.)

All I can say is WOW. Isn’t that the perfect demonstration of how a fringe leftist thinks? That they actually have the right to be able to strip your property rights and your liberty away from you if they wish. Or if your stuffy neighbor wishes. Control is the name of the game for the far left guys. It’s all about keeping people under their thumb. And they do this under the guise of political correctness. They develop reasons why the government needs to govern. Why they need to control the people. To protect the victims… Don’t get me wrong, Republicans do this as well. Just not as much. The only political organization that is not focused on stripping your liberty away from you are libertarians.

These types of progressives are often very self important. I have been told by this city councilman, on several occasions, as we wrap up a conversation, in a jokingly way, to “stay out of trouble”. Haha, that’s real funny. Shouldn’t I be telling them that? I am the one that’s the law abiding citizen. He’s the one that better stay out of trouble. This $10 dollar buildings to friends program they set up very well could eventually end up landing some of them in prison. They don’t think so though. These types feel they are too important to get locked up but I can assure you that they aren’t. To take this further, I was told at the end of this particular conversation a few months ago by this councilman, “See, I will even talk with people of the likes of you Dallas.” Gosh that guy is a real comedian isn’t he?

Well, we have been lucky so far. Often when the city tries to strip away your liberty, it is given back to you by the state. Gosh those darn liberty loving people are always messing things up for the oppressors. The city now has no authority to force you to jump through hoops or prevent you from renting out your home to guests as it now has been deemed a right. As long as you are not infringing on the rights of others, they need to stay out of the way and focus on their multi layered pension programs, world class health care, and other ways of robbing you.

Ohh, did you just learn that I am not a fan of the government choking the life out of the citizens?

Facts about the new law that I gather:
1. Specifically prevents Any Locality from passing laws to prevent you from doing this in a residential dwelling no matter what the zoning is. Sorry Roanoke City too bad you aren’t allowed to control us.

2. Prevents the locality from forcing you to adhere to any zoning or licensing requirements that a hotel, bed & breakfast or any other like commercial organization has. They can’t legally impose any additional regulations upon you for doing this. The City was in hot water from what they were doing to the citizens of Roanoke so they immediately terminated their citizen control program.

3. As of now if you rent it out for fewer than 45 days they can not even consider it as a business to tax. However if it is occupied more than 45 days than they can tax you but it has to be done in a uniform manor among all operators which is you if you operate one of these temporary lodging facilities in your house.

4. Localities are allowed to place local ordinances related to noise, trash, health and safety, parking, yard signs etc but only if those ordinances effect not only the temporary lodging but the houses around it as well.

5. A locality can force you to get an insurance policy of a minimum of 500K liability coverage and if they require that and if they catch you not having it they can charge you no more than $200 per violation.

6. If you don’t pay your taxes on the 45 day or more annual stays they can put an ordinance in place that makes it so you are prohibited from operating this temporary lodging, that you can be audited by the tax man, and require you to register your name and address through an online portal maintained by the city or town.

7. This law specifically calls a tenant both a limited residential lodging operator and a primary resident allowing them to do this if they have lived in the unit for at least 60 days. However it also says that nothing shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals for the use of the property. So that says that if it is in your lease that they can’t act as a residential lodging operator than they will not be allowed to do airbnb. However if it is not in there they have the right to do so. I will be convincing all of my tenants when having difficulty with rent or losing a job that they should consider making some extra money with airbnb and Uber.

8. If it’s in a homeowners association or condo association contract that you can not do this than you can’t do it. As that is also a contract between parties.

9. The hosting operation such as airbnb or VRBO has to register with the state and collect taxes for them. That will automatically come out of the portion of money they keep.

10. This law does not say anywhere that I see that you can’t do this in one of your rentals. The city before was making requirements that you have to live in the house to do it. I see no requirement such as that in this state law.

11. They will revisit this in 2017 and determine if there needs to be changes made after meeting with a group consisting of the hotel industry, hosting operation, local government and local tax officials, property owners and other interested parties.

Come on out to this meeting. It’s not going to involve all of these details. I am giving those to you now. We’re past that at this point. Save this email for reference. The focus of our meeting is how to use programs like airbnb to make some extra money for yourself. This could even be a great way for a person just getting involved in real estate investing to save up for their first rental.

Going to be a fun meeting, see you there!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Hi Dallas,

Some time ago I mentioned that my wife was undergoing some serious medical issues that required an operation to hopefully rectify an non-functioning pancreas. Unfortunately, a subsequent M.R.I evaluation indicates that the operation was unsuccessful. Understandably, this dire news will require that we be available to secure other options and resources worldwide, to hopefully remedy or belay her critical situation. To accomplish this I have made the radical decision to free up all my financial obligations in my investment properties, at all costs, within the next 30 days.

To do this I am offering the following unprecedented investment offer to your R.E.I. members for consideration:

I am prepared to take a significant loss on my initial investment] by reducing my original selling price on my 22,000 sq. ft. buildings from the already low price quoted to R.E.I. of $599,900. down to $463,800., which is the balance of my mortgages and loans. This is an additional $136,100. reduction savings, and lowers the dollars per square foot to an unheard of $21.04 per sq. ft. -  which is more than 50% below all local Botetourt comps. It also means that, at this lower price, the investment “in-cost” of the four buildings calculates to only $115,000. per building. There isn’t another commercial building in the State of Virginia that can be built at this “bail-out” price! And, if there ever was a commercial  investment property more structured to group investment participation of your membership, this is the one.

Group investment Calculation:
Original Sale Price of 22,000 sq. ft. building of $599,900. Reduced Down to $462,800. + include $37,200 for roof repair & closing costs = $500,000. Gross sale price.

Divided into 25 group investment units @ $20,000. Each. [This can allow each investor to choose how many units they want to participate in]

OR, Financed on a 20% down Payment [$100,000] = only $4,000. per investment unit. Balance as a group mortgage loan.

Marketing and/or Exit Strategy:
1. Quick Flip Sale at a reasonable $650,000. = $186,200. profit [40% R.O.I.]
2. Quick Flip Divide & Sell 4 Bldgs. individually at $839,600. = $375,800. profit [81% R.O.I.]
3. Develop Property into Antique Mall & Sell at $930,000. = $466,200. profit [101% R.O.I.]
Dallas, from my many years of experience in commercial investments I must say that there is absolutely no downside to my exceptional offer. Additionally, I sincerely believe that the investment that I am forced to propose, for closing within the next 30 days, may very well be an attractive vehicle to get your members more comfortable with group commercial investments, with no singular liability exposure. Honestly, if I could, with the projected economic growth in the county, over the next few years, I would be investing in as many residential and commercial properties as possible.

As always, I would certainly appreciate your valued thoughts, and/or, assistance in this critical matter.

Additional Investor Information – Commercial Investment Valuation:
Based on R.E.I. 65% valuation method >>                    $987, 243.
Based on R.E.I. 50X rental method >>>>                    $1,220,000.
Based on Insurance buildings replacement value >>   $1,320,000.
Based on $75. per sq. ft. building costs value >>         $1,650,000.
Lowest $ per sq. ft. costs of ALL Botetourt Commercial Comps                

County Demographics
Over the next 3 to 5 years, Botetourt County is poised to experience the largest growth in county history. They have:
a low unemployment rate;
high number of high quality jobs;
utility costs among lowest in U.S.;
cost of living much lower than national average
low taxes & fees;
VDOT daily traffic count for Roanoke off I-581 Approx 35000 vehicles, while for Botetourt off I-81 Approx 25000 vehicles.

Future County Commercial Development Projects:
New multi-million dollar Wind Farm project;
Arkay Packaging will invest over $10 million dollars creating over 50 new jobs;
Capco Machinery will have a $4.2 million expansion, creating over 40 new jobs with an average wage of $60,000.
NBG Holding will invest $5 million creating over25 new jobs with an average wages of $75,000.;
Dynax America is investing over $32 million creating over 75 new jobs;
Virginia Community College System has signed a lease 200 jobs;
Eldor Corp is investing $75 million creating over 350 to 650 new jobs with an average wage of $38,000.;
Fralin & Waldren have an ongoing extensive commercial building project in Daleville Center;
The Exit 151 interchange project involves $220 Million in Construction Costs;
Botetourt County has funded an aggressive development plan called the “Exit 150 Gateway Project.”

Taking into account all these demographic factors, an informed investor may consider Botetourt County as an extremely favorable area for residential and commercial investments.

CONTACT:   Kenneth Bray

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Predicting The Future?

How would you like to be able to predict the future?

To know today what you should buy to make the best return on your money over the next twenty or thirty years. Should you buy low priced, high rate of return properties in depressed parts of town? Old Southwest used to be a depressed neighborhood. Or more expensive, lower rate of return properties in an already well established more desirous part of town?

Andy Stowasser is going to do a mathematical analysis and lead a discussion to look at the pros and cons of both scenarios.

Come on out this Tuesday for our educational discussion that will show you where in real estate to invest, based on your own unique situation, to accomplish your personal goals.


Last week we had a good turnout for our Small Business Owner City Council Forum. For the next election the word DEBATE will be in it as several of you have requested, not Forum.

I would like to congratulate all of the candidates that were not afraid to come and talk with our group and answer a couple semi difficult questions. The candidates that showed up at our meeting displayed to our group that they are strong enough to tackle issues that are important to what is likely the largest single location small business group in the entire state, AKA, REI of Virginia.

Overall the candidates agreed upon several important issues. They don’t feel that it is in the best interest of the tax paying citizens to give property we own away to friends for 10 dollars. That was clearly a bad decision of the currant city council. 10 dollar buildings to friends has developed into regular yearly commonplace within our local government and the overall consensus was it needs to stop.

They obviously also all strongly felt that jobs are key to our economy. The differences lie in exactly how jobs are created.

Below is a link to a poorly written article by someone who is clearly not an entrepreneur, acting like they are an economic analyst. In this Roanoke Times article they made sure the name was removed from the article so their reporter wouldn’t be ridiculed for their ridiculous stance. The writer cited a dirty politicians engineered statistics that were designed to fulfill his pet project as evidence.

He / She essentially says that nothing can be done regarding keeping jobs in Roanoke and it is painful to him / her that the small business owners in REI of Virginia don’t know that. That it’s an “unhealthy fixation” to even think that the city could have asked companies like Advance Auto Parts or Norfolk Southern what can be done to maintain a great business environment for them here in the city. They further imply that our great leaders have done the best job that can be reasonably asked. Typical garbage that you can expect to read from the local rag.

The candidates that were not afraid to discuss business issues, in no particular order, include:

(I’m making an effort to define the write in’s and independents politically from what I have seen. You may have a different impression.)

Jim Garrett (Conservative Republican Write - In Candidate for Mayor AND City Council) The Republican Party asks that he is written in with no other candidate being chosen. They feel that this will give him the best statistical shot this late in the game.

Martin Jeffrey (Write In Candidate - Previously ran as Independent / Democrat in other elections. Former NAACP Branch President. Martin had some great answers to our questions.)

Freeda Cathcart (Currently running as an independent. Freeda is clearly Democrat)

John Garland (John I would say is a moderate Republican. John has a fascinating video here on saving Happy’s :-)

Duane Howard (Duane leans primarily Democrat but has some republican viewpoints mixed in. I would say Duane has done the most in support of the neighborhood groups over the years.)

Michelle Dykstra came to our meeting prior but did not stay for the debate. I have briefly talked to Michelle. I would say she is a Democrat by my conversation and the way she answered other forum questions. She has been known during this election as one of the most well spoken.

The candidates that did not show up were Sherman Lea, Anita Price and Trish White-Boyd. I have been told that anything that Anita does, Trish does. Anita decided she didn’t want to be questioned on business related issues. So the two of them didn’t show.

I have had lunch with Sherman Lea a couple of times. Sherman didn’t do as we agreed which was to assist with getting REI of Virginia one of the City Council Appointed Water Authority board seats so we have at least 1 landlord as a representative, however I can honestly say that I didn’t follow up with him much. A couple attempts and I gave up feeling that he wasn’t going to honor his word. Maybe one day he will revisit that issue with us.

Sherman is a landlord. As is Mayor Bowers. Most people involved in politics are as it seems. Primarily on a national and state level.

A few of us spoke with Sherman’s son after the REI debate. His mom / Sherman’s wife, has been in the hospital all week. So that is what I am told why he didn’t come.

So that’s the rundown on the candidates. Please vote for who you feel will best represent our entrepreneurial endeavors.

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