Landlordpolitics.com




Progress Report Emailed to certain members in October 2011

 

Although Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee has not met this year to produce a cable-television show, I would like to give an update on activities and resources.
We do have a website as the archives of the organization which contains 187 different pages. It’s at http://www.landlordpolitics.com. The heart of this site is a collection of “horror stories” involving landlords and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Here you get an inside account of how these landlords were abused by inspectors and other city officials. I maintain the site and have no plans to discontinue it in the near future.

Recently, a number of these stories and articles were compiled in short e-books, published both for Amazon.com’s Kindle reader and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. They are for sale at $2.99 per copy. The titles and subtitles are:

1. SIX STORIES OF LANDLORDS ABUSED BY MINNEAPOLIS CITY GOVERNMENT – How things were in the early 1990s 
2. STORIES OF ABUSE AGAINST PROPERTY OWNERS IN ST. PAUL - Can you spell “corruption”? 
3. RAMPAGING LANDLORDS – Political activism by small property owners in Minneapolis
4. THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS GOES AFTER CONVENIENCE STORES AND A '50S FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT - Captain Ahab resurfaces on the City Council
5. HISTORY OF A LANDLORD INSURGENCY - Minneapolis landlords react to a hostile regulatory environment

Some of the old-timers have kept in touch with each other. With his new (transplanted) heart, Charlie Disney is back to his own self although he has no interest in leading a landlord organization again. Frank Trisko spends time in Florida and Wisconsin; he’s down to one Minnesota rental property, in Columbia Heights. Bob Anderson has invested in commercial property on Nicollet Avenue. Mel Gregerson, who celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary this year, now owns rental property in Anoka.

As previously reported, I have been battling city inspectors much of the year after a rental-license inspection was conducted in late February 2011 and my home was condemned. Although the condemnation order was lifted, I’m still looking at $800 in fines and $100 in reinspection fees. The appeals hearing is next week.

Jim Swartwood has been dealing with a non-paying tenant in St. Paul who hooked up with the Briggs & Morgan law firm doing pro-bono work. The lawyers have been keeping Jim busy for more than a half year while he has had to deal with all the other problems that inner-city landlords normally face. Jim won that case but at a considerable personal cost.

We haven’t been able to publish any issues of The Watchdog this year. It has been a money-losing operation subsidized by Jim Swartwood. The main problem, however, is that Jim has been stretched too thin with his landlord business and other activities.

Our half-hour time slot at MTN has lapsed because we weren’t producing enough shows. We had trouble finding qualified guests for the programs as well producing the show itself on a regular basis.

Minnesota Senator Warren Limmer has expressed interest in meeting with members of our group again. We may do that later this month when, hopefully, the Senator will not be distracted by his obligations as a committee chair.

I think many would agree that city government in the Twin Cities is as abusive as ever and the need exists for an organization that will fight on behalf of small property owners. Unfortunately, MPRAC has always operated with volunteer labor. This year, the volunteers have been preoccupied with their own troubles. Maybe we can do something again in the future.

- Bill McGaughey
 
 


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