Keith Reitman sent me a response by email, and I think it's only fair I print his response...
But first, let me tell you a little story about Reitman's philosophy of land lording, and how that philosophy was actually helpful to a friend of mine. See, Reitman has a saying: Not the best landlord, not the worst. He says this often. He almost sort of said it in his email response to me, too.
Suffice to say, this is a thing Reitman says. Not the best landlord. Not the worst.
So, a couple years ago, this friend of mine was at a conference sponsored by her employer at a resort, and there was an opportunity to use a day spa facility. My friend went there to get a massage and, to her shock, when the attendant walked in it was NOT a young woman but a strapping young stud.
My friend felt extremely self-conscious at that moment. But then, like a scene in the old television show Kung Fu, where young "Grasshopper" flashes back and remembers the wisdom passed on by his elders, my friend recalled Keith Reitman and his philsophy: Not the best landlord, not the worst.
This philosophy, she realized, could be applied to entrusting her body to the hunky attendant. It was not the BEST body, but it was certainly not the WORST, either. Therefore, she would not be memorable. He would not even have an opinion of her.
"Not the best body," she told herself. "Not the worst. Not the best, not the worst..."
And, thanks to the land lording philosophy of Keith Reitman, she got through that moment.
THANKS, KEITH!!! my friend says.
Anyway, here is Keith's response to my blog post, which I am printing fair and square in a spirit of public discourse:
I am disappointed that you casually included so many inaccuracies in your brief article about me. It may reflect a lack of time devoted to fact checking before a rush to print. I hope you are not willing to write untruth about me because some of your friends dislike me. I would like to picture your persona, Johnny Northside, as a guy that takes the high road and works hard to
be factually correct, and separates his "reporting" from his "commentary/opinion."
(JNS says: rather than claiming I wrote inaccuracies, it would be preferable if you would state what you believe those inaccuracies to be. I made it clear the list of properties was an old list. Keith, if you care to update it, be my guest)
(Keith continues as follows...)
I do have a history, I have been in the rental business in North Minneapolis for 28 years. I am not the greatest landlord or property owner, but I work really hard, most everyday, to deal with the challenges of my job.
Sometimes, often, I take the personal luxury of helping others who are in trouble. They may be other business owners or my tenants, or others. I try to choose to help those who are having a hard time and deserve a break, some support, or a friend. Or when someone needs somebody to accompany, or witness with them when they are being unfairly judged. I often speak up against our civic leaders when they play fast and loose with public land and deal to their buddies on West Broadway, for example.
I gotta tell ya; I feel that you have said some mean spirited things about me and made false statements of fact about me. I am positive you could have written meaner spirited things if you so desired so I believe there is potential for a conversation. Maybe we can discuss some of the facts from your recent article about me?
Everybody has access to my phone number, it is (xxxxxxx). I am not shy about my opinions and observations.
Truth: The fact that I personally enjoy your writing efforts made me feel even more disappointed in the "product" you rendered about me.
Keith Reitman NOT anonymous
JNS responds: I don't see what false statements you are referring to, Keith. Twice you've referenced something false or inaccurate, but you don't say what it is though you have every opportunity to do so. It seems more likely you just don't like being called out as a North Minneapolis slumlord because, after all, you'd prefer to say there is always somebody WORSE. Ultimately, you're not accusing me of falsehood or inaccuracy so much as hurting your sensitive slumlord feelings.
Well, Keith, the property list on that blog post was presented as an old list, so it is accurate AS AN OLD LIST. The wonderful thing about the blogosphere is that if I print partial information, quickly enough readers who know more of the info will come forward and add to the discourse. It's a wonder, really.
Besides, did you really WANT me digging up all the current information about your various properties? Posting pictures of their conditions?
I didn't think so. I felt like that post was about enough to cover things as far as Mr. "Not The Best, Not The Worst" but, well...feelings can change.
As for 1564 Hillside Ave. N., you were the seller in that transaction and Larry "Maximum" Maxwell went to prison over that little deal. (Though not JUST that little deal, but THAT was the one which broke the scandal wide open)
Jerry Moore managed to get $5k off the seller's side of that deal. This is a matter of record, and that would be YOUR side, Keith. Many people are very interested in what, precisely, happened there. In detail. And what conversations, if any, you've had with the authorities about 1564 Hillside Ave. N.
Also, Keith, in regard to that other blog post, I hear there is some dispute about how many times you booed at that one PowerPoint presentation made about your slumlord empire, whether you booed loudly, whether you booed repeatedly, but the word is you booed the presenter who was talking about your property holdings. So if you want to say you booed only once, and you only booed SOFTLY, well, fine. Let's just say that's the case. Why not? It's a matter of no consequence.
Finally, Keith, I've made it clear I don't consider "slumlord" to be such a pejorative term, and that I have "slumlord blood" in my veins from the many years I've worked in low-income property management. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog, Keith, but not as much as I hope you'd be forthcoming with information and, well, maybe you'd think hard about seeing if you could be THE BEST rather than urging everybody to realize you're not THE WORST.
In a neighborhood full of slumlords dragging down our quality of life, that "not the worst" stuff is pointless. I'm not concerned about WORST actors so much as I am concerned about BAD actors. The jury is still out about whether you are a bad actor, Keith, but there is considerable evidence that you are.
John Hoff a.k.a. "Johnny Northside"