Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not The Best Landlord, Not The Worst--Keith Reitman Responds...

Photo By John Hoff

A short while back, I posted about Keith Reitman, a self-made man involved in North Minneapolis rental property who really doesn't like the word "slumlord."

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:

Hello John,

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.

In detail.

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"


Anonymous said...

mr. reitman says: "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."

wow, mr. reitman is just one altruistic guy, isn't he! here, he's mentioned a ""Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee" story:

it's my understanding that it was reitman's MPRAC friends at the who contacted poor, gullible Matt Snyders at City Pages to get him to write about the poor, downtrodden owner of Uncle Bill's Food Mart(http://www.citypages.com/2007-07-04/news/inconvenient-youths/)

at any rate, mr. reitman's friends at MPRAC liked the story enough to print it on their website!

isn't it nice of mr. reitman and his friends to go out of their way to lend a helping hand to the drug dealers in our neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

If in fact Mr. Reitman is interested in being a "stakeholder" on the northside, as he has so eloquently stated time and again, I wouldn't think he'd have a problem with going on record as to the factual events related to the sale of 1564 Hillside.

I mean afterall, it's a somewhat innocuous request. What exactly was Jerry Moore paid $5000 for?

Also, why in the world would you NOT think that residents of the northside would have a problem living next to rental houses that were painted (trim/soffit & fascia included) the "Reitman blue"?

Would you like living next to houses painted that color Keith? The idiocy of it is that it plays a part in dragginh down property values, which in-turn, hurts everyone (keith included) financially....

You suggest that "some" don't like you. Might I suggest that if you here this enough times, you stop and take stock of what exactly these people are saying. Their reasons (for disliking you) may actually be valide....

Jordan Neighbor said...

I love how that blue house on the corner of 26th/Penn has house numbers on the front door that are..


Nice classy touch Keith - thanks for contributing to the property values one stupid step at a time!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Reitman, I would also like to know what you paid Jerry Moore the 5,000.00 for. I would like to know about the 56,000.00 to the "foundation", who and what is that? You were the seller, the buyer was an imposter using my husbands name, and credit and if you truly are someone who likes to help, you could certainly help clear these questions up for us. Please tell me where these payments went, and for what? If you wish to email me directly and answer these questions privately, send response to chancess@aol.com

Anonymous said...

John, just wanted to let you know we got certified mail that they will be demolishing 1564 Hillside. They want 300.00 if we for any reason do not want them to crush it. I think, unless you tell me differently, that demolishing it is probably for the best for the neighborhood. If that's not the case, let me know, otherwise we will not be objecting to the demolition!

Johnny Northside said...

If I hear anybody objecting, M., I'll pass that on to you. But it's a decision for the neighborhood. Neighborhood leaders like Kip Browne (JACC "New Majority" Chair) and Council Member Don Samuels are on top of the 1564 Hillside situation, and I know you have their info and you're in touch with them. Everything I hear is the house is a wreck and needs to be torn down.

Be strong, M. Keep the faith. So much has been exposed because of the way you shined a light on 1564 Hillside Ave. N. It might start with Larry "Maximum" Maxwell but it shows no sign of ending there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John for the kindness of acknowledging all the work involved in bringing all the crimes to light involving 1564 Hillside. It's finally worth all the investment knowing good things will rise out of it's exposure.

I hope everybody sees all your efforts to shine a light in the dark corners as a public service. It takes your precious time and efforts with the reward being changes to come since you are not paid for this work. I admire your efforts, results, and concern for others.

So it can publicly viewed, I will say on the record that I have NOT given Johnny Northside ANY documents from the case against Mr. Maxwell, which includes a copy of the 5,000. check to Jerry Moore Consulting. This exists and it's indisputable that this check was cut and cashed. Since neither Mr. Reitman, the seller of that property, nor Mr. Moore have offered any explanation for the money paid out on that deal, we are left with only the proof that it happened, and no further explanation. I'd certainly welcome any information they wish to give about this.

When our case is completely finished, we would have more flexibility in sharing information.