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SERWAN ZANGANA: It’s Time To Vote Them Out!

Obviously, the upcoming November elections will determine the fate of Roanoke City and its direction which is now controlled by one manipulative group of Democrats. Roanoke City Council members have disregarded the needs of Roanoke citizens for years and ignored people’s requests. Council members have completely avoided the concerns and suggestions that could lift some burdens off the people’s shoulders. However, even with what are now continuous shootings in the neighborhoods and citizens losing their lives, members of Roanoke City Council have not admitted to the major problems the city now faces.

The members of City Council are seemingly secluded in their own ideological corner which sees life from a tiny crack of the door. Their unrealistic philosophy in analyzing the problems continues to place the community at risk. Both Roanoke City Council members and the Mayor are not able to implement policies to make Roanoke a safer city and the lack of honesty and transparency on Council has created a gap between the members and the people of Roanoke. Clearly, the members of Council have circumvented the problems in order to deceive people and so that they can maintain power in the City.

The existing problems in Roanoke will not be solved by walking in circles outside the perimeters and avoiding the core issues. Obviously, occupying the Municipal Building for years, the members of Roanoke City Council have proven their real lack of leadership, and its clear that they are unable to provide an effective plan to benefit the people of Roanoke.

Solving problems and deficiencies in Roanoke communities will require honest and unbiased individuals to lead and connect with people regardless of political affiliation and party line.  Repeated circular discussions and complaints will not bring miracles and shift the city in a new or different direction. Instead, changing the leadership and voting for new leaders who are looking at problems in fresh ways will help us realize, address and solve the challenges that are before us in our communities.

Being a Muslim who has immigrated to the US and has lived in Roanoke for over 24 years, I have realized, in general, that the most biased group in the U.S are the liberals. Clearly, it is minorities and immigrants who are the targets of such groups to control, manipulate, and hence guarantee their votes in elections. This tragedy can be seen in Roanoke City. It is unfortunate that most of the high crimes, shootings, and poverty exist in the high minority-populated communities. Obviously, the current members of City Council and Mayor Sherman Lee are not solving these problems in our area.

City Council members including Mr. Lea are not willing to listen to the opposite side, and they are serving one agenda that benefits their ideology. Readers should remember that under this Council, the load has become heavier as the property tax rises continuously. In addition to the inflation under the U.S administration, the members of City Council in Roanoke are adding more to the load for the Citizens of Roanoke by raising property taxes which hurts middle and lower middle class people the most.

Since the members of the City Council have no strategy to grow Roanoke’s revenues, it is easier to raise property taxes on the hard-working people. The irony, of course, is that City Council has a consistent policy of raising taxes but no effective policy for the safety of Roanoke Citizens.

In 2019, while he was vice mayor, I met Joe Cobb and suggested that there should be, at least, a grace period for the property tax due date as Roanoke City has no grace period and the late penalty is 10%. However, the suggestion was ignored and as a typical politician, Joe Cobb never responded.

To stop the poor management of Roanoke City by our present Council members we must finally vote out them out of office. To ask for a better Roanoke is to vote for new members, and Roanoke Citizens have the opportunities to do so by voting for Peg McGuire, Maynard Keller, Nick Hagan, and Baugess Baugess.

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.

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