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SERWAN ZANGANA: Roanoke City’s Problems Will Not Be Solved From A Restaurant Table

It is the same old drama with the same characters but different actors in different countries. To compare the Roanoke City Council members to the Council members of the City of Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan (Iraq), it is an unfortunate situation for the hardworking people in both cities to end up with corrupt representatives who abandoned the voters and embraced their own political interests.

What an odd situation: two groups of politicians approximately 6,000 miles apart from each other but sharing a mutual thinking and lack of integrity and transparency. The two mountainous cities with the sincerest people are struggling under the misrule of such politicians.

However, for this essay I must leave Kurdistan behind and focus on Roanoke. Such a beautiful city has been bleeding since the Democrats took over the Municipal Building and Mr. Sherman Lea became mayor. It is obvious that the city is struggling with crimes related to gangs and people are suffering because of the shootings and killings. The Council members and Mayor Lea are unable to lead people fairly, stop the crimes, and protect the young lives which are the majority of victims involved in the shootings.

Sadly, the failures of City Council members and Mayor Lea and their contributions to political conflicts and biased rule have been clearly observed. For example, despite their votes in April for Democrat Anita Price to fill the vacant seat of the former Council member Robert Jeffrey, who was convicted and jailed for embezzlement, they are shamelessly in a denial of the crises now surrounding Roanoke. It is time to end the political games and the spectators no longer want to waste time and watch such deceptive practices in the City.

Therefore, it was no surprise to observe Council member Joe Cobb’s lavish spending from the City’s funds on a dinner, regardless of the reason and cause of the meeting, and attempting to solve Roanoke City’s problems from the table of an exclusive restaurant. Any integrity of Mr. Cobb, or indeed from the rest of the council members and the Mayor, has been hibernating and probably will not be woken up until he receives a pink slip from the voters on November 8.

As the Council members have inflated their power with one-party rule in Roanoke City to the level that they perceive themselves as an undefeatable elite, they have caused damage to the entire community. We are at a dead-end road with the current City Council members and Mayor Lea. Such a group has to be expelled so we can begin with new members who will plan to solve the City’s problems from Williamson Road to Melrose Avenue to Bennington Streets to Grandin Road, as the problems definitely will not be solved from the expensive steak dinner table.

– 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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