Pottstown Civic Activists Stage Rally Against Deadbeat Slumlords On King Street

Teri Lyn Jensen-Sellers and Katy Jackson, both neighborhood residents, organized a rally today to protest “landlord” Andrew Soule’s $10,000+ in back payments for sewer/water/trash to the Borough of Pottstown and the condition of his buildings in the 400 block of King Street.  Reporters from The Mercury, The Pottstown Patch and Roy’s Rants were on hand to document the effort of this group to draw attention to this huge problem plaguing Pottstown.  Absentee landlords with blighted properties and overdue bills are straining Pottstown’s already stressed tax base.

The Borough of Pottstown is owed over $700,000 in back water/sewer/trash payments from 200 people.  The top 10 people on the Pottstown Wall of Shame owe nearly $200,000.  As Pottstown Borough Manager Jason Bobst has stated, “It’s all the same people that we see time and time again.”  Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski uses the Hall of Shame tactic in Allentown very successfully.  Mrs. Jackson recently attended a webinar on this subject hosted by Allentown’s mayor to learn more about how other towns and cities are coping with this problem.

Mr. Soule was evidently on the scene when the first protestors appeared, but left upon their arrival.  Mrs. Jensen-Sellers questioned a man but he denied being Andrew Soule.  A neighbor stated it was Mr. Soule after the man departed.

Sixth Ward Councilor and Man of the People, Jody Rhoads was on the scene as the sole representative of Pottstown Borough leadership along with Gallery on High/Gallery School co-founder Cathy Paretti and Andrew Monastra, a real estate lawyer with an office in the borough.  A Code Blue member was in attendance as well as other concerned borough residents.

I interviewed two former tenants of Mr. Soule, both of whom had unpleasant dealings with the landlord.

Both Mrs. Paretti and Mr. Monastra shared their feelings about doing business in Pottstown and the challenges of being a business owner here.  Both see the potential Pottstown has to offer but understand that many things need to change before Pottstown can follow in Phoenixville’s footsteps.

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13 comments on “Pottstown Civic Activists Stage Rally Against Deadbeat Slumlords On King Street

    • Mike:
      I was thinking the same things as I was protesting! Why aren’t councilmembers showing up to support important quality of life issues in their own wards? Applauds to the borough for going after deliquent slumllords!

      TJS

    • Teri Lyn, thanks for that important bit of information. In this day and age, people should be using email. Evidently Jody Rhoads reads his email as he found the time to come and lend his support!

      Thank you Jody for being our Councilor at large and for all you do for Pottstown Borough. We need more just like you!

      Power to the Pottstown people!

  1. Glad to have participated in this call for public awareness and action! These deadbeat landlords need to pay-up or move-on, instead of dragging the community down. Such actions as demonstrated by these “hall of shamers” is unconscionable. The community needs to illuminate their actions, or lack there of. Until we face head on the issues which afflict Pottstown and it’s residents, we will continue to face negative stereotypes, poor quality of life, and citizens who are just too overwhelmed and disheartened to act. As we join together, we shall find others who desire a better tomorrow hence civic power structures are formed through unity and commonality!

  2. Boro council should enact a law that allows the utilities and property taxes to be taken out of rent payments before they reach the landlords. When a landlord is in arrears, the rent checks go directly to the boro. Especially if section 8 is involved. As far as Pottstown Plating is involved, seize the property and sell it. You know, if it is section 8 housing, it should be mandatory to pay utilities and taxes directly from rent receipts. Any thoughts Roy? Maybe we should move to have this brought up at a council meeting. BTY Roy, great news coverage. I go here instead of the Mercury. Thanks for your hard work.

  3. Pingback: WE HAVE OUR FIRST GOLDEN COCKROACH NOMINEE: SLUMLORD ANDREW SOULE | goldencockroach

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