PA Senate Committee Considers Blight Bills…

Or, as I like to call them “Bite Bills” taking a bite out of blight one bill at a time…


Three bills aimed at providing tools to decrease the number of blighted properties across the commonwealth were reported from the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee on June 27.

Senate Bill 1420, authored by Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Philadelphia), would allow a property owner’s Pennsylvania driver’s license to be suspended for 90 days if the property owner has three serious convictions of property violations within a municipality. The bill was reported by an 8-3 vote.  I like this Bill – a lot – only thing is…getting serious convictions for property violations in Pottstown doesn’t happen.  I’d like it a whole lot BETTER if it included delinquent property tax and municipal service liens too.  But, it could put a temporary squeeze on some of those out-of-town real estate or rental management companies who would have to pedal their ass(ets) from Limerick or Blue Bell to Pottstown to continue to make a buck off the taxpayers voucher housing $$$.  

Another proposal, SB 1427, introduced by committee chair Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) was reported from committee 10-1 and would allow counties the option to apply an additional fee of up to $15 on deeds and mortgages, with the additional revenue to be used exclusively for demolition within the county.  I suppose this isn’t such a big deal to the average property buyer and it would be great to start demolishing blighted houses in Pottstown, for sure.  But it doesn’t really target the negligent property owners, the source of most of the blight.   Oh yeah, that’s right …  Act 90 the Blight And Reclamation Law allows municipalities to go after the personal assets of these creeps to rectify the damages they cause. I’d like to see it put to use. 

Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny), the committee’s minority chair, authored SB 1442, which was reported from committee 10-1, and would amend the Real Estate Tax Sale Law to allow counties to add a ten percent fee to properties sold at a tax sale, with the funds directed for demolition and rehabilitation of blighted property. The bills are now before    the Senate Appropriations Committee.  This is good…has merit, could raise some serious funds and might hit the banks who should be chipping in big time for all the properties they neglect in Pottstown too.

**Many thanks to a dear friend and avid Cockroach reader for these updates!**

435 King St. on the Pottstown Blighted Property List

435 King St. on the Pottstown Blighted Property List

 This year, a bank slid this property at 435 King St. over to a hedge fund registered in Texas after the former purveyor of slum living at its finest went belly up on the mortgage/taxes/municipal services.


The first vacant winter, pipes burst and water ran until late spring. 

Warm weather caused mold to grow on the wet wood and surfaces.  It is so riddled with mold you can smell it just walking by, that cannot be healthy.  Squirrels have taken up cozy residence on the 2nd floor where they are raising large families. 

clik for listing link>> This hot mess is on the borough’s blighted property list for good reason and it needs to come down soon.  

The decorative corbels beneath the rotted eaves are falling off now onto the sidewalk – likely to bonk someone on the bean and cause some serious damage. We need to make these banks and hedge funds do the right thing in our communities too.  

On the same page…

Photography by David Pollock

Photography by David Pollock

IT’S A GOOD DAY in Pottstown when its citizens and government can be found on the same page AND when the page also happens to be the front of the Mercury News, as it was yesterday…

clik here to read the article>>front page news is the Better, Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown, the Borough Manager and Borough Council who whole heartedly agreed to take the first step in a Good Landlord Program for Pottstown!!  YAY!!

Evan Brandt’s astute opening paragraph says:

“Get into a conversation about revitalization and the obstacles Pottstown faces in its pursuit and you will soon be talking about rental housing.”

Yep, I agree.  I’ve been sparking this conversation about rental housing for darn near 3 years.  I have “taken it on the chin” from a few of the slum property owners who like things just as they are and have no compunction about driving their properties and the borough into the ground for their own, personal financial enrichment.

In fact, those bottom feeder investors are ALREADY frothing with hate filled comments, beneath the post of the article on the Mercury’s Facebook page, but…

I’ve also heard from some of the better landlords who say, they want what you and I want:

“Well maintained, attractive rental housing, increasing property values, jobs, businesses, good, working renters and a safe community.”

You see, these landlords have sound business models and they “get” the fact that their investments in rental properties can be long-term, stable and lucrative.   They know that if the homes and rentals increase in value, it will be good for everyone, including them.

They don’t have to cook up schemes, like heartless slumords/ladies do to rip-off the American taxpayers and drive sweet little communities, like Pottstown, into financial ruin and despair.


Among other benefits, come time to retire, good investors will have something of value to sell.  As revenues increase for the borough and things start looking clean, attractive, reasonably safe and well-managed we’ll see quality businesses, new homeowners and an increase in better investors and developments.

I am happy to read in the article that Pottstown Borough Manger, Mark Flanders, referred to rental property owners as “businesses.”  To be exact, he is quoted:

“Landlords are in business,” Flanders said. “They file tax returns on their income and we’re going to move the rental licensing into a business license next year.

I’ve been shouting all along that landlording is a business.  But – in terms of filing tax returns on ALL their rental income – eh – not so much.  Many landlords rent for cash and they stockpile rent money while they default on the loans, taxes and fees.  That can be a considerable amount of money going straight into their pockets too.

Not all real estate investors are good business people.   Some see their investments as a business while others see them as a trough, the place pigs go to feed until…

Pottstown slum people feeding at the trough.

Pottstown slum people feeding at the trough.

They’re satiated and the trough is drained and empty.   We have far too many of the latter kind of investor in Pottstown and they are gorging themselves at the taxpayer buffet.

“Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered,” is an old Wall Street saying that counsels against excessive greed and impatience.

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I have a big problem with ethics-less realtors and greedy income investors, in general, people who work hard to pull one over on the taxpayer residents, their tenants, the judges AND the borough officials.

A couple of big mouth investors like to draw attention to their lack of ethics, principals and good common sense – I’m more than happy to feature their stoopitity on my blog.

One of those investors is Debra Lacava Campbell who, as most of you know, in 2012…

Defaulted on millions of dollars of investment properties, taxes, municipal services, then she filed bankruptcy, (along with her ex-husband Doug).

Deb keeps turning up in Pottstown like a bad nightmare – OY.

Both of them do, really,  Doug is working with a woman named Helen Sage, they work as a “team,” selling REO’s to bottom feeders – round and round they go…

I can’t figure out how a lot of these relators keep their PA real estate licenses. What, after all, are the State’s guidelines?  clik to read ethics>>The Nat’l Association of Realtors has a pretty tight code of ethics but not every real estate agent belongs to the association. 

A Blue Bell, PA property management company has popped up in Pottstown and one of the rental agents is Deb Campbell, still peddling her dubious services here.   10602616_775198699170377_634579098_n-1

Today, she STILL owes the Pottstown school district, water authority and the borough money for taxes and services she and her former husband, Doug Campbell, haven’t yet paid.

How can she still be renting properties and doing business in a community that she took to the cleaners two years ago?   WHERE’S PA STATE ACT 90 WHEN YOU NEED IT?  Deb Campbell would be given no permits, no licenses, no way to do business in this borough – as it should be if this Act were utilized here. 

No shame No humility.  Montgomery County Prothonotary<<clik  type in – Campbell Debra Lacava – and seven open cases appear,  a couple mortgage foreclosures and Pottstown Authority liens. Now type in  – Campbell Douglas – and the real picture evolves, (Deb’s name is on these suits too), there are SIXTY THREE of them between Norristown and Pottstown and a few personal ones thrown in…

I got a heads up from a respectable Pottstown investor that Deb Lacava Campbell showed up, out-of-the-blue, at a new rental he’d purchased in Pottstown a couple weeks ago.  She was peddling her wares ie: (she wanted to “manage” his property for him).

It’s very odd, we thought, as we ruminated on this development …

How’d Deb get ahold of information that wasn’t even made public yet?  How’d she know he’d bought the place?

Smarmy git, (as the British say).

Her timing – the day after the new owner went to the License and Inspections Department at the Borough to arrange for a rental inspection – left a question in the air…

Did the info come from someone at the borough L& I?  If not, where then?

Knowing Deb Lacava Campbell, anything is possible.  But who, in that department, would be tight enough with Deb and stoopit enough to leak information like that to someone like Deb?  Why would they do it = what could be “in it” for them to take such a flagrant risk?

Someone also said that awhile back, she bumped into Deb who was seen hanging around in the hallway on the 2nd floor of boro hall, smoozing with the investors as they came up to get information from the L & I dept… and this is acceptable? To whom?

Watch Out!!

Watch Out!!

WHY entrust your real estate needs to someone, like Deb Campbell, who can’t even manage her OWN real estate business with expertise and sound principals?  I say, choose someone with a clean history.

By popular request…


Another resident and I will soon be working on a new page for the blog that will feature the good real estate professionals in the area along with – good landlords. We’ll do the background work and make sure we’re putting a seal of approval on the smart real estate business people so you can make wise decisions for all of your real estate needs. 

We ask you to boycott agents/property managers with a history of defaults, tax & municipal liens – they are robbing you and every taxpayer blind why would you want to knowingly facilitate that?     

One last item, ok… two last items, really …  

The Mercury, used a photo of 239 Chestnut St. in their article about the Better Landlord Program.  This brought up a conversation on the Mercury’s Facebook page about the property and Edward Mitchell who now owns 454 King St. and other properties along Washington.  I vaguely remember the hoopla when 239 sold for $20,000 in 2011 to Yi Pan, 2307 Whitpain Hills, Blue Bell who apparently is married to Edward Mitchell (according to neighbors of 239 Chestnut St.)…  

Neighbors remembered that they got a zoning variance or some kind of borough permit so the house could be occupied by Yi Pan’s **Asian family members** wink – But today, the place is being run as a boarding house that neighbors, (including the Phillies Fire Co.), refer to as the ZOO!!!  It pays to talk to people who live and work in the borough, (if council people really want to know how to vote on most any issue) – residents KNOW the score.

Need I say more?

239 Chestnut St. owner Yi Pan managed by Edward Mitchell her husband.

239 Chestnut St. owner Yi Pan managed by Edward Mitchell her husband.

Edward himself has 92 Civil Suits in MontCo for real estate related activities in Norristown and Pottstown – he’s not the kind of businessman that’s going to foster revitalization, IMHO.   In a correspondence from someone who used to live at 239 Chestnut St. I learned that Edward rents to the disabled but has no compunction about kicking them to the curb without following legal eviction….just like he did in this June 2014 video, featured elsewhere on this blog:

I think it’s time we stop making accommodation for investors whose “business plans” don’t include paying taxes, municipal fees, doing home maintenance and backgrounds on their renters.  We have to start somewhere and maybe the Better Landlord folks won’t be quite so bowled over by the tasks they will undertake in Pottstown!  And finally…


“At Monday night’s council meeting they also voted in opposition to the zoning relief requested by Sullivan Angelucci for dimension variances for the property located at 211 North York Street <in Ward 3> and authorize Councilor Miller to appear on behalf of Borough Council.”


The guy wanted to turn this cute retail space into another apartment – adding to the density and parking struggles.   Instead, how cool if he marketed the space to an artist, at a reasonable price, for use as a studio/gallery space?  


Dog Fighting In Pottstown: Editorial from Roy’s Rants


Let’s support the neighbors from interlopers who are out for a fast buck with no regard for the lives of those that they are ruining.  Scum of the earth income investors, like Faye Denolf and Larry Loffredo must be stopped from ever again renting their property at 244 N. Charlotte St. or any property in Pottstown. The onus is on the “leaders” of this community to get their acts together and do it now.

Lives are increasingly negatively impacted and some are lost every single day in Wards 1, 2 & 3 as it’s increasingly evident that puppy breeding and dog fighting rings are freely operating.  Pit bulls run our streets untethered, many of them abused.  We are all put at risk just walking out our front doors.

Stop wasting our time and our tax money on highfalutin govt. officals presiding over ineffective codes enforcement and lax police services that are accomplishing nothing for the people who pay taxes and live in these wards.

Originally posted on Roy's Rants - For Your Information:


Pottstown Borough Hall

Pottstown Borough Hall

Our scuz-busting friend, the Golden Cockroach, has more horrific news about the results of the absentee extractive investors who have taken over large numbers of properties in Pottstown.  These folks buy up homes for “cents on the dollar” and rent them to anybody who will pay their rent in “cash”, **wink, wink. The properties are not maintained and the tenants are left to run wild and terrorize their neighbors.

The typical absentee extractive investor lives in a large suburban home, in a township where mostly upper middle class white folk congregate.  They take their wads of “rental cash” and do “fun stuff” like take vacations to tropical locations with municipal employees (who also make wads of cash thanks to the overburdened taxpayers in Pottstown).  While these folks are sunbathing, and having drinks with little umbrellas in them, back at the ranch all hell is breaking loose.  OR when…

View original 514 more words

Dog Fighting in Pottstown: A Tragic Result of Govt. Negligence…

I was contemplating the message to attach to this post about Monday afternoon’s events, in the video below.  And, you know?  There is very little that I haven’t said – ad nauseum – over the past three years, in this blog…

Here’s another take on things, as posted to facebook, by one of the few quality, conscientious rental property owners in town:

I hate to sound negative as I had great hopes for Pottstown, but the bottom line is NOBODY who has the power to accomplish anything positive cares. The borough manager is in it for a paycheck. The elected board is there for an ego trip.

The police don’t want to be bothered with doing their jobs. I had a conversation with an officer the other day. He was in the 400 block of Walnut Street. I asked him, “Why don’t the police just write citations to all these degenerates for anything you can think of, Even if it j-walking?” I explained that if you let it be known that Pottstown isn’t a place were criminals feel comfortable, they will leave. He laughed and said, “Thats what Philly does, now they are all making their way here.” My response was, “Well, if it works for Philly, why won’t it work here.? He smiled and said, ” Chris, I get paid the same amount of money either way, why create more paper work for myself.”

Then he explained that is pretty much the attitude of the entire police department.  He explained that he is tired of hearing about the borough manager complain that he is in a higher tax bracket now and it is “killing him”  (By the way, I had just met this officer for the first time, and he was very open about the dysfunction of upper management).  

Typical politics as usual. He explained to me that the town has NO HOPE. It will never come back and to be honest although the borough claims they can’t stand what is going on, the truth of the matter is that they really don’t care. The more crime, the more overtime for the police. If Pottstown officials had a treasure map resting on the table in front of them with a big “X” where the treasure was located, I honestly think they would come up with reasons why not to use the map but rather hire an outside firm whom someone is in bed with and use the tax payers money to create another faulty map only to fail.



“Dogfighting is almost always a symptom of gun and drug related crimes, so working to end the horrible practice not only benefits animals, it benefits humans as well.”   Andrew Helton to Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania Director of the Humane Society of the United States.  

Pit Bulls Turning Up Dead in Dumpsters <CLIK (written last September).

244 N. Charlotte St. The Creeping Crud <CLIK (don’t miss the comments beneath this article where Faye and Larry defend their slum mentalities).


“We need the compassion and the courage to change the conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions are things like ignorance, bitterness, negligence, clinging, and holding on.”
Sharon Salzberg




Reason #1 Why We Want Council President, Steve Toroney, to Step Down….

This is the tale of two staggeringly depleted municipalities, the immoral real estate income investors that are proliferating in both communities and the disparity of recognition and intention between government officials in Detroit, Wayne County Michigan and…

Pottstown Borough, Montgomery County Pennsylvania.


Last week, property taxes in Pottstown were raised by the School Board another 2.9% bringing the rise in property taxes near 75% since 2004. Yet, unscrupulous investors still get away with property tax evasion every single day and it is never acknowledged by district, borough or county officials. 

In the first community, Detroit, Wayne County officials have heeded the results of the findings of a powerful investigative report that came out in March, 2014.  <<clik to read the article in the Detroit News:  

“A Detroit News investigation found about 1 in 4 Detroit landlords paid to rent to poor families through the state’s Housing Choice Voucher program collectively owe the city at least $5 million in back taxes and probably much more.”

Officials of Detroit and Wayne County have aligned to advocate for their constituents and close the “loop holes” that make it possible for unscrupulous, property tax evading investors to prosper from renting unsafe, tax delinquent housing.

One suggestion in Wayne County is to petition the court to allow the county to collect the government rent checks, pay the property taxes, municipal liens, perform maintenance and when the homes are brought back into compliance the landlord will get the rent.   

The actions that officials have taken include an appeal from the Wayne County treasurer to Federal Officials of HUD to crack down on landlords who collect government rent and fail to pay their property tax bills. <<<clik to read the article in the Detroit News.  We think our government should piggy back off this appeal but more and more it looks like they are comfortable with “things as they are” in Pottstown, and why would that be?  We want to know.

“The News found that some landlords collected checks until they faced foreclosure and then sold the tax-delinquent properties to buyers, including tenants.”

In the second community, Pottstown, Local and County Officials apparently don’t speak to each other let alone jump on the same page to even try to address the multiple issues surrounding our housing and tax crisis.

Both government entities are complicit in this scheme by their silence and neglect, at the very minimum…

In fact, the county continues to ply Pottstown agencies with government grant monies to house the indigent in dangerously neglected, very old and badly chopped up apartment homes in our community.

Tax evading income investors are lining up at the tax money trough, we see more and more devalued housing stock selling to the usual suspects…. every single day and with it – our property values sink even further as our community becomes increasingly unsafe and unsightly. 

Much of the housing is no longer safe for occupancy but still, it remains in the rental cycle with inadequate codes inspections or no inspections at all.  Not only are the renters not safe but, in a community where houses are often attached or very close together, nearby neighbors are also at risk. 

Codes inspectors are not certified to inspect two of the most potentially dangerous aspects of housing, according to sources in the L & I Department, furnaces and electrical wiring.   Sources at the DEP say that, the MontCo Health Department is responsible for issues of vermin, insects and raw sewage – which are also rampant in our rental housing.

Uniform Building Code does not make exceptions nor does PA State Law.  It is imperative that the borough carefully consider the qualifications of the people they hire to inspect properties and it IS the responsibility of Council President, Stephen Toroney, to issue those directives and to be informed.  

As things stand now, rental inspections are dangerously inadequate. They generate revenue for the borough but they accomplish little else. 

It has reached crisis proportions in Pottstown while officials sit idle, we are lacking educated, motivated and innovative leadership.  What motivates officials to IGNORE these grave situations?  

The question becomes one of  “graft” and the connections between these investors, officials and politicians at all levels of government in the county, the borough and Pennsylvania.

The possible answers as to why income investors continue to abuse Pottstown…are not infinite…

Leading to speculation about the Western Montgomery County Real Estate Investors Club and what connections they have with state, county and local officials.  We keep seeing the same “players” over & over again despite multi-million dollar foreclosures and tax liens in double digits.

Many of these investors are also licensed Real Estate agents in the state of PA.  Ostensibly, the state has an ethics board and it is my belief that these agents need to be carefully scrutinized by this board. Their management practices ARE unethical not paying taxes is ILLEGAL and their illegal acts of not maintaing their properties and strong arm evictions take place every single day in Pottstown.   

Clik here to go to the State License website: once there, you can enter the names of all the real estate investors mentioned on this page for their license status.

Income investor, Edward Mitchell, Pa license # RS150724A is employed by Platinum First Realty, LLC # $B067749 located at:   460 S. Lewis Rd. Royersford.  The agency is owned by Ralph Chiodo.  

*we’ll get back to Ed in a few…after we connect the dots for you….

Also employed by Platinum First is Douglas Campbell #RS279349, at one time, his former wife Debra Lacava Campbell also worked for this agency.  

Multiple times, in various anonymous newspaper comments someone, (in my opinion, Deb Campbell), stated that the MontCo Investors Club knows how to put the “screws” to Pottstown and they would be “educating” more investors to take advantage of cheap rentals and Section 8.  

Now the investors have added the County’s new program to house the homeless, “Your Way Home,” to their roster of free govt taxpayer money they will abuse.  Investors are buying depleted properties in Pottstown, right now as I write this, for that very reason alone.

If this investors organization teaches investors how to behave unethically and illegally, it is quite possible that they are engaging in “Racketeering”.  

Every effort needs to be made to investigate this group and their practices, to follow the trail.

Deb Campbell #RS289372  is now employed by Reliant Property Management, Inc. located at:   794 Penllyn Pike, Suite 200, Blue Bell PA.  Deb is still peddling rental properties in Pottstown.  

***A reminder about Affinity Property Management and Brian Patrick who was charged recently with 41 counts of theft and related charges for stealing money from his clients.   <<click for the Fox video.

Brian once said that he and Deb are friends.  You have to wonder how he went undetected by authorities for his crimes in our own community?   Several of his clients were denied when they attempted to file reports with the PPD… that never made sense and it delayed the investigation.

They were casually dismissed by the department:  “it’s a civil matter.”  One complaint, yes, but they didn’t even care to take reports and build a case.  Instead, people reported to my blog and Jeff Cole, investigative reporter for Fox, took it from there – along with Brians victims – to the D.A.  The PPD didn’t even refer Brian’s victims to the D.A.’s office. 

The newspaper comments, (hundreds of them), in 2012 – 2013 occurred as Deb and Doug were defaulting on $2 mil.+ in mortgages & had ceased paying property taxes.  Deb was clearly angry that I was posting about their activites.

I have also recently learned, from former tenants, that as the Campbells were defaulting, Deb and Doug were populating their rentals with people who were dealing drugs and were, in my experience and belief, paying cash rent to Deb and Doug.  

Cash rents are easily undetected by taxing agencies and bankruptcy courts.  Cash gives investors the resources to start over again without missing a beat.

Negative investors can actually make lifetime careers of ripping people off and get away with it in Pottstown, all the while receiving warm handshakes and smiles from some of Pottstown’s  public employees.    

You can clik on the MontCo Prothonotary site to view 64 civil suits in Montgomery County, attributable to Douglas and Debra Campbell.  The majority are real estate defaults, taxes and municipal liens, many are still “open.”  You can also type in Debra Campbell for another view of the civil suits.    

*Back to Ed Mitchell who purchased 454, 450 & 448 King St. (side by side REO properties). He’s connected to Doug Campbell via Platinum First Realty.   Mitchell’s son stopped on the street, one day, to tell me that Ed bought the properties to house the homeless.

What do the homeless care about living in squalor, living in risky housing or being treated like 2nd class citizens – right?   It’s FREE government money…

That’s Ed’s attitude, according to his renters.  Earlier in the spring he emptied the 2nd floor at 454 King St. of all existing renters, including a woman who had lived isolated in her room for 13 years.  Neighbors say she didn’t leave the room in all that time.  Her possessions were few and Ed cleared her room.

He threw everything out, like garbage.  He threw her out with malice, along with her identification card, her ATM card and her SS card that were thrown in the trash.  This, and many more actions taken against his tenants are in violation of the PA Landlord Tenant Act.  But, there is no penalty for Ed, no oversight of his actions or the actions of any income investors in this community.  

Neighbors retrieved her vital documents and helped to find her safe refuge.  Ed could have cared less

This group of properties was defaulted on in 2012 by Matt Crouse & Mark Rechkemmer dba Lotus Properties, who stripped the historic contents from 454 King St. and sold them.

Ed Mitchell bought the properties in November 2013 from Malvern Federal Savings, for $85,000.  (Malvern is also often seen in civil records for mortgage defaults by investors).  

Myself and other community members had the opportunity to tour these buildings before Ed purchased them.  An architect and a contractor were among the members of the group.  They concluded that to bring these properties up to code and make them attractive additions to the Historical Pottstown neighborhood it would cost roughly:


And, you CAN believe that none of the people in this blog post would ever spend that kind of money to fix up those properties. You can also believe that it is these connections between politicians, real estate agents, and other investors –  the incompetence and cronyism in Pottstown –  that KEEPS quality investors away…

It’s not residents apathy, it’s not high prices downtown and it’s not even property taxes.  Why would local government, (given that everything is on the up and up and officials are competent), FAVOR these destructive investors and the blighting of the town they govern – over good investors that can help build a strong, solid tax base?  

WHY do borough leaders keep closing the door on qualified managers from outside their ranks?  Think about that.   

Ultimatley it was concluded, by ethical professionals, that the right choice would be the demolition of 454, 450 & 448 King St.  They would not invest, under these circumstances, so the properties sold to another slumlord…


Each of these buildings are rife with health and safety issues YET, they continue to be approved for occupancy by the borough.  This just doesn’t seem logical or straight up.  

Within a very short time after buying 448 King St., Austin Morris, a school teacher from Souderton moved voucher renters into the property, (after dark), because he had no license and no inspection – this he admitted to me in conversation.

The tenants have a baby and AUSTIN IS A SCHOOL TEACHER???  Does he care about the health and safety of kids or maybe only some kids?  Free government money …

Austin Morris said he didn’t know better, he’s from Souderton, he didn’t know the laws or ordinances in Pottstown. I believe he did know better.  I believe he knew exactly how to game the system because of who he bought the property from and the fact his house still has violations and looks trashed from the outside and because I see income investors doing the same things, every day in my neighborhood.  

Pottstown rental ordinance states:

§ 103. Penalty for Violation. [Ord. 2078, 10/12/2010] Any person (which shall include any individual, partnership, association or corporation) convicted of a violation of any provisions or requirements of this Part shall be sentenced to a fine or penalty of not less than $250 and not exceeding $1,000, plus costs, and in default of payment of said fine and costs to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. For the purpose of this Section, the failure to submit the required tenancy report for each apartment building, mobile home park or other rental or leased residential property shall be a separate offense. Enforcement of this Part shall not begin until December 1, 2010.

But, we don’t see these investors prosecuted.  Why?  This leads to further questions of ineptitude, corruption or a combination of both.

Ed Mitchell also moved people into his properties without the proper inspections and licenses.  His decision to do so and the borough’s decision to look the other way,  has led to untold hardships for many people including the good neighbors on this block.  In the RTK I filed in February or March, Ed had no inspections and no rental licenses yet he had people living in his properties.

Edward Mitchell has NINETY ONE civil suits in Montgomery County and most are real estate related.  This man has more mortgage defaults and tax liens in his history than any crooked investor I’ve come across, yet.  

And officials have the same access to this information as I do – they either don’t know how to use it or they know but, will not take aggressive measures to stop this activity.

What reasons could there be for taking no action?  One strong, aggressive prosecution would send ripples thru the members of the investors club – guaranteed – it would be effective. 

Mitchell’s a pro at using heartless, immoral AND illegal tactics to remove renters from his property.  At 450 King St. Edward allowed the electric & water to be shut off for non-payment at 450 King St. & 458 King St., after moving people into the “boarding house”, (that does not comply with zoning requirements for boarding homes), Ed Mitchell has been enabled by the borough’s own neglect to aggressively halt his activities. 

In the video below, you’ll see some of the problems that are the result of this neglect and, they were compounded by the sale of 450 King St. to notorious Pottstown income investor Alisa Levin aka:  NikChad, LLC accompanied by Re/Max agent, Mark Toepel, husband of State Representative, Marcy Toepel

(GC post/clik on Mercury article written by Evan Brandt re: police services to Toepel’s rental property on High St.).

It’s not clear if Mark is a partner or not but his professional associations are in question.  Alisa Levin identified Mark Toepel, to departing tenants, as the “manager”.  MontCo property records do not list properties owned by NIKCHAD, LLC or Alisa Levin, unless you know the address.  This is the state corporate filing for NIKCHAD, LLC.

Alisa owns 344 Beech St. rented to Daisy’s mini-mart on the main floor. I made mention of this address in a post about access card fraud.  On the 2nd floor is an apartment that a former tenant says has serious codes issues.

This is the only property owner/corp. I’ve encountered that cannot be searched in the property records by name or corporate name.  

We know only of her <professional> connection to Mark Toepel.

Alisa Levin is listed as a Quakertown MSW LCSW Social Worker in although her state license says “Null and Void” since 2005. 

On Monday, 6.30.2014 Edward Mitchell received a post on the door of 454 King St. for his “delinquent water bill”.  Prior to the video, he left new tenants stranded in the dark with no electric service for the same reason:  non-payment.  A new tenant was left sitting on the step, one day, with no key to the front door and no response from Ed Mitchell, for many hours.  

The former tenants, that you’ll meet in the video, will attest to the fact that Ed Mitchell shut their water off and either turned the power off or didn’t pay the bill at 450 King St. He called the borough license & inspection dept. to condem the house in an effort to ILLEGALLY evict them.  Because of that…

Two women were forced to sleep outside, in back of the house that night, they had no where else to go.  One of the women is receiving chemo treatments and has been very ill. 

These are NOT isolated events in Pottstown, they are very common.  The borough must take responsiblity to do everything in their power to prohibit Alisa Levin from moving renters into 450 King St. without following every letter of the law…

They must aggressively enforce the laws and their own ordinances in the case of Ed Mitchell and Austin Morris (codes violations still remain at 448 King St.).


Update to the video:  Monday, as Denise removed the household items from the side porch of 450 King St., one of Ed’s renters at 454 King was “cracked up”  –  high on drugs and she smacked Denise across the head and shoulder with a shovel.  Denise was headed to the hospital after relaying this to me.

Understand that there are many many eyes on these properties, their owners and the borough – due to the despicable antics of Ed Mitchell.  We want him held accountable.  He should NOT be allowed to make money off of dangerous properties and the hardships he creates for his renters, homeowners and Pottstown.  This man has no business doing business in our community.

Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown holds council president, Stephen Toroney, accountable for his laissez-faire leadership, his cronyism and his sneaky appointment of an unqualified borough manager in 2012.  A rising crime rate and under motivated police department are NOT recommendations for a higher position in local government.

Toroney continues to enable borough departments to live down to the lowest expectations and business people, like those in this post, to prosper.

It has to stop now. 

Pottstown MUST have solid, experienced, honest leadership before it’s too late. 


Bumper Stickers Available thru Citizens Action Committee for Pottstown on Facebook.  Like us and get connected. 



Social Media Used in Pottstown to Antagonize Law Abiding Residents?

While communities throughout the U.S. have discovered the value of fighting crime with social media, our guest writer expresses consternation about the Facebook comment from a Pottstown Police Officer.

Welcome Connie Citizen, the First Golden Cockroach blog site guest writer.

If you would like to submit a personal story or a musing about Pottstown, for consideration, we’d love to hear from you.  Send your outline or story to:



I was absolutely appalled while browsing posts to The Mercury last evening. I ran across a discussion pertaining to the ACLU examining SWAT incidents.

Intrigued by the title of the article, I dove in and was amazed at the comments posted. I observed citizens weighing in on the topic and as I continued to read I observed a group of comments by Police Officers. One of which is Pottstown’s finest Jonathan Gallagher.

At first glance I thought, “Wow, Drumhellers promise in a 2013 article to have officers POSITIVELY connect with citizens through social media to forge a relationship with citizens is FINALLY coming to fruition”. Read that article here:

My hopes were instantly dashed as I read what Gallagher had to say, responding to his fellow LEO like they were in the locker room at work. That aside, a woman who often weighs in discussions for the greater good of this town, was belittled like some kind of nuisance because she often calls the police while living in one of the WORST parts of town (which Drumheller states that patrols were “beefed up” back in 2013, but never were).


Our Police Chief and Captain appears at Ward meetings and encourages us to call them. Then you have Officer Gallagher belittling folks for doing so?????? What’s up with that? So let’s examine what he said on yesterday’s Mercury Facebook thread:

Golden Cockroach:  Like this one? This seemed odd to me when it happend. Be sure to watch the video:…/pottstown-pa…

Jonathan Gallagher replied:  And @ Golden Cockroach, not sure what was ‘odd’ to you about that particular incident. If it had been next your home, you would be calling constantly to complain about the criminal activity. Maybe there was more to it than what you read in the newspaper.


Is he serious? Folks there is a serious issue with this town. The police are arrogant and insulting to the citizens of this town. In person, in threads etc. If Pottstown Police adopted a code of ethics (which they don’t seem to have) it might look like this:

Sadly, Pottstown has codes of ethics for PAL kids and parental behavior but, none for the department itself. So I assume this gives them free range to belittle citizens for calling the police.

Shame on you officer!

Borough of Pottstown,


They are rude on scene, online, and in general. Again this will be ignored, nothing will likely be done, and Officer Gallagher may even get a raise.

New Pottstown police chief: Use increased patrols, social media to fight crime



Pottstown Officials Meet, Discuss Residents Apathy…


POTTSTOWN (The Cockroach Report)—Pottstown Officials unveiled their latest offering as artists on Tuesday — a portrait of apathy in Pottstown.

Taking notes at the joint meeting of the borough and school district last Tuesday night Frank Otto, reporter at the Mercury News, quoted Borough Manager Mark Flanders:

“Apathy in this town has driven me nuts during my entire career.”

Council’s “un-plan” for Pottstown has thrown the door open to an influx of new resident renters, creepy slum guys, (keep your eye on Edward Mitchell), many whose government supported lifestyles, (that INCLUDES poverty pimps), perfectly embody the definition of “apathy.”

At this rate…

It’s very likely that Flanders will never become “un-nuts” as long as he’s an official of the borough.

Nevertheless, pronouncing themselves pleased with their portrait of Pottstown, the joint officials said they are getting to work on a new painting entitled:

 “Mommy Never Takes Me To the Drug Infested Playground.”

(illustration by golden cockroach)


Here’s Franks Article, clik on the link (in blue) & be magically transported to the Mercury:

Pottstown Officials Meet, Discuss Pottstown’s Apathy in the Midst of a Community Anti-Violence Movement