SERWAN ZANGANA: City Unfairly Targets Auto Shop Owners

Roanoke City officials are unable to reduce crime, crack down on criminals’ drugs activities, or clean up junk in their jurisdiction. Instead, Roanoke officials are jumping on businesses owners and cracking down on their properties to clean the junk in their yards. At least, this is what it appears to be when City officials and zoning staff harassed two auto shop owners and treated them as criminals.

Evidently, both auto shop owners have been charged and arrested for violations of the City’s Codes against having clutter in their yards. The men targeted are Mike Ferguson and Mike Dudley, who have been working as mechanics and owning their shops for over 30 years in Southwest Roanoke.

By being in business for such a long time, Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Dudley have not only established trusted businesses but also have become essential parts of the community. In fact, many consider the two as family. In Roanoke City, business owners Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Dudley are examples of honesty and integrity.

Unfortunately, City officials lack leadership and courage to completely enforce the laws against the violent criminals who are harming Roanoke and its citizens. Conversely, the officials are sending the zoning crew against such harmless citizens like Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Dudley and creating a battle zone against them. Ferguson and Dudley were targeted by the City officials, who levied criminal and misdemeanor charges for highway junkyard violations against them.

Perhaps the City’s intention was to make examples of these two, longtime Roanoke citizens, Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Dudley, who diligently worked and assisted thousands of people throughout the years in their businesses. In fact, by being sincere and compassionate, Ferguson and Dudley have always considered the affordability in their service, which is a major help for people with limited incomes in the area.

It is worth noting that Ferguson has helped many refugees who reside in Roanoke. They were introduced to him by Mr. Pier, who used to serve as a caseworker in the Roanoke Refugee Office. Roanoke City officials, instead of supporting local businesses in the area and building paths for them to continue, are creating difficulties and placing barriers in their paths.

Sadly, Ferguson and Dudley are being treated as criminals in this situation. By knowing both gentlemen closely, one can see the character that they hold. Perhaps, there are other reasons behind this situation that the City has raised against both men. As Mr. Ferguson has decided to sell his business and retire, it is not clear what Mr. Dudley will do next.

In closing, the loss of either of these Mikes from the community will be a loss for all people of Roanoke City.

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.

 

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Related Articles