No one seems to know the answer to the question but, that doesn't stop John Hoff (board member) and Jeff Skrenes (housing director) from publicly attacking anyone they choose to by publishing their opionions on the blog, The Adventures of Johnny Northside.com.
Hoff, the owner of the blog does not seem to care if what he writes about people is true or what effects his words might have against those people. Jeff Skrenes is the housing director for the Hawthorne neighborhood and is employed by the community council. He is a regular contributor to the blog and his personal friendship with Hoff is no secret to anyone.
People who live in Hawthorne and do business there are taking notice of how John and Jeff seem to pick targets out of thin air and proceed to put their names, pictures of them and all sorts of opinions about them on the blog. John and Jeff aren't the only "cowboy bullies" that end up attacking people in Hawthorne. Once their opinions have been posted to the blog then the readers submit their comments as well. A lawsuit was filed last year against John Hoff after John slammed him on the site and encouraged readers to contact his employer. The person claims that he was fired as a result of Hoff posting un-true information about him on his website and several commenters jumped on the Hoff Hate Train and were named in the suit (anonymous).
Here is a partial list of acts against people in Hawthorne by Hoff and Skrenes:
Constant calls to 311 and 911 to report car repairs, loitering, removing trash from a house, over-grown lawns, houses & buildings painted with colors they don't like, signs in yards & on poles and the list goes on.
Landlords of houses in Hawthorne are constant targets and are referred to as "Slumlords." It makes no difference if they are landlords who follow the rules or not. Several months back, John launched a crusade against Level 3 Sex Offenders by publishing the names, pictures and addresses of as many L3SO's he could find. Those who challenged him by saying he was going too far... Yep, you guessed it. John simply attacked them by putting their names on the site and stated that they were supporters of L3SO's. Imagine what damage that could have on someone if they were fired because their employers saw what John wrote?
John recently accused someone of murder and plastered his name all over the Internet for weeks while the person was wanted on other non-related charges, John actually claimed he believed the person was responsible for the death of a Hawthorne resident. As of today, they have not been charged with anything regarding that murder.
Recently, there have been many concerned residents and business owners within the Hawthorne neighborhood with the conduct of the two "community leaders." What they are doing is installing the fear of God in people. I compare their actions to those of a Communist dictator where they rule with fear. Their approach to their targets and others in the neighborhood is, "Do as we say, not as we do and God help you if you cross us."
How can they get away with such behavior against people in their own neighborhood? Can you imagine how intimidating it would be if your name was plastered all over the Internet in association with things that were not true? The Hawthorne Community Council is the governing body who are there to look out for the best interests of the neighborhood yet, one of the board members and the housing director takes matters into their own hands while the rest of the board members say and do nothing.
To make matters worse, John has not paid his property taxes since he bought his house in 2008. He recently had a restraining order filed against him by someone he rented a room in his house to and he is scheduled to be in court next week as the custody/child support case his ex-wife filed against him continues.
That is why I see him as a "cowboy" who is a authority figure in the neighborhood yet, he consistently breaks the rules that everyone else has to follow. The ironic part is that John see's nothing wrong with attacking people and accusing them of things he is guilty of himself.
Victims of the Bully Blog are constantly reminded that they have few options of who to turn to for help as John and Jeff routinely publish posts about Minneapolis city council members, Police of the 4th precinct, Mayor R.T. Rybak as well as other neighborhood association authorities... ALL of whom are friends with John and Jeff! Got a gripe with John Hoff? Go to the community council to report him. Wait, he is a board member. Ok, go to the police. Wait, John is buddies with all of them. So, go to the city council and complain. Sorry, that will only piss them off when councilman Samuels tells them that someone complained about them. Next thing the victim knows is their name is being bashed even harder and city inspectors are starting to show up at their houses and rental properties and place of business and slapping them with any number of violations and fines.
I don't know how the community council can sit back and do nothing as they watch the constant attacks take place at the hands of their fellow board member and housing director is beyond me! You would think that any other governing board would simply fire a housing director who bullies people like that because, the housing director is not elected. Jeff Skrenes was hired and a lot of people in the area think he should be fired.
What about John Hoff? He was elected to the board so, he can't be fired like Jeff. This is not the first time John has been a political board member though. John was a member of the Grand Forks city council in North Dakota less than 10 years ago. His behavior was not appreciated by fellow board members or residents of Grand Forks. He was so out of control that a special recall election was held just months after being elected and he was removed from office.
There is some good news I am able to offer the good people of the Hawthorne neighborhood who have been targets of the Bully Bloggers.
In recent months, I have been contacted by many who have faced John & Jeff's wrath and we have all been working together to do what we can to alert people of the damage they have been causing and providing information about them so others can defend themselves when they become targets.
We are a tight group of people and we protect each other and those who contact us by not repeating what they tell us in public (unless permission is given) and keeping their names confidential.
I hope the good people in the Hawthorne neighborhood see this and realize how out of control John and Jeff are and decide to stand up and do their part in keeping their neighborhood from becoming an "Urban Utopia" where people are constantly in fear.
Please feel free to contact me by email and I look forward to continuing to do my part with reporting the antics and bullying of John Hoff and Jeff Skrenes.
Email address: AntiJNS@gmail.com