Monday, April 14, 2014

Corrupt Democratic Ex- Mayor of Charlotte Cannon Bringing Campaign Finance Reporting in N.C. to the Forefront, It's About TIME


A report out from Lake Wylie Pilot titled "Feds eye ex-mayor Cannon's campaign in Charlotte corruption probe" CLICKHERE has some interesting observations from local politicians and what has not been done from plenty of Board of Elections all over the State of North Carolina.

In the report was this

"An Observer review of Cannon’s campaign records since 1999 found reports with misleading, inaccurate and missing information that makes it difficult to tell where the former mayor got much of his money. State law requires that candidates disclose the name, address, occupation and employer of any donor who gives at least $50.

In about 100 cases since 2011, no job title was listed for donors to Cannon’s campaigns. In about 250 cases, no employer is listed.

In about 38 percent of cases since 2011, the information about Cannon’s donors didn’t include either job title or employer.

Then we have this later in the report

"The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections is responsible for auditing local races. Told of the Observer’s findings, board director Michael Dickerson acknowledged his office needs to improve its oversight of finance reports.
“We obviously have not scrutinized as closely as we should as far as employer and occupation information,” he said."

Obviously Director Michael Dickerson needs to understand campaign finance and what needs to be reported on the reports that come into your office that is state law under 163-278.11

§ 163-278.11.  Contents of treasurer's statement of receipts and expenditures.
(a)        Statements filed pursuant to provisions of this Article shall set forth the following:
(1)        Contributions. - Except as provided in subsection (a1) of this section, a list of all contributions received by or on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee. The statement shall list the name and complete mailing address of each contributor, the amount contributed, the principal occupation of the contributor, and the date such contribution was received. The total sum of all contributions to date shall be plainly exhibited. Forms for required reports shall be prescribed by the Board. As used in this section, "principal occupation of the contributor" means the contributor's:
a.         Job title or profession; and
b.         Employer's name or employer's specific field of business activity.
 
Then this was written in report
 
In North Carolina, the state Board of Elections is charged with looking into complaints for all state and local campaigns. It has two employees assigned to do investigations.
The agency is supposed to conduct routine audits on as many as 10,000 annual finance reports for state races, but officials said there is a 10-year backlog due to short staffing.

“The state is overwhelmed,” Hall said. “They say they want to do reviews, but they don’t.”
State election officials have authority to levy fines on candidates who file late finance reports. They can force office-seekers to surrender improper donations. But there is no fine for failing to disclose donors’ jobs or employers.

Innocent mistakes?

The Mecklenburg elections board performs routine audits for local races to ensure candidates did not receive illegal donations, file late reports or fail to comply with other rules.
But information contained in Cannon’s filings calls into question how closely Mecklenburg reviewed the documents.

After large donations from William Bodenhamer Jr., an owner of Charlotte’s Yellow Cab, finance reports described his job title variously as “real estate,” “business owner” and “business man.” In one case, his employer was described as “property development.” In another case, it was blank
 
 
This is unacceptable for our state to not audit these records but rely on self policing of the obvious that these campaign treasurers know what needs to be done but fails to do so.
 
Triadwatch has been doing it's part in the past with plenty of instances where we like to self police these local candidates and their campaign finance reports for example:
 
 June 29, 2009 ex mayor of Greensboro was reported with a headline "Greensboro Mayor amends 2007 2008 campaign forms for second time " CLICKHERE
 
or on May 29, 2009 we have ex Guilford County Commissioner Paul Gibson on Triadwatch with a headline
"Guilford County Commissioner Paul Gibson with a Letter from N.C. Board of Elections on campaign amending " CLICKHERE
 
 
This from the Greensboro News and Record from 2009 thank goodness I copied it because they have lost all connection to past history on their web site
 
"Keith Brown started a movement that led to reinstatement of protest-petition rights for Greensboro citizens. Now he’s prompted a finding by the N.C. State Board of Elections that Action Greensboro made an improper donation of $5,000 to the George Simkins Memorial PAC for supporting bond proposals.
Brown, who writes the Triad Watch blog, says his research indicates many Guilford County politicians are lax in following campaign-finance reporting rules. He’s probably right, and those politicians warrant closer scrutiny. If they don’t comply with the law when they’re running for office, they won’t when they’re in office."

It is a shame that a huge corruption scandal brings this issue to the forefront but here in Guilford County we have been talking about this issue for awhile and we need closer scrutiny from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and put some fines into these reports if they do not comply with state law. Seems like Mecklenburg County has similar problems to what we see in Guilford County in regards to non compliance by local politicians on their reports
 
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Top 3 Salaries total $674,435


Here is a picture of the top 3 salaries at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce 990 report with total compensation for Patrick Danahy, Deborah Hooper and Dan Lynch= $674,435. Shake your head on this one.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guilford County Commissioners Save $92,000 with a Bid Process for the Tax Delinquency Bill




Above is the bill for last years tax delinquency from the Greensboro News and Record which if you take this years numbers $86,406 divided by 14,500 = $5.95 per line compared to below where they had to do a bid process with 3 other paid papers  and it was $28,855 divided by 14,500 = $28,855. How can one paper with no bid process charge $86,406 now with a bid process go down to $28,855?

What the Guillford County Commisioners did was a huge step in tax delinquency process where in the past they advertised in both News and Record, High Point Enterprise and also the Carolina Peacemaker . Under state law they only had to advertise in one paid paper that is where we had the request for proposal shown below. This bill to the taxpayers went from close to $97,975 to having the Jamestown News post the tax delinquency bill for 2013 at $5,945 a savings of
$92,030.

Granted this state law should go away with the invention of the internet and county web sites providing this information 24 hours a day and seven days a week but will take a savings of $92,000 on this for the citizens of Guilford County.

Triadwatch is doing some further investigation into what the Mecklenburg County Tax Department pays in regards to the tax delinquency bill to see if they have a bid process and what it cost the citizens of Mecklenburg to advertise in the Charlotte News and Observer. Stay tuned.



Inside Scoop had a post on this issue CLICKHERE

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guilford County Commissioners Public Notice Bill for Guilford County Taxpayers is Close to Nothing from $86,000 to $5,945

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE



This is a update to this story below where at tonight's  Guilford County Commissioners Meeting 4-3-2014, the commissioners had the manager to a RFP which is a request for proposal to get the lowest bid to show the tax delinquency bill for the citizens of Guilford County . In the past this bill was $86,740.29 from a post I did on May 1, 2011 CLICKHERE . The request brought in proposals from Jamestown News circulation 5,000, Greensboro News and Record circulation 54,000, and Carolina Peacemaker circulation 6,000. The lowest bidder won with Jamestown News coming in at 41 cents per listing at a cost of $5,945 which was reported from Joe Killian at News and Record on his facebook account.

This is a great step for the citizens of Guilford County and hopefully we will see a change on the state level to modernize public notice laws to 2014 standards not 1949. County Commissioners go from $86,000 down to $5954 as savings of $80,000.

Below is the report from a few weeks ago on this issue at Rhino Times.



HAT TIP : Rhino Times
Scott Yost has a new article titled "County to Stop Throwing Good Money After Bad Taxpayers".

in the article were some interesting tidbits

"However, at a Monday, Feb. 3, Guilford County Tax Committee meeting, the committee decided unanimously to recommend to the Board of Commissioners that the county cease its current process of widely publicizing the names, and instead do the bare minimum required by law."

"Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis told the commissioners there was no evidence the mass advertisements of names is effective in getting people to pay up.
 
“There’s no guarantee we’ll recover the advertising cost,” Chavis said.
 
Chavis said that from the studies he’s read as well as from his personal experience, putting the names out there for the public to see doesn’t really do much good"

Phillips said he wondered why it has taken so long for commissioners and other county officials to have this discussion, which could clearly save the county money.
 
“I’m fascinated by the fact that there’s never been an in-depth conversation like we’re having now,” Phillips said."

_______________________________________________________________________________

This blog has been all over this issue since it was brought up to the Guilford County Commissioners last year on January 17, 2013 by me with video starting at the 7 minute mark here is a link

http://guilford.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=710 note the audio is very low and hard to hear.

Commissioner Phillips has known about this issue for over a year unless he wasn't listening to the speaker from the floor on January 17, 2013 in Keith Brown speaking.

Hopefully we will see some drastic changes in our public notice laws modernize to the year 2014 and this tax delinquency waste of taxpayers money is a start. It is great to see our commissioners understand this and take steps to lower our taxes and what better way then to do away with the tax delinquency notices in 3 publications when the state only allows you to have to provide it in one paid publication.It will be interesting to see a bid process for this item when in reality the only ones in Guilford COunty who can bid on the tax delinquency notice is either Greensboro News and Record, High Point Enterprise or Carolina Peacemaker. Who wants the contract? or will we see Greensboro News and Record cry foul over bidding on this money they were getting in the past totaling close to $80,000

If you would like to see plenty on this topic this blog has tagged plenty of topics under

legal notice

public notice

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guilford County Animal Shelter Needs Help in Saving Aussie Dogs from a Suspected Puppy Mill

This pic is Triadwatch's AUSSIE HERSHEY

News 2 has a report out tonight that the Guilford County Animal Shelter has dogs from a suspected puppy mill with plenty of Australian Shepherds dogs. Here is a link to post HERE

Australian Shepherd dogs are the most loyal well trained dogs to have as a companion. They are a little high strung but with plenty of exercise and love they are a man's and women's best friend.Right now, I am sure they are assessing each dog to see how much assistance each animal needs in their rehabilitation to a loving new home. 

Here is a link to the Guilford County Animal Shelter HERE , hopefully in the next few days there will be some more information about adopting these great breed of dogs to a new loving home in the triad area of North Carolina.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stacking The Deck on Boards and Commissions in Greensboro N.C.+Friendly Ave. Rezoning + History


A lot of talk has been going around about the rezoning case in Greensboro off of Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road with 3 opinion pieces in the Greensboro News and Record 2 for the developers and one for the neighborhood.

on Thursday we had this one

Zoning case: NIMBY attitude surfaces yet again by ex planning board members Cyndy Hayworth and Tony Collins

then on Sunday we had this

Counterpoint: Land’s best use is commercial by zoning commission members Mary Skenes and Rick Pinto

also on Sunday was this

Point: Parcel should stay residential by Scott Kinsey Friendly Coalition

NOTE:TREBIC CARTEL is the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition


It is time we take a stroll down memory lane in regards to what has been happening for a very longtime in Greensboro North Carolina for how the developers in town stack the deck in regards to boards and commissions  ,we need to look at what happened when citizens from Greensboro and a interloper from High Point  banded together to bring back Protest Petitons to the citizens of Greensboro . Below is what UNC-G Professor had to say at his blog :

David Wharton from A Little Urbanity blog had this to say back when the TREBIC CARTEL was fighting bringing back Protest Petitions which still resonates today

I made some comments at the meeting, too,  in which I focused on the fact that the building and real estate industries hold majorities on key boards and commissions, specifically the Zoning Commission, the RUCO board, the Board of Adjustment, and the Land Development Ordinance Citizens Advisory Team (of which I was a member).

Marlene Sanford of TREBIC took issue with my figures, disputing in particular the LDO CAT numbers, which I said was weighted 11-4 in favor of real estate interests. Since this is a public board, I don't think I'll be violating anyone's privacy by posting their names and occupations here. So here they are:
 
Trip BrownBrown Investment Properties (TREBIC member)
Mike Fox
Attorney
Tuggle Duggins and Meshan PA (TREBIC member company)
Dick Franks
Koury Corporation (TREBIC member)
Gary Hill
Jessica Marlies
Environmental law attorney
Bob Powell
North Carolina A&T University
Keith Price
Samet Corporation (TREBIC member)
Todd Rangel
Commercial real estate manager
SunTrust Bank
Gary Rogers
Starmount Company (TREBIC member)
Todd Rotruck
Independent Contractor
Mary Skenes
Yost and Little (TREBIC member)
Gary Wolf
Sparrow Wolf & Dennis, PA (TREBIC member)
David Wharton
UNC Greensboro

Some might quibble with the way I counted. Mike Fox and Gary Wolf are both attorneys, but I counted them as being in the real estate industry because both of their firms are TREBIC members. And though Todd Rotruck was appointed as a representative of the GNC, he's also a contractor in the building industry.
 
______________________________________________________________________________
 
A few more post at TRIADWATCH
 
  Marlene Sanford, Greensboro Partnership, TREBIC= Stacking the Deck on Boards and Commissions
 
in this article was this
"When will see a change in the mind set on who needs to be appointed to these boards and commissions because it has become a broken record. How has it become a broken record because here is what was reported back in 2008 from the protest petition for Greensboro N.C. blog

"In the Triad Business Journal January18-24 2008 in the Triad Talk section this is what was said. " Developers always have the upper hand in Guilford County" says Reid Phillips, an attorney with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro. They have boards packed with their people. They have experience. They are masters of divide and conquer. They can also wear people out with continuances.

It is hard for grass roots efforts to compete with this modus operandi."
 
MORE
 
Stacking the Deck with Developers
 
TREBIC + RUCO = Fox Guarding Hen House
 
Here is What Stack The Deck With TREBIC Developers Looks Like in Greensboro N.C.on CAT TEAM
 
Even today on the boards and commissions we have plenty who are in real estate and development industry stacking the deck
 
Mary Skenes  Yost and Little TREBIC CARTEL MEMBER
 
Paul Gilmer plenty was discussed on this appointment HERE
 
Russ Parmele Brown Investment TREBIC CARTEL MEMBER
 
Peter Placentino Brown Investment TREBIC CARTEL MEMBER
 
John Martin
 
Marc Isaacson who is King Zoning Stud Henry Isaacson's Son and law firm is major player in TREBIC CARTEL
 
Frankie T Jones was at smith moore leatherwood law firm TREBIC member but now at Lincoln financial
 
Rick Mossman  CBRE is TREBIC CARTEL member
 
Just remember about these appointments and for neighborhoods across Greensboro the deck is not stacked in your favor and it is not a even playing field with the local media having 2 against one in regards to the friendly rezoning articles out in the past few days and don't want to even talk about the PRO Trader Joe's piece written by News and Record a few weeks ago.
 
 
Stay strong friendly coalition,am sure the TREBIC CARTEL's lawyers from hypocrite lawyer Tom Terrell to King Zoning Stud Henry Isaacson have tried and failed at this property . They might need to get High Point's King Zoning Stud  James Morgan  on the case. Just remind James how protest petitions in a High Point zoning case helped a few years later bring it back to Greensboro after 30 + years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hartzman on the Steven Tanger Performing Arts Center

George Hartzman over at Yes Weekly! with a new post titled "On the Steven Tanger Performing Arts Center (GPAC)"

In the article is this

"On February 19, 2013, Zack Matheny offered, and City Council approved, a resolution stating that the city would not allow any municipal funding “until the GPAC Task Force is able to confirm that they have obtained binding commitments for ... private contributions for the GPAC.”
To date, it is unclear if the city has legally binding donor commitments on all $35 million of pledged assets. No one at the city seems to know where all the money actually is or what it’s invested in. Nor do they have a detailed time line showing how it’s supposed to flow in over a 10-year period.
If a large percentage of the pledged money is invested in equities or bonds and financial markets fall, or if interest rates rise from their current low levels, it is uncertain if the pledges will appear without having a detailed understanding of the status of the underlying assets."

READ MORE

and if you want a hilarious take on the Greensboro City Council's meeting last night in regards to the Greensboro Performing Arts Center check out BLANK CHECK WILKINS or IGMFUPAC Agreement Approved at Vie De Malchance blog

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Guilford County in Process of Saving Tax Money Hint from Triadwatch on Tax Delinquency Wasted Government Money

HAT TIP : Rhino Times
Scott Yost has a new article titled "County to Stop Throwing Good Money After Bad Taxpayers".

in the article were some interesting tidbits

"However, at a Monday, Feb. 3, Guilford County Tax Committee meeting, the committee decided unanimously to recommend to the Board of Commissioners that the county cease its current process of widely publicizing the names, and instead do the bare minimum required by law."

"Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis told the commissioners there was no evidence the mass advertisements of names is effective in getting people to pay up.
 
“There’s no guarantee we’ll recover the advertising cost,” Chavis said.
 
Chavis said that from the studies he’s read as well as from his personal experience, putting the names out there for the public to see doesn’t really do much good"

Phillips said he wondered why it has taken so long for commissioners and other county officials to have this discussion, which could clearly save the county money.
 
“I’m fascinated by the fact that there’s never been an in-depth conversation like we’re having now,” Phillips said."

_______________________________________________________________________________

This blog has been all over this issue since it was brought up to the Guilford County Commissioners last year on January 17, 2013 by me with video starting at the 7 minute mark here is a link

http://guilford.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=710 note the audio is very low and hard to hear.

Commissioner Phillips has known about this issue for over a year unless he wasn't listening to the speaker from the floor on January 17, 2013 in Keith Brown speaking.

Hopefully we will see some drastic changes in our public notice laws modernize to the year 2014 and this tax delinquency waste of taxpayers money is a start. It is great to see our commissioners understand this and take steps to lower our taxes and what better way then to do away with the tax delinquency notices in 3 publications when the state only allows you to have to provide it in one paid publication.It will be interesting to see a bid process for this item when in reality the only ones in Guilford COunty who can bid on the tax delinquency notice is either Greensboro News and Record, High Point Enterprise or Carolina Peacemaker. Who wants the contract? or will we see Greensboro News and Record cry foul over bidding on this money they were getting in the past totaling close to $80,000

If you would like to see plenty on this topic this blog has tagged plenty of topics under

legal notice

public notice

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Modernization of Legal Notices and Advertisements Governor Chafee's Rhode Island Version

HAT TIP : LEGAL NOTICE ONLINE

Rhode Island Governor Chafee's Proposed Budget Assumes the End of Newspaper Legal Notice Requirement

The Providence Journal reports today that Governor Chafee's proposed budget contemplates the enactment of Article 22, "The Modernization of Legal Notices and Advertisements". Article 22 would replace the requirement to publish notices in newspapers with the option to post those notices online. Newspaper publishers across the state predictably oppose the measure to save cash-strapped municpalities, school districts, counties money. We estimate, extrapolating from information reported in other states, total spend for legal notices in print in Rhode Island is $3.4 million. No indication was given as to the timeline until Article 22 becomes law.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

City of Greensboro Helping Public Notice Laws to 2014 Standards with New Bid Website


The City of Greensboro has made a new public website for construction bid opportunities, www.greensboro-nc.gov/ourbidprojects  , which has helpful links to information for bidders interested in participating on City construction projects.



_____________________________________________________________
This is a real big step for cities and counties all over this state to understand the importance of the internet and not having to pay the local monopolistic paid papers to place public notice bids on a weekly basis.

This past year in the North Carolina General Assembly we have seen lawmakers propose laws to let cities and counties save taxpayer money on public notices for example our own Senator Dr. Trudy Wade in Senate Bill #186   and we also had House member Rep. Jon Hardister House Bill #504  works it's way through the process but nothing was passed because the blowhards from the N.C. Press Association oppose it at every turn with help from N.C. Press Assoc. Head Cheerleader Rep. Marilyn Avila and other lawmakers who are scared they are going to get bad press for actually saving taxpayer money and thinking it is 2014 not 1949 with these antiquated public notice laws.

It is great to see the City of Greensboro be proactive in regards to the bidding process and letting more customers get their information online and hopefully in the future we will see more laws passed that will also help out in the process without having the by state law put a ad in a local paper with font sizes so small you need a magnifier to see the bid or public notice.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Greensboro VS. Charlotte or Charlotte Observer VS. Greensboro News and Record Topic: Rail Yards

December 27, 2013 front page of the Greensboro News and Record is this story

Greensboro Rail Yard Aids Local Access to International Markets

one small spot off of Merritt Drive HERE

then today we have this from the Charlotte Observer December 30, 2013

City Hopes New Rail Yard Kicks Off Boom Around Airport

in the observer article is this

"The hope is that improved roads and other infrastructure, such as water and sewer service, will attract more businesses, including manufacturing, trucking and warehouse companies. More than 5,000 acres of largely undeveloped land known as Dixie Berryhill sits west of the airport, and Charlotte Douglas is spending $35 million to buy a 370-acre neighborhood south of the rail yard.

Christine said about 25 properties in the neighborhood have been purchased, and an additional 60 are at the appraisal stage before the airport buys them. The plan is to raze the houses and use the land for businesses tied to the rail yard.

Charlotte’s capital improvement plan also includes $43 million worth of road improvements in Dixie Berryhill. Christine said his committee is looking at the best way to build those roads, which will also include modifications to straighten and expand existing roads.

A grand opening of the intermodal yard is planned for next year, said Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman. Most of the rails have been laid and rolling cranes are in place, but construction of buildings and support facilities is ongoing.
 The lot cost $92 million, including almost $16 million worth of state and federal grants. North Carolina and Charlotte also funded $9.7 million worth of road improvements around the rail yard, including a new interchange at Interstate 485 and West Boulevard that allows trucks easier access to the facility."_____________________________________________________________________________ Buying out whole neighborhoods for $35 million dollars. Will we ever see that happen in the Triad area around the airport?

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/30/4576495/city-hopes-new-rail-yard-kicks.html#storylink=cpy

Newsbusted Video



Newsbusted video last one of the year

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are Newspapers Crazy to Collaborate with Government on Bills to Reduce Legal Notices in Print? Crazy Like a Fox.

HAT TIP: LEGAL NOTICE ONLINE

Are Newspapers Crazy to Collaborate with Government on Bills to Reduce Legal Notices in Print? Crazy Like a Fox.

State press associations, if you read this blog, would rather block legislation to move notices online even if it saves the taxpayers' money so as to continue to reap revenue from printed public notices 
Wyoming's Press Association (which is populated by print newspapers) out of either common sense or a lack of resources, decided a year ago to try to forge legislation with Wyoming's Association of Municipalities that would reduce print requirements for certain notices according to the Trib.com  web site of the Star Tribune. While  these bills appear to reduce notices in print, the legislation thanks to the generosity of state legislators, could actually lead to MORE notices in print.
One must look closely at the bills as they may not exactly succeed in doing what they say they will. For sure, certain notices will be reduced. But these are notices that are published very infrequently... lists of names and pay scale of employees which normally were printed twice per year, will now be printed once per year.
In exchange, the newspapers have extracted a nice concession. Once per month, a general public notice must be published in print which alerts the readers to go look on the municipality's website for legal notices. These general notices are required to be published through 2016 which will generate additional revenue for the newspapers! We had originally thought that the press association's willingness to work collaboratively for this law was a sign of weakness, but it appears again that the newspapers, that fewer citizens subscribe to, have fleeced the taxpayers out of more of their money to publish in print, legal notices no one reads.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Congrats to the New Mayor of Greensboro Nancy Vaughan


Congrats to the new Mayor of Greensboro Nancy Vaughan. Mr. Barakat is looking down with a big smile on his face today.

NEWSBUSTED at NEWSBUSTERS.ORG 2-14-2014