Sunday, November 16, 2008

Robbie Perkins Time To Get Some Ethics and Get Off Heart Of The Triad

Collapse of Financial Systems and Democratic Government

Financial systems and democratic government are ultimately based on trust of the administrators and clearly can and will collapse when administered by avaricious, unethical individuals.

The Heart of the Triad project should be terminated immediately to spare citizens from the unconstitutional degradation we face each time meet for another dishonest and discredited attempt at planning for our rural community.

Heart of the Triad was the vision of Greensboro City Councilman, Robbie Perkins, co-owner of NAI Piedmont Triad Commercial Properties (listed by the Business Journal as the 3rd largest). Mr. Perkins also serves on the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and until recently co-chaired the HOT Steering Committee. He continues to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee. When I suggested that HOT planning groups follow the “Ethical Principles of the American Planning Association”, he was the first to object. When I questioned his conflicts of interests and the NAI signs scattered throughout the HOT area, he replied to me, “I make no apologies for my actions”.

This unscrupulous conduct is a disgrace to the elected officials who continue to promote this concept. Does anyone have the political courage to end this fiasco?

Following the widespread public unease about the Kelo eminent domain ruling, BB&T issued a national statement that they would not participate in economic development projects involving eminent domain. This announcement was obviously a cheap PR stunt as BB&T was a $50,000 contributor to Heart of the Triad and they continue to hold a seat on the “Stakeholders’ Committee”.

The “Heart of the Triad Parkway” aka North-South Connector will be used to condemn property to pave the way for developers. High Point’s public hearing for their Major Thoroughfare Plan is to be held on November 25th at 10:00am at the High Point Chamber of Commerce. Please express your opinion!

Many local elected and appointed officials currently have personal development interests; hold positions on multiple decision-making boards or committees without ethical or legal restraint and function without transparency and accountability to the people. Guilford and Forsyth County Board of Commissioners have not adopted an ethics policy.

The undue influence of property developers and corporate interests in land-use and transportation planning is not representative of the population at large and diminishes the public trust and threatens private property rights, agricultural vitality and the environmental stability of North Carolina.

The NC General Assembly should modify the State Government Ethics Act to include all local elected and appointed officials, land-use and transportation planning boards, committees and authorities, MPOs and RPOs to include any private partnership agreements with NCDOT and to provide equity to citizens facing possible misuse of eminent domain authority without the normal recourse of representative government. These persons/organizations should be subject to all provisions of the State Government Ethics Act.

Cathy M. Poole
Coalition of Concerned Citizens of The Triad

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