Saturday, March 7, 2009

Letter to Governor Perdue for Ethical Reforms on the local level especially Guilford County

Cathy M. Poole, Chairperson
NC Alliance for Transportation Reform - Ethics Committee
1607A Squire Davis Road
Kernersville, N.C. 27284
Telephone: 336-869-0256

February 11, 2009

The Honorable Beverly E. Perdue
Office of the Governor
State of North Carolina
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-0301

Dear Governor Perdue:

It is evident from your first days as our Governor, that your Oath of Office is synonymous with the truths you hold dear. NC citizens across the state thank you and welcome your wise leadership promoting open and fair government processes.
Executive Order Number 2 “Reforming Department of Transportation” is excellent; however, unless ethical reform in transportation planning reaches local levels of elected and appointed officials as well, it will be undermined and inefficient. We cannot allow undue influence by property developers and corporate interests who have no accountability to the people and are subject to no ethical policies to control any level of the planning process.
Sam Hunt, former Secretary of North Carolina Department of Transportation said that the “Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is the policy body guiding the transportation planning process”. When I recently questioned the ability of the TAC to over-rule the unanimous vote of the Guilford County Commissioners, my elected representatives, I was told that the “TAC is self-governed”.
Integration of transportation and land-use planning, supported by the Federal Highway Administration calls for Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Rural Planning Organizations, and transit agencies to maximize the effectiveness of public investments by collaboration, and (provisions of H-2318) provides for public/private partnerships, but these agencies and persons do not function with transparency and accountability or abide by enforceable ethical standards.
We believe the attached Resolution on Ethical Principles in Transportation Planning and Land-use in North Carolina, proposed by NC Alliance for Transportation Reform (NCATR), would greatly strengthen Executive Order Number 2 in accordance with Article XIV, Section 3 of our North Carolina Constitution. “General laws uniformly applicable throughout the State shall be made applicable without classification or exception in every unit of local government of like kind, such as every county, or every city and town”…
Very simply, our request is for modification of the State Government Ethics Act to specifically cover all elected officials, appointees, planning boards and individuals involved in transportation and land-use planning uniformly and throughout North Carolina.
Once again, I commend your efforts to reform the processes, efficiencies and priorities of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.


Cathy M. Poole, Chairperson
NCATR - Ethics Committee

NC Alliance for Transportation Reform (NCATR) is a statewide grassroots organization involved in transportation reform issues across the state since 1992.

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