Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Action Greensboro, April Harris, Jim Melvin , Downtown Design Manual and a e-mail from Alex

Triadwatch got a email from a person by the name of Alex, no last name. Alex has a lot to say and here is the e-mail.

"I have some information that I think the public really needs to hear about.

I am sure that you have heard of the Greensboro Design Manual that has been circulating around the city administration office and got continued at the commission hearing. Something that has me really upset is that the city administrators will not put this Manual for a vote. I really liked the effort you made to give the people the vote with your protest petition initiative and think that you could help give us the same right to vote on this ordinance that will change the face of downtown forever. The Manual needs to a vote and let the people decide whether or not we want the city staff to be able to tell us whether or not our house or business is pretty enough to build. We should have that right our self. If the city thinks this is such a great idea, then 51% of the people will vote in favor of it or not. In any case, putting it to a vote, will at least give us a voice.

My real point in emailing you is to show you something I have uncovered but I don't have the right connections or a blog to tell the city the truth. You need to let the public know about this.

My concern is that Action Greensboro has had way too involved with the City with this Design Manual and as a result, their involvement raised quit a stink in my nostrils. Basically, the executive director of Action Greensboro, April Harris, is in real tight with Jim Melvin. Well, Action Greensboro has been real vocal in their efforts to support this Design Manual. I didn't know why until I started to look into the structure of Action Greensboro as a non profit business. I also know that Melvin is still in charge here as we all know it and is in support of the manual and has been in support of taking away our right to decide the buildings we want to build on our land. He wants to replace with the city staff's idea based on these standards that mandate where to get materials from, what the building looks like and so on.

As you probably know, the Greensboro Partnership is the head company that runs three other companies below it - Action Greensboro, the Chamber of Commerce and Greensboro Economic Alliance. These three lower companies must answer to the decision of the Greensboro Partnership Board of Director and are bound legally to follow through with the boards decisions. It's in their governance manual.

Well, just go take a look at the board of directors for the Partnership and you'll see why April from Action Greensboro has been lobbying so hard to get this Manual passed. It's because she is really working for Melvin and a slew of others who have been back dooring the rest of us for too long now. The board members can't take a position on the Manual because they are all have conflicts of interest. This is because, the Greensboro Partnership and the three non profits under it are all funded by the city and our tax dollars while at the same time, all the board members who run these non profits are rich businessmen who all have an interest in the Manual. There are even a couple of people who work for the City of GSO on the partnership--who--April is working for and vocally supporting this legislation. Just call her up. She'll tell you she is supporting it. Of course they want the manual because its puts more restrictions on the type of buildings you can build and only the rich guys will be able to afford to have a hand in downtown. So, you see April is just their pawn, doing all their dirty work. She is doesn't own a business and isn't a developer. But she is under the control of the executive board of directors.

If you do some checking around, you'll find out that the three non profits below the partnership MUST do as the board votes. I heard from someone I know who is on the board of directors that they discussed this and said that the partnership couldn't and shouldn't take a stance on the manual because they all will benefit from it passing. The solution was to get April involved and do whatever is necessary to NOT let the people have a say. I also know that there were a small number of the board members who said that Action GSO should not be behind the design manual and that we should be able to vote on it rather than have the damn board of directors just tell the city what to do with this. As much as I hate to say it, I think the VF corp was against this matter. But even better, even Roy Carroll has spoke out against the manual and even said the people should get to vote! Maybe he's extra cautious these days because of you, or maybe he knows this just stinks. Roy Carroll had been opposing this since day one, despite that he had a guy on the committee, all the other guys on the committee just out voted his guy "Al lenny" or something. His rep said that Roy wants to let the people take it for a vote. Jesus, if Carrol is distancing himself, this must be deep stuff. I'm not sure exactly what's going on but, but this is an awful example of how an enormous amount of power can take away our right to vote on this. This Manual is huge and we need to have more of a voice.

Here is how the structure works:

Board of Directors

___________ Greensboro Partnership_________________

Action GSO Chamber of Commerce GSO Economic Development Alliance

So, you see, the board rules. Well, the guys on the board rule. April is a pawn for Melvin and the scapegoat that gets the board members out of their conflict of interest. Also, DGI is another non profit that is under Action GSO in the mix and have abstained from endorsing this manual as of this time. I spoke with them, and they said that they put it off for now. I think that they are hoping that the city council quickly passes it before elections so the board doesn't have to get reacquainted with the new members. I also know that the reason why they don't want the Manual to go to a vote or have more public meetings is because they will loose.I wish the protest petition would help here, but all the board members own all the land downtown or at least their buddies do. See if you can knock the dust off this thing. "


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Greg said...

Wow! Great work Keith! This kind of thing is going on all around us and we don't even know the half of it.

triadwatch said...

this was from a e mail with no last name. It looks like the person needed to let the air out and they sure did.