Saturday, March 30, 2013

DGI newspaper racks...

It is rumored that DGI is about to spend close to $100,000 of our money on newspaper racks to eliminate the N&R, Yes Weekly, Rhino and other existing dispensers. 
DGI has been working on this for TEN years (that is an undisputed fact). No vote was taken but yet it is happening. 

Another mediocre solution sponsored by a mediocre downtown non profit aka DGI. 

How much longer are we going to need newspaper dispensers especially @ $8,000 a piece. Don't we have a better use for our money? 

Is it me , or are they pissing our money away with only 3 months left in the fiscal year? 

Does it have to be so difficult?...I mean really...?

 I asked the following legitimate question on a previous post.

If DGI is already being compensated for the "professional management of various programs and projects... including general accounting" and Other Services...

Is it Legal for DGI to charge additional management fees or other undisclosed fees out of the :
- Clean and Green Service contract with The BUDD group -Not Disclosed
- Center City Park's Pass through funds destined for maintenance - Not Disclosed
- Enhanced Projects and services contract- disclosed but claimed that it was to cover financial auditing."...

The city attorney responded that he could not answer my question unless he was directed to by council, and then, sent me this last , very cordial email:

"Mr. Robert:

Regardless of whether or not I am asked by the Council to answer your DGI-related questions, to the extent you've posed questions asking if something is "ethical," that's not something I can answer for you.  The questions I can answer are whether or not something is legally permitted.  You or DGI would have to make a determination of whether or not the conduct is ethical.  I expect that you and DGI would have different opinions on this.

Have a good evening."

Fair enough, the city attorney is doing his job, so I then proceeded to ask our city manager and 8 out of our nine council members to ask the question on behalf of a tax paying downtown resident/property owner:

" Mr Mayor, Council Members, Madame Manager and City Attorneys,

In an attempt to eliminate further  speculations, I am respectfully submitting the following questions to you hoping that you will direct the city attorney to clarify the city's legal /official position regarding DGI recently uncovered "creative" accounting practices. "

I guess they are all too busy revamping DGI  to address a simple question...  or maybe we already know the answer.  Shame on them for now... If we allow this to continue, it will be shame on us in November. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Freshest Hoffmann rumors

It is now clear that Ms Hoffman is a quick study when it comes to politics...the previous  "anti-establishment" platform will definitely have to be revised prior to the upcoming elections.
First there was the out of character push to bypass voters on the GAPC, then the even stranger lease negotiation with DGI and more recently, the 180° volte-face on the noise ordinance. 

Ms Hoffmann is now believed to be running at large with Roy Carroll as one of her backer...This new political strategy may have to do with the other rumor speculating Mike Barber 's run for district 4.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roy Carroll's exempted event venue.

Who knew? 

Roy Carroll owns an event venue within his building...The city's planning department did not seem aware of its existence during the Entertainment Facility Use Ordinance discussions. I was also not able to obtain the privilege license information ... 

Regardless, it's Casino Night at Center Pointe with Chips and Buy ins and Dealers... just like the real thing...That is one fancy sweepstakes parlor.

The photos come from a party last September and were available online.

Many familiar faces, mostly real estate professionals enjoying the moment downtown, comforted by the finest protection money can buy...Our very own, and very fine Greensboro Police Department. 

I do not know if the presence of the Police inside the building violated the chief's directives as stated in an Email to the city manger on August 6th 2012:

" I have loosened our off duty restrictions, but not to allow officers to work inside club security...something I find unacceptable and a bit repulsive..." 

I am certain that the chief treats all Greensboro citizens equally...the GPD was probably there only to ensure Roy's compliance with the noise ordinance.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013




It started as what should have been a civil dispute between two entities.Two seemingly incompatible points of view with little in common but for a penchant towards "Dick Measuring." 
One entity happened to be the Mayor's wealthy friend and victimized client. He is supported by the who's who of civil service  and local nobility.
The other party is the over 75db loud, targeted, frustrated, foul mouthed -caught on tape- night club owner. He has been legally operating without serious incidents for 12 years but became an overnight public nuisance . 

A diverse and different constituency solidified during the last debate. College students, lawyers, entertainers, property owners and  council members (Ms Vaughan, Ms Abuzuaiter and YES even Ms Hoffmann)  advocated for vibrancy and organic urban evolution, defeating the Mayor's  best effort to hijack the democratic process. 

Contrary to Ms Hoffmann comments,  the only reason for the renewed tantrum is because the Mayor's friend did not get his way and finally admitted (during the meeting with Greene St and SYn/SKY) that Greene Street was directly responsible for his poor condo sales' performance. This is not about noise and a  revisit simply sends the wrong message.

This is about...

"Roy has just moved into his own building...I am inclined to start citing Greene Street each time there is a complaint..."
Greensboro Police Chief Ken Miller

"Mayor Perkins requested a text amendment regulating amplified noise from entertainment businesses...this is based on a complaint from Roy Carroll and others living near the Greene Street bar..."

Greensboro Police Attorney Jim Clark


"Mr. Carroll is seemingly too self-absorbed and unaware to recognize the irony of saying, "I don’t expect to be treated any differently from anybody else," after he hasreceived millions in tax breaks from the city of Greensboro to contribute to his business success. To be among the 1 percent and not recognize the special treatment he received is pretty amazing; and more than a little galling.

Mr. Carroll also seems unaware of the incongruity of his complaining about a 75 dB noise limit downtown being too high for him to live peacefully while building homes for people at the end of the airport runways where noise levels regularly exceed 85 dB "

ROCH 101

I am concerned by any statement affirming one group superiority over another, I am offended by statements that one group is solely to blame for any economic or social crisis and, I resent the belief that one clientele is superior to another based on appellation alone. History taught us that.

"...Hoffmann suggested that the young professional demographic might be “a prime business target...Middle-age and young professionals drink at places like Print Works, 1618, the O’Henry Hotel...the councilwoman said places like Greene Street could also cater to that market...."


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills

Keith Brown sure has a point

the youngs and the hopeless

 The mini  me's white paper sure was original  and and its opportunistic timing most  illustrative of a typical non profit maneuver .
I was downtown yesterday catching up with my neighbors and friends.  I ended up spending time with some of my militant friends from the Downtown Alliance and South Elm Alliance. After a brief insane, nostalgic moment longing for the days we were making a difference, we quickly found humor in the fact that Cecilia Thompson was "with us " behind the scene but could not openly support the cause  citing conflict with her employer (Action Greensboro)...we guessed that there were no longer any conflicts.
We also noticed how the mini mes offered no stance on Downtown's divisive issues...I asked (via message) Donovan McKnight " where does your group stand on the noise ordinance?"...i asked on facebook..."where do they stand on the upcoming entertainment license and noise ordinance?" . 

I asked because i was genuinely interested in where they stood as the younger constituency, and because i have been fighting the downtown Man for 8 years now and wanted to know if i now have to fight "a younger downtown Man" as well...the mini mes did not answer.

Young, unique and diverse individuals as part of the downtown conversation is exactly what downtown needs, but young is relative... to the 50,000+ college students, the young professionnals are younGER , but who isn't when compared to the Milton Kern , Susan Shwartz, Dawn Chaney and even me.  

Arrogant little men

Remember, Dawn Chaney, Michael Shiftan and Sam Simpson are all " fixing " DGI with the help of our council....Well they are moving quickly and are certainly pleased with themselves. During the last board meeting, Michael Shiftan (long, long long time board member and past chair) reiterated the desire for DGI to expand its boundaries across Lee Street to capture upcoming redevelopment dollar. 
Dawn Chaney is currently the DGI chair AND ALSO chairs the redevelopment commission. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Famous last words

..."As the meeting finished, downtown property owner and board member Milton kern approached Wolverton outside...We're behind you Ed, he said..."

Other board members commented here

Is it really about noise?

Posted by Don MooreDate: Saturday, March 23, 

2013Baseball Season opens in a few weeks. While it is rare that a game goes beyond 11 PM. I am sure the additional traffic, noise, weekend fireworks bothers someone. I attend most games (I am not Grasshopper GM); and can hear the stadium's PA for blocks. It seems that some folks are complaining about the "type" of noise - not the noise itself.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Roy's sleep patterns rule !

"...complaints from Carroll and others have increased..."
 “We don’t want to be the loudest city in the state of North Carolina.” Zack Matheny
"...people can’t have their sleep patterns unreasonably affected....”  Nancy Hoffmann

that's leadership!


How Do You Say... Young Professionals?


During last council session, a group of Young Professionals emerged suddenly, almost conveniently. 

The  group wrote a white paper reaffirming some well known downtown needs while endorsing  a couple of fresher ideas . 
From increased diversity to a downtown Incubator, the group made a visible impression on our Mayor...In fact Mayor Perkins was so impressed, that he almost immediately created a special committee to work with the group on Downtown's future.

So who are these Young Professionals joining the cause for the (r)evolution of Downtown Greensboro?

Here is what I know...

The N&R identified the Young Professionals as follow:
” Leaders of the groups SynerG Young Professionals, Greensboro Jaycees, the Future Fund, Face to Face and the young lawyers section of the Greensboro Bar Association. "

"synerG is staffed by Action Greensboro’s Director of Projects, Cecelia Thompson."  
“...synerG, under the umbrella of Action Greensboro, is an active organization of young adults who lead initiatives with the mission to attract, engage and connect young professionals to Greensboro, North Carolina. 

The organization lost its relevance and was recently plagued by a financial scandal. Characterized as politically savvy, in need of a positive collaboration.

Future Fund
"The Future Fund was started in 1999 by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro". 
The Future Fund was instrumental in raising money for the Jaycees.

Face to Face
Probably the only credible grassroot organization of the bunch. It was started by Donovan McKnight, a good and creative guy…the kind of guy that is indeed good for downtown to have around. He also serves(ed) on one of the DGI committees so he has seen first hand what not to be.

Young Lawyers section. of the Greensboro Bar Association
 "To serve as professional group to help new and young lawyers of the Greensboro Bar
 Association meet other lawyers and serve the greater Greensboro community."

In Summary:
-Tim Tsujii ,the group's co chair,  is a board member of Action Greensboro's operating group along with Ed Kitchen, Ken Mayer, Denise Turner, Walker Sanders and Susan Shwartz to name a few.

-Action Greensboro is SynerG and SynerG is Action Greensboro.

-Cecilia Thompson works for Action Greensboro, and heads synerG. She also used to work for the Community foundation and, to her credit, is solely responsible for bringing the food trucks downtown.

-Future funds was started by the Community foundation

-The Community foundation is pushing hard for the GPAC 

 -The Young Professionals advocate for "large transformative projects – the Downtown Greenway, Downtown Performing Arts Center and Downtown University District"


What is the group's position on the current downtown divisive issues such as the Noise Ordinance and Entertainment Facility use ordinance? 

White Paper here

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Do You Say...Light?


All it takes is a little creativity...the less money you have the more creative you have to be.
Shame on the local non profits for taking advantage of us. They stopped being creative the day we gave them a city funded budget...$6,000,000 per mile of Greenway...pfffft!

FACT or no FACT- Council meeting rules

Each council meeting pretty much starts the same way... all is pretty well scripted and formatted. 
We expect politicians to be political  with all that it entails, but what bothers me the most is that each council pretty much starts with a lie...
Our Mayor announces that none of the council members know in advance how the others will vote... 

I don't think so! 

I know that they know that we know.



A public hearing is typically set to (yes), hear from the public regarding a specific issue, in order for the decision makers to receive the necessary information (from all parties) , to make an informed decision on behalf of (yes), the public. 

It seems that the Greensboro City Council is treating a very basic democratic Human right as nothing more than a formality. 

This morning Rhino article regarding the "Proposed Entertainment Facility Use Ordinance" supports the notion that most interviewed council members have already made up their mind on this particular issue.

This blogger happens to know for a fact that  6 out of 9 elected officials have indeed, already made up their mind.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eye Candy

Add caption

FACT or no FACT- City Attorney

..."Council has not requested that I respond to your questions. If they do, I will be happy to do so...." 

S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan- CITY ATTORNEY

Does this mean that the City Attorney has to obtain approval from council before he can answer any constituents' questions or just the DGI ones ?

Excerpt form the original question:

According to the "Addendum to Contract for Services between City of
Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc., Exhibit A states:
"in exchange for the City of Greensboro's financial support in the amount of
$103,500, during FY 2011-12," DGI agreed to offer the City of Greensboro
services "in a non-partisan manner" including;

I. "Provide for the professional management of various programs and projects
that may be initiated by DGI and/or funded through city grants.  This
management includes program oversight and general accounting"

J. Other services that may be required and agreed to between DGI and the
city of Greensboro

If DGI is already being compensated for the "professional management of
various programs and projects... including general accounting" and Other

Is it Legal for DGI to charge additional management fees or other undisclosed fees out of the :
- Clean and Green Service contract with The BUDD group -Not Disclosed
- Center City Park's Pass through funds destined for maintenance - Not Disclosed
- Enhanced Projects and services contract- disclosed but claimed that it was to cover financial auditing."...

is this thing on?


How do you say? "Merde Alors"

Et oui, one more Greensboro Blog about  the locals ... politicians, non profits, celebrities and players.