NOTE: The original signed and notarized Affidavit is housed in the Office of the City Clerk, City of Raleigh. It is dated January 27, 2016.
. . . . . .
State of North Carolina
County of Wake
BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary, ______________________________________________ , on this ___________ day of January, 2016, personally appeared Karen Rochford, known to me to be a credible person and of lawful age, who being by me first duly sworn, on her oath, deposes and says:
I was asked to submit a summary of the interaction that I had when the petitioner and her sister conducted door-to-door visits soliciting signatures for the Lorimer Road project. Below is what I recall:
I was unable to attend the ONE meeting that was scheduled, very last minute, for April 1, 2015, to address the petition for Lorimer Road ‘improvements’. Donna Burford, the petitioner and Sharon Mixon, her sister, visited my home a day or two later. They provided me with the paperwork that they had handed out at the meeting and were eager for me to sign the petition. They said that there was no reason that the neighborhood couldn’t work through this together and get along [which I thought was a rather odd & defensive way to approach a conversation].
I had a number of questions and our dialogue went, although not verbatim, as follows:
– I stated my concern that the plan looked VERY aggressive given the quiet quaint nature of our neighborhood. Such a large street expansion with very large sidewalks and setbacks would change the feel and esthetic of our neighborhood in a way that I would not like. I explained that I had purchased my home here 5 years prior because of the gorgeous natural environment that didn’t look like the numerous planned communities that are now available throughout Raleigh.
I was told not to worry and to sign the document as it was and that we would all be able to sit down once it passed and determine how we would like it to look. They said that they also would advocate for a smaller footprint and that this was standard petition format for this type of request.
– They shared that they were convinced they had enough signatures on the other end of Lorimer, from Kaplan to Onslow, but they were aware that this end of Lorimer, between Onslow and Garland, did not look like it would have a majority. Sharon was concerned that our end of the road would be removed from the petition.
– I explained that I was very concerned about increased traffic and traffic speeds. They said that they had spoken with Kay Crowder about that and she had suggested that parking on the street was a great way to slow traffic. I responded that I have a driveway so there was no need for me to park on the street. They said that was only one suggestion, but had nothing further to offer regarding how to manage the expected increased traffic.
– I said that I was worried that my neighbors, particularly the two homes just across the street from me [Mike & Erin Salmon and Fred Midness], would lose almost all of the nature / trees in front of their homes if this very large road expansion and sidewalk with setback was passed. Their response was that they should have thought about that before they built their homes.
– I said I was concerned that this was a significant financial burden and that some people would not be able to afford this project. They suggested I consider crowdfunding as a fundraising option?
In the paperwork they distributed it was stated that if we did not choose to move forward with this project now, the city would ultimately force us to do it at a higher cost in the future. Although I found out later that this statement had been disputed and proven completely incorrect, it was not removed or even scratched off of the information that I was given.
This process felt forcefully rushed, involved large amounts of misinformation / misunderstanding and was overseen by two individuals who were aggressively for the project and therefore biased in their approach and sharing of information. It saddens me that something so important, that greatly impacts tax payers as well as my home and my checkbook, can be put into motion with so little oversight, time and transparency.
I hope that we can stop this process and create a new solution where all Lorimer residents are fully informed, have time to consider their options, and are an actual part of the decision making process.
1213 Lorimer Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this _________ day of January, 2016.
Signature of Notary
My commission expires: ______________, 20____.