Donetta Powell’s Active Involvement in the Petition Process


The owner of 1300 Lorimer Road for approximately 5 months of the designated petitioning period (November 18, 2014 – May 18, 2015) was Adrianne W. Joergensen. Joergensen, however, was not notified about the petition/project during this period/her ownership.

Ryan Barnum purchased the house at 1300 Lorimer Road from Ms Joergensen, thus becoming the new property owner, on April 24, 2015.

Donetta Powell made a concerted effort to secure Barnum’s signature more than a month later, on May 27 — twenty-three days after the petition was turned in by the petitioner with a more-than-sufficient number of signatures.

The question is: Why?

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From: Donna Burford
Date: May 27, 2015 at 6:14:22 PM
To: Ryan Barnum
Subject: Lorimer Road Street Petition

Ryan, Donetta Powell with the City of Raleigh contacted me to get Mrs. Chandler’s signature that was missed. She also suggested that since she has had communication with you regarding the approved access point in your yard that you may have an interest in signing the petition as well. She dropped the petition off to me and is requesting that I return it back to her as soon as possible. Please let me know if I can come by or if you could swing by here.

Unless you are against the petition, I would encourage you to sign. The petition was accepted with 65% approval when I turned it in on May 4th and if you signed, it will be resubmitted at 71%. I am assuming that the higher the approval rating on a project shows positively when presented to the City Council on July 7th.


The Petition’s Sufficiency / “Success” Rates—

-WITHOUT Ryan Barnum’s signature — 65.85% of All Property Owners In Favor
-WITH Ryan Barnum’s signature — 68.29% of All Property Owners In Favor


-WITHOUT Ryan Barnum’s signature — 64.92% of All Property Frontage In Favor
-WITH Ryan Barnum’s signature — 70.96% of All Property Frontage In Favor


It would hardly seem worth pursuing Ryan Barnum’s signature for such a small gain, especially in light of his reluctance to sign; it took some persuading on Powell’s part to finally secure his signature.

It’s difficult to see how these small percentage differences could be considered significant enough that Ryan’s signature alone, when added to the rest of those already collected, would help “push the Petition through,” as Donetta Powell suggested (see Affidavit of Ryan Barnum).

*Was Ryan Barnum aware of the (potential) significant changes to the property he was about to purchase before negotiating the purchase price? And if not, shouldn’t he have been? Whose responsibility was it to tell him? The seller’s, Adrianne W. Joergensen’s? And if that’s the case, did she inform him?

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North Carolina Disclosure Form – This Disclosure Form contains the following question:

#28. Is the property the subject of any lawsuits, foreclosures, bankruptcy, leases or rental agreements, judgements, tax liens, proposed assessments, mechanics’ liens, materialmens’ liens, or notices from any governmental agency that could affect the property value?

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Powell’s active involvement also included her suggesting to the petitioner that the petition’s designated measurements (sidewalk, setback) were subject to change—an assurance the petitioner passed on to residents as she appealed to them for signatures; an assurance that turned out not to be true. Additionally, Powell passed this assurance on to Mr. Barnum, who she told that the size of the street could also be reduced from the width spelled out on the petition. Barnum eventually signed.

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