“‘Adverse’ Neighborhood Meeting”

Lorimer Road resident Erin Salmon organized a gathering—a Neighborhood Meeting—for International Peace Day (9/21/15). She distributed this letter/inviation to neighbors –

Erin Salmon INVITE

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Petitioner Donna Burford forwarded the invitation to Donetta Powell and Jimmy Upchurch of the City’s Public Works Department, characterizing the meeting as “adverse” – Continue reading

“I for one, am a fan!”

From: Donna Burford
To: Kay Crowder, Donetta Powell
Date: 9/18/2015 4:19:52 PM
Subject: Meeting Announcement

“As to be suspected [Erin Salmon] doesn’t want the facts and just wants to sling the mud. I have received confirmation that at least the mature residents on the street will not be participating in her rant sessions. 🙂 I actually laughed out loud to her comment implying “we” would plan another meeting. Or the statement that implies that she could organize or even make a political forum between Crowder and Smith happen. The “Lorimer Road Raleigh” Facebook page will be changed from closed group to a public group this evening so evidence of angst and motivations can be recorded. They may want to watch their tongues. I already have evidence of a threatening remark from Dave [Simonton] toward my sister and I that he thinks he deleted. If they are not able to contain their hatred then restraining orders may be needed. Once again…all of the sane neighbors on Lorimer Rd. thank you for all of your support and hard work! I for one, am a fan!”

—Donna Burford

 

[NOTE: Donna Burford, the Lorimer Road petitioner, now works for Kay Crowder. Donna’s sister, Sharon Mixon, the person who wanted a sidewalk in the first place, is grateful for Crowder’s help with this process as well. Both Donna and Sharon are Friends with Kay on Facebook. ]

Affidavit of Carolyn Parker

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 Carolyn Parker, 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:

Regarding Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

Because the changes will impact the usefulness of the frontage I now enjoy, and cost me a substantial amount of money, I believe I had the right to have information about this Petition provided me in a timely manner. I believe I had a right to have a Petition document state clearly the dimensions of sidewalk, setback, and easements etc. required for the project so that an average citizen could see clearly how the project might affect themselves and their neighbors.

I further believe I had a right to transparency in the process and a right to fair play. As one example: There is a small key on the Petition map page. If I read it correctly it states that a number of property owners face no assessment for this project. Yet, in the Petition process designed by the City, their vote counts the same as mine or other property owners who face assessment (one of my neighbors will have to pay more than $10,000). All of the property owners facing no assessment voted for the Petition.

I believe I had a right to be afforded a true forum with my neighbors – where you are provided correct information about the specifics of a project and the specifics of the Petition process before hand – so that you can come together to discuss diverse ideas and to develop expansive thinking.

As it turns out I was kept in the dark for 4 ½ months and given misinformation by the Petitioner.

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Citizen’s Petition – 1200 Block Residents

PETITION Erin's.jpeg

This Petition was presented to City Council members by Lorimer Road residents Erin & Mike on December 1, 2015. No action was taken.

As was the case with their decision on the original petition, Council Member Crowder and the others did not respect the wishes of a majority of residents living north of Onslow Road, where the circumstances are significanly different than on the southern end of Lorimer.

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Sharon Mixon Email to Neighbors (11/29/2015)

From: Sharon Mixon
To: Erin Salmon, et al
Date: November 29, 2015,12:13 am
Subject: Voting on the neighborhood name
I think we can all agree that whatever is decided for this neighborhood registry, it will affect all of the neighbors in the area delineated.  For a couple of months now, I have been struggling with how many neighbors gathering at a meeting should make a quorum? Going door to door gives a ground-level view of opinions.
Each of the last two meetings were 2 1/2 hours long, and the subject of the name was tabled both times. These meetings are an investment of our time. In order to move forward at this point, we need information from the neighborhood, and I think we should have as many neighbors’ opinions as we can get involved. The polling that I have done provides us information about what people who have not come to the meetings are thinking.  I think there is a good bit of value in that for both the neighborhood and for our progress at the next meeting.
As an example, one of our neighbors, Dee Jett, suggested the name Oak Hills, and others I spoke to were excited about that. Dee is one of the people that is not interested in going to an evening meeting, but I think her voice and many others should be heard.
Your Neighbor,
Sharon Mixon

Resident Concerns

Sharon Moll Mixon created a poll, September 12, 2015:

Resident Concerns.png

Comments:

Don Munn Thank you for asking. I actually started a document in the files area, but I’ll gladly transfer my info to the question provided… Perhaps we should not leave it to chance, I’ll add a “None” to make sure everyone gets counted if possible….

Like · September 12, 2015 at 12:29am · Edited

Erin Salmon Thank you, Sharon for doing this.

Like · September 12, 2015 at 1:01am

Erin Salmon In my list of bullet points, I also had: 1)increase in crime with increased foot traffic; 2)pedestrian AND cyclist safety; 3) pros/cons of minor residential road vs. residential road designation, 4) bus stop location

Like · September 12, 2015 at 1:21am

Sam Bellezza I am not sure that sidewalks will bring in increase in foot traffic or crime.

Like · 1 · September 12, 2015 at 7:47am

Erin Salmon I don’t know either. I have been in touch with two of our local police officers, Officer Hathaway and Officer Clarke, to find out more about the level of crime in our neighborhood in order to have some assessments.

Like · September 12, 2015 at 1:38pm

Facebook Posts – September 17-18, 2015

Currie Mixon

September 17, 2015

We have looked into it and have again been told by the City that the only way the sidewalk petition, as passed by the City Council, can be retracted is if 100% of those owners that signed it retract their signature. Does anyone else have a different understanding of the state of this petition?

I think it is great that we have had so much communication about the specific concerns that our neighbors have. Many of them we share. I also hope that we feel more unified by these communications than we are made divided. However, the way it seems to me, there is not really any feasible way to dramatically change what was passed other than design details at this point. I think it’s absolutely worthwhile for us to continue to voice our opinions to the City, unified where we can be, but I also want everyone to have realistic expectations and the information that I have about this project.

Comments

Barbara ScottThank you for conveying what you have learned so clearly.

Like · 1 · September 17, 2015 at 11:04am
Erin SalmonI have been trying to find all the possibilities around a rehearing from calling and emailing the city, as well as using the city’s website. You have been able to get more information than I. Could you tell me who you communicated with directly?
Like · September 17, 2015 at 11:27am · Edited
Currie MixonSharon talked to Donetta Powell.
Like · September 17, 2015 at 1:28pm

Erin SalmonI have also called the Transporation Planning Manager of the city to find out the real process and specific policies around how much input residents have during the design phase and how we make sure our concerns are heard. I echo another sentiment you voiced in a previous post, Currie. My trust in the political process, as well as the city holding to its word of concern for the environment and for protecting established neighborhoods is shaken from this petition specifically.

Like · September 17, 2015 at 11:30am · Edited

Currie MixonI really do find it funny that it seems like you are saying that the petition caused the hard feelings. The petition was the process by which the City sees what kind of support there is for a project. It is not directed at making you upset, David. And should you choose to get upset about it after it was decided, that is unfortunate. But if you feel you are justified in seeking blame, I would challenge you to seek a different perspective.
 Like · September 17, 2015 at 1:37pm
Ryan BarnumSo is going door to door asking all of the people that signed the petition to retract their signatures, and explain that we are all going to work together to come up with a better plan that appeases everybody, out of the question? I think people, given the opportunity to understand the situation and the turmoil this has caused, and knowing it’s not just going to be tossed away completely, would be willing to consider it. I think trying that instead of relying on the speculation that the designers MIGHT work with the homeowners is a better plan.
 Like · 3 · September 17, 2015 at 7:03pm
Erin SalmonThat is exactly what I have been working on, and so far I have spoken directly with 11 out of the 28 signers of the petition to consider just what you have proposed, Ryan. That is also why I organized the meeting for Monday. To fully inform the street and the Kentwood – Bushy Branch Creek neighborhood what our collective options are to address the many needs and concerns that we have.
 Like · 2 · September 17, 2015 at 9:54pm
Currie MixonI can’t help but be skeptical here. It seems like the implication is that the neighborhood is being asked to trust that a new petition for a sidewalk will be developed and spearheaded by someone who does not think a sidewalk is right for the neighborhood. Am I misunderstanding?
 Like · September 18, 2015 at 11:11am
Barbara ScottI think where the city’s petition process breaks down is that it allows anyone with a vested interest in the outcome, one way or another, to present a petition and ask people to sign it. The process would be unbiased if a specialist with no interest in the outcome presented the petition. Someone knowledgeable about the petitioning and design processes and relevant city code. And someone who can answer each person’s questions about the project without personal bias.
 Like · 1 · September 19, 2015 at 9:07am · Edited
 Barbara Scott – So one constructive piece of action for me is to write the city council and tell them that in a city this big with this many competing interests, their investment in hiring a petition specialist might save them a lot of headaches. I imagine that most sidewalk petitions end up with some people feeling disenfranchised and others feeling blamed for getting involved.
Like · September 19, 2015 at 9:14am
Ryan BarnumI understand your skepticism here Currie. I do believe however that there is very little trust in the city doing what’s best for this neighborhood. I have way more trust in the people living here coming together on this matter to compromise and put together a comprehensive plan that is best for the neighborhood and all of us living here. This is something that could be spearheaded not by one anti-sidewalk person, but the collective community as a whole. I think that’s a much better approach than leaving it all to chance and speculation. We have an opportunity now to reverse this and make it right, but that window is closing and I would rather work together with everybody here, than feel like we are all butting heads and harboring resentment towards one another.
 Like · 3 · September 18, 2015 at 11:50am

Shannon BellezzaI agree, Ryan. Currie Mixon, I would say that it is a good indication that you should trust the neighbors that a good deal of the discussion here has focused on alternative sidewalk plans, maybe more so than alternative-to-sidewalk plans. Those who may not have wanted a sidewalk have entertained the possibility of alternative sidewalk plans and have shown that they are open to compromise. I feel that there have been many alternatives suggested (sidewalk and non-sidewalk alternatives) that would be in keeping with the character and aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Like · 2 · September 18, 2015 at 12:17pm · Edited

 

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