An Open Letter to Kay Crowder

September 1, 2016

Dear Council Member Crowder,

Today marks one year since the City Council’s decision to approve the petition for improvements along Lorimer Road in West Raleigh. As you know, that petition called for a 27’ back-to-back road, a 6’ sidewalk and a 6’ setback. You requested at that meeting that Council reduce the width of the sidewalk to 5′, which it did. The setback, however, remains at 6’.

And that’s why I’m writing today, to appeal to you to follow through on the numerous assurances property owners received: that the setback will be reduced as well. I believe this is a fair and reasonable request, given that residents here were repeatedly told that the setback width could be adjusted — told that by the petitioner, by City staff and by you.

Continue reading

“‘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


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

The 25% Design Meeting

UPDATE (Late-September 2016) — “I am targeting the week after Thanksgiving to hold the meeting.” —Talal Shahbander

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UPDATE (Spring 2016)Talal Shahbander reported that the first/25% design meeting will be held possibly in December but more likely in early January, and that he will make a decision on that in September.

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[The highlighting is the City’s]

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[“CM Crowder’s staffer” = Council Member Crowder’s staff member, Nick Sadler]

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[Source: HERE]

Email to Lorimer Road Resident from Nick Sadler (9/8/2015)

“As you know Council approved the sidewalk and street improvements that were included in the petition on September 1, 2015. I cannot speak for the Council but the idea of these projects are to bring our community in line with Council’s goals of having neighborhoods that are pedestrian friendly. I believe that we have to think about the greater good in these situations….

“Staff will move forward with this project as directed by Council. The time for public input is over. Staff will continue to work with those on this section of road to inform them of construction activities.”

Nick Sadler, Policy Analyst, City of Raleigh | City Manager’s Office

Email to Nick Sadler – David Simonton (4/25/2016)

Good Morning, Nick [Sadler],
You are, of course, a City employee. But you are also a resident of this city, or of some other city or town.
Wherever it is you live…suppose one day you were asked by a neighbor to sign a petition to approve Project X in your neighborhood. Because Project X sounded reasonable to you—and because all the other neighbors were signing, or so you were told—you signed the petition, too.
Now, suppose the petition passed—but it wasn’t for Project X after all, it was actually for Project Y! Meaning: you and your neighbors were duped.
Emails gathered through Public Records Requests from the Petitioner, Donna Burford, and addressed to you, Council Member Crowder, Donetta Powell and others, reveal that the scenario presented above is how things played out on Lorimer Road (it’s called a “bait and switch”).
The Petitioner, and practically everyone else involved, knows that this is the case. And yet, it’s the very residents who were deceived and who continue to seek redress who are being criticized—we’ve even been labeled HOSTILE by the City—or we’re being ignored altogether.
The fact is, residents along Lorimer Road were intentionally misled by City staff through their liaison, the Petitioner, or directly. The emails and affidavits from residents detail that [deception].
Please put yourself in our shoes for a moment, Nick. How would you feel at this point? And what would YOU do?
All we want is what’s right and fair: to start over, to go back to the drawing board.
Short of that, I believe we’re at least due the consideration of a compromise: a 5’ sidewalk and a 3 ½’ setback. It’s what residents who signed the petition signed for (or thought they did). And it’s what Bonner Gaylord proposed at the September 1, 2015 City Council meeting—a proposal Jimmy Upchurch agreed to.
Thank you, Nick. And thanks for passing this along,

Email to City Council Members – David Simonton (4/5/2016)

From: David Simonton
To: City Council Members
CC: Jimmy Upchurch, Blair Hinkle, Nick Sadler, Eric Haugaard
Date: Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Tonight’s Agenda Item (Re: Lorimer Road)

Dear Council Members and Others,

In advance of my appearance this evening before the City Council, a more detailed accounting than my 3 minutes will permit. Thank you.

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Re: Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

This petition, for the installation of a sidewalk with street improvements on Lorimer Road between Kaplan Road and Garland Drive, was presented to residents—specifically, those living south of Onslow Road—as a way to end their decades-old stormwater problems. The question is: will it? Continue reading

Email to Kay Crowder (10/12/2015, Donna Burford)

From: Kay Crowder
Subject: FW: October 5 meeting minutes
Date: October 12, 2015, 10:56 am
To: Kay Crowder [personal email address]
Attached: 10/5/15 Neighborhood Meeting Minutes

Notes from the Lorimer Road Meeting.


Nick Sadler, Policy Analyst
City of Raleigh, City Manager’s Office

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From: Donna Burford
Subject: October 5 meeting minutes
Date: October 12, 2015, 9:21 am
To: Kay Crowder

Here is the latest email. It really is annoying how much [Erin Salmon] misrepresent the group of neighbors that want any of this. I sent my husband to observe, since my sister was determined to go to this meeting. Still as far as I know only one person that signed the petition doesn’t want to be on it anymore and this Ryan Barnum. She makes it sound like she has a following.

Donna Burford

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From: Erin Salmon
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 9:37 PM
To: [All Residents, Neighbors]
Subject: Re: October 5 meeting minutes

Here are the minutes a second time and in a PDF.   I don’t think my first attachment was easy to open.

On Sun, Oct 11, 2015 at 1:45 AM, Erin Salmon wrote:

Hello Everyone,

Here are the minutes from the last neighborhood meeting as compiled and combined by Barbara Scott and myself.   If you were at the meeting and have anything to add, please do.   Please post any questions as well.

Be on the look out for a mailer from the city regarding our next meeting in your mailbox.   It will mention the upcoming vote for naming our neighborhood association, and a reminder about the citizens’ petition request.

Please forward this email to neighbors who are not on this email list and who live within the boundaries of the neighborhood.