Feb 26, 2009

March on to the Floor of the House with Protest Petition on Monday

Mark Binker from the Greensboro News and Record and Capital Beat CLICKHERE , reports from Raleigh on Protest Petition Bill for Greensboro and here are a few quotes from the article

"The House Judiciary I committee approved a bill this morning that would restore protest petition rights to Greensboro residents."

“This is a very popular issue back home,” Rep. Maggie Jeffus, a Greensboro Democrat, to the committee. “The citizens of Greensboro want this right restored.”

It now moves on to the full House floor on Monday then on to the Senate side of North Carolina General Assembly. It is great news to hear and hopefully by the end of next week there will be even better news will keep you informed.

Feb 25, 2009

Greensboro Politics has a ? That State Senator Don Vaughan Answered

Ryan Shell at Greensboro Politics CLICKHERE or click on title above asked a question to State Senator Don Vaughan about Protest Petition's for Greensboro and how the City of Greensboro handled the whole situation. To hear State Senator Don Vaughan's was very clear and made a great point, go check it out at www.greensboropolitics.com

Feb 22, 2009


The weekly e-mail newsletter from State Representative Pricey Harrison had this to say about the progress of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

Protest Petition
Our bill, House Bill 64*, to restore the right of protest petition is moving swiftly, after gaining the unanimous approval of the House Local Government II Committee on Tuesday. It has been re-referred to Judiciary I, on which I sit, where it should be heard on Thursday, February 26. It will then go to the full House floor before heading to the Senate. Thanks to all of you citizen activists in Greensboro who have worked so hard to make this possible.

Great news for the citizens of Greensboro.

Feb 18, 2009

Protest Petition: Company Politics in Greensboro

Jordan Green has a new report on Protest Petitions and the history of what happened. To see the whole article you can click on the title of this post or click on the title under the Yes!Weekly logo.
Below is a few of the paragraphs that caught my attention and would like to address a dig from former Greensboro attorney Jesse " Skip" Warren.
The mysterious disappearance of the protest petition from Greensboro’s legal code in 1971 transpired without political record.
Then-City Attorney Jesse “Skip” Warren drew up the city’s legislative agenda in 1970, and took responsibility for the action in a Jan. 21 memo to the current council.
“As former city attorney with the city of Greensboro for approximately forty one years, I have always felt that NCGS 160A-385 et seq (Protest Petition Law) is arbitrary, capricious, impulsive, whimsical and unfair and should either be repealed, or else leave the city of Greensboro out from under it,” he wrote. “I own no property here except for my residence and have no business relationship with any developer or real estate firm. In other words, I have no conflict of interest.”
More than three decades later, the political dynamic has shifted decisively. In the space of one year, a lone activist from High Point launched the cause of restoring the protest petition in Greensboro, and enlisted the support of the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, who in turn compelled the city council to request restoration of the provision. Guilford County’s legislative delegation has pledged swift passage of the legislation, ignoring vocal objections from the politically powerful real estate and development industry.
Warren concluded his memo with a curt swipe at protest petition activist Keith Brown. “It is also noted that the leader of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of the Triad has his residence in High Point,” he wrote.
As you can see what from the former Greensboro city attorney Skip Warren he thinks that state law is arbitrary. Let's take a look at the definition of arbitrary
arbitrary defined "1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law
To me NCGS 160a385 and 386 is fixed by state law, wow thanks for screwing the citizens of Greensboro for over 37 years because you thought this statute was arbitrary but as we have seen and read it seems that there was a concerted effort to take this right away from the citizens and people like you who took this away from the citizens of Greensboro without any public knowledge and what the article states as informal meetings are called backdoor politics at it's best.
To hear Jesse Warren 41 year city attorney for Greensboro call out the motives of Keith Brown is laughable and has no place in the discussion but if he wants to add to the people who have called out my motives from me being from High Point go right ahead because you have some great company in Robbie "Pave It " Perkins to talk to about my motives, CLICKHERE to see what Robbie"Pave It " Perkins had to say about Keith Brown the non vested interest in High Point.Also found out that Greensboro City Council member Trudy Wade wanted to also know my motives as well.
Let me say that this whole time the motives for me was for the Citizens of Greensboro to have the same rights as any other citizen had in this state and it was a total injustice that Greensboro was exempted from this state law.
It is great to get the attention and to have people call out my motives on this issue but to hear people call me up and ask about their zoning case and to give them advice about their options, it will be great to let the people call me in High Point and ask how did you use Protest Petition in the zoning process against a TREBIC member and a major developer in the triad area.
It will be my community service to let people in Greensboro know about Protest Petition how it works and what you can do as a community to combat some of this unwanted development in your established neighborhood .It will also be a great day when we know that a bill has been signed in to law as well.
In conclusion it was a pleasure to be a part of this movement to bring Protest Petitions back to Greensboro and to know that you as a citizen have the same rights as me who lives in High Point your red headed step child municipality next door.

Bill Travels and Greensboro City Council Again Approves Protest Petition

There was plenty of action today and plenty of post on Protest Petition for Greensboro. Here are a few links to what has happened today. First of all the House Bill #64 has been brought out of local committee and now is on it's way to Judiciary 1 committee, that is great news and you can see the progress by clicking on the top left corner of blog.

Also last night the Greensboro City Council approved again the legislative agenda and 9-0 for Protest Petitions for Greensboro. Here is what happened last night courtesy of Amanda Lehmert at Greensboro News and Record CLICKHERE

Then Allen Johnson from the Greensboro News and Record had this to say CLICKHERE with a title "Protest Petition Polka".

Then Ed Cone also has a post CLICKHERE with a title "Late To The Party".

Then late in day Mark Binker has this post CLICKHERE with a title "Committee Passes Protest Petition Bill".

That is great news to hear that this bill is on the fast track to becoming law for the citizens of Greensboro.We will keep you posted on when it goes to the senate side as well. It is now headed to the Judiciary 1 committee where the sponsor of the bill is on this committee in State Representative Pricey Harrison, who has been a real champion on bringing this right back to the citizens of Greensboro.If you want to send her a e-mail and thank her for sponsoring this bill please let her know . She can be reached by clicking on her name on the left hand side of blog.

Feb 16, 2009

EGBAR + Jim Melvin = Please Give Pins To TREBIC

Jim Schlosser writes in today's Greensboro News and Record CLICKHERE about how Sidney Stern back in the 80's had a lapel pin that he gave out that said EGBAR which stands for "everything's gonna be all right".

Now Jim Melvin the $267,337 a year president of the Bryan Foundation has brought this back up and has started to give these pins out to people around Greensboro. It might be a good idea to take a stroll down to 115 South Westgate Drive and let Marlene Sanford from the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition other wise known as the TREBIC CARTEL have plenty of these EGBAR pins because a bill has been filed and the citizens of Greensboro are going to have Protest Petitions back in the zoning process 5% and all.

If TREBIC wants to still look silly let's see what they have to say to the Greensboro City Council on tuesday because the compromise broke down for plenty of reasons on being what part of STATE LAW do you and the council not understand. You can also add that a bill has been filed and the citizens of Greensboro will be under the same rights as every other citizen in this state who lives in a city. It will be fun to see what TREBIC has to say on tuesday but don't think about trying to blame the other side on this compromise because the compromise should have never been on the table to begin with .

Giving this right back to the citizens of Greensboro should have been a no brainer but as you can see the special interest group wanted to fight this and now how do you look as an organization. Pretty darn silly.

You can also read another local blogger who has plenty to say about TREBIC , CLICKHERE .


Feb 14, 2009

Editorial in Greensboro News and Record , "A Vote of Confidence"

The Greensboro News and Record lead editorial today February 14, 2009 with the title "A Vote of Confidence" CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

Here are a few quotes from the editorial

As it stands now, Greensboro is the only city in the state that does not permit protest petitions. For reasons that are unclear, the city was granted an exemption in 1971

But those negotiations seemed pointless from the start. The existing statute is fine as written and does not need improving. More significantly, a local protest petition bill, without modifications, and without the council’s blessing, was almost certain to be passed anyway.

In particular, developers contend that the 5 percent threshold is too low and that the supermajority vote requirement is too high. They protest too much.

And they fail to present even one thread of evidence to support those notions.

The City Council ought to take the congress’ vote in good faith, endorse the bill as it stands and let the lawmakers do their thing.

Feb 13, 2009

Greensboro Neighborhood Congress Now On Board , No Compromise Needed State Law Is State Law

Below the fold is the letter from the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress on their commitment to reinstating Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro, with no compromise needed since a bill has already been filed . If you want to follow the bill click on the School House Rock Bill in top left corner of blog.

We have also heard from State Representative Pricey Harrison today and here is what she had to say "Now that our committee assignments have been made, I am going to push for an early hearing on the bill for which I am a primary sponsor on restoring the protest petition to the citizens of Greensboro,
House Bill 64*. It is great news to hear and see everyone come together to bring back Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

UPDATE 2-14-09
State Senator Don Vaughan had this to say in a online newsletter

"On the local level, I was very pleased to co-sponsor Senator Katie Dorsett’s Senate Bill number 67 titled Greensboro/Restore Zoning Protest Rights. Senator Dorsett had prepared this Bill during the previous legislative session, but due to outstanding issues it was not introduced until this session. The bill simply repeals state law 1971-29 excluding Greensboro from the Zoning Protest Rights provision and that “this act will become effective when it becomes law.” I look forward to a swift passage."

Hopefully TREBIC can see the writing on the wall and back off the opposition to this bill and accept what every other city in this state abides by in North Carolina General Statute 160a-385 and 386.State law is state law, 5% and all.

Below is the letter sent out from Greensboro Neighborhood Congress.


"The Greensboro Neighborhood Congress ultimately voted and unanimously decided upon the following with regard to the Protest Petition:

That Greensboro have the Protest Petition as it currently exists in state statute;

That, at this time, the state statute not be amended by a local modification only for Greensboro; and

That we, along with TREBIC, follow the work of the N.C. State Legislative Study Commission on Urban Growth and Infrastructure Issues study on this issue; and

That the Congress continue its dialogue with The Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition on this issue.

In deference to the request of the Greensboro City Council, members of the Congress and TREBIC and others have spent a great deal of time discussing and thinking about this state law. The following factors ultimately guided the Congress vote:

The boundaries of the Congress are the City limits. Given that the City has had no experience with this state law, the Congress does not think we should recommend changes to it just for the City.

One consideration was to recommend a change for the state, but the Congress ultimately decided that was beyond our purview. Again, without any experience with the law in the City and the fact that it does not appear to have presented a problem to any of the other cities in the state, the Congress decided it is not in a position to make a statewide recommendation.

Also given the experience statewide, the Congress believes that the degree of opposition to the Protest Petition is unfounded.

The bill has already been introduced in the State House and Senate and our understanding is that only one of our state legislators has any interest in receiving a suggestion for change from Greensboro.

We are hopeful that TREBIC will be willing to continue with us in watching how this law plays out in Greensboro so that if we see that it does indeed present real problems to the community, we can come together with a recommended solution."

Feb 11, 2009

NC Bills Would Restore Greensboro Protest Petition

The Greensboro Telegram has a new article online with the title "NC Bills Would Restore Greensboro Protest Petition", click on the title above or CLICKHERE

Here is a paragraph from the article.

"New bills have been introduced in both the NC House and Senate to restore the right for adjacent landowners to use protest petitions in zoning cases in the City of Greensboro. The bills appear to fully restore those rights, as opposed to compromise efforts mentioned earlier that some feared would water down the petition's effectiveness.

In the North Carolina House, bill #H64 was filed on February 4th by Representatives Pricey Harrison (D), Maggie Jeffus (D), Alma Adams (D), and Laura Wiley (R). The bill was also co-sponsored by John Blust (R)."

This bill is now in the hands of our State Legislators we hope that it will make it's way through the process smoothly. We will see and if you want to see it's progression there is a section in the top left corner of blog that will take you to the state web site on bills. All you need to do is click on the School House Rock Bill and if you want to see this great video CLICKHERE to see the School House Rock Bill

Feb 8, 2009

Greensboro Neighborhood Congress No Need for a Compromise

Last week brought a lot of clarity to the process of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

On January 21, 2009 the Greensboro City Council completely convoluted the whole process by trying to get the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the special interest group called TREBIC which is the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition to come to some compromise on STATE LAW.

What part of STATE Law does the Greensboro City Council not understand. 5% rule is a STATE Law and to hear Robbie "Pave It "Perkins whine and complain about the 5% rule along with fellow developer on council Sandra Anderson Groat complain also really showed their true colors. They are not for you as a citizen of Greensboro to have the same rights as every other person in this state they want to keep their TREBIC BLINDERS ON and deny you this right.

Now we find out that this past week that our State Representatives have filed a bill in both the House and Senate to restore Protest Petition to the citizens of Greensboro.You can follow the bill online by going to the top left corner of this blog.

It would be beneficial for the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress to say to TREBIC thanks but no thanks a bill is introduced and on it's way for passage, no compromise needed.

Allen Johnson from the Greensboro News and Record had another great article in today's Ideas section for February 8, 2009 CLICKHERE with the title "Local lawmakers cut through haze on protest petitions".

Here is a few quotes from this article

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Bearing that in mind, state lawmakers have decided not to wait for the Greensboro City Council to hem, haw, ruminate, speechify and attach wholly unnecessary asterisks and conditions to the question of protest petitions.
As they say in the over-priced sneaker business, just do it.

So, Guilford County legislators have moved ahead on their own and filed bills in the state House and Senate that would restore to Greensboro residents a right every other city in the state already has.

Good for them. The lawmakers have simplified a process that the council was making unduly convoluted and drawn-out.

Then later in the article Robbie " Pave It " Perkins had this to say

"Councilman Robbie Perkins on Thursday called the bill "The Lawyer Relief Act of 2009" and said it would hurt small developers and infill projects by making the development process more expensive."

Robbie 'Pave It "Perkins might want to rename it again to "The Isaacson Allen Relief Act of 2009", since those are practically the only 2 lawyers who do zoning cases in Greensboro.

You wonder why their should be a "DUMP THE DEVELOPER PARTY" on Greensboro City Council come fall because you have city council members like this who have their TREBIC BLINDERS ON and cannot see the big picture on a right that was taken away for no reason whatsoever from the citizens of Greensboro.This restoration of Protest Petitions to Greensboro should have been a no brainer but you can see that there is a certain special interest group called the TREBIC CARTEL who want to deny you this right.

There is still the process at the state level that barring some unforseen circumstance will work it's way through the process and give back this right to the citizens of Greensboro without all this confusion of a compromise.

It is time to let TREBIC and all it's minions play with themselves in the tree alone and looking stupid along the way.

Feb 7, 2009

Lead Editorial Saturday February 7, 2009 Protest Petition Clarity

The lead editorial in the Greensboro News and Record for February 7, 2009 with the title "Protest Petition clarity" CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

Below is the editorial .

The Greensboro City Council left confusion last month about its position on protest petitions.

Most of Greensboro's state legislators, in contrast, are perfectly clear.
"It's the right thing to do," Sen. Katie Dorsett said of the bill she filed Wednesday in the Senate to restore "the zoning protest rights of the citizens of the city of Greensboro."

"It's just a matter of equity and fairness," Rep. Pricey Harrison said. She introduced an identical measure in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Don Vaughan and Reps. Maggie Jeffus, Alma Adams and John Blust signed on in support.

Among Greensboro legislators, only Rep. Earl Jones did not. The bill is premature, he said Thursday.
"The City Council is right in the middle of trying to resolve this," he said. "It's a local issue, unique to Greensboro."

The situation is unique to Greensboro, and developers want to make sure it remains that way. In 1971, Greensboro was exempted from a state law that allows neighbors to petition against proposed rezonings. If they meet a threshold, the City Council must vote by a three-fourths supermajority to approve the zoning change.

That makes the issue simple to Dorsett and Harrison. Greensboro is the only one among more than 500 North Carolina municipalities whose citizens don't have this petition power. The exemption should be removed. Their bill would accomplish that. It doesn't affect any other municipality, so there's no reason why the General Assembly should object.

Jones, however, sees another issue: the role of the City Council, which last month asked local proponents and opponents to meet to come up with a compromise.
"We should allow the City Council and local folks to see what they can work out first," Jones said. "Let the City Council do their job and give us a recommendation."

Jones served 18 years on the City Council and respects that process. But it isn't necessary. Legislators represent the people, and they can and should take actions at the state level that serve the interests of their constituents -- no matter what the City Council says or does.

Introducing some "compromise," which would craft for Greensboro a different version of the state law, "probably would enter into more confusion," Dorsett said. No doubt.

If Greensboro interests want to change any part of the bill, Harrison added, they should do it for every city, not just Greensboro.

"It's clear Greensboro citizens want this," Harrison said. "I'm trying to move it pretty quickly."

There's no more reason to wait.

It is great news to know that there is a bill already filed in both the House and Senate and if you want to follow the bill online there is a section on top left hand side of this blog to see the progress.

To hear State Rep Earl Jones think that this is a local issue unique to Greensboro. What part of STATE LAW does Earl Jones not understand. This exemption for Greensboro was purely political and was done for no reason whatsoever but to deny neighborhoods all over Greensboro the right to Protest Petition and to give the developers the upper hand in zoning cases.

Then you add the Greensboro leaderless City Council with this compromise on January 21st at the last minute to completely muddy the waters.

It was time to see our state representatives take the lead and give back Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro without all this side show compromise crap that looked good but served no purpose.

Feb 5, 2009

State Representative Earl Jones Is A No Show On Protest Petitions for Greensboro Citizens

All of the Guilford delegation in the house side of state government have signed on to bringing back Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro except one Rep. Earl Jones. There were 2 post today on why State Rep. Earl Jones did not sign on.

Yes Weekly Blog post titled "Earl Jones, New Guilford Chair, a holdout on Protest Petition" CLICKHERE


Doug Clark from Greensboro News and Record blog called Off The Record post titled "Legislators take the lead on Protest Petitions" with a addendum from State Rep. Earl Jones CLICKHERE

If anyone wants to let State Rep. Earl Jones know how you feel about this issue and for him to sign on to this bill. I urge you to take the information below and let him know.

House District #60

State Rep. Earl Jones

Raleigh office, 919-733-5825

or click on title above and it will take you to his state web page.

Feb 4, 2009

No Compromise Needed Bill To Restore Protest Petition Has Been Filed

It is with great pleasure and a HAT TIP to Ed Cone that tonight we learn that there is a bill which can be seen by clicking on the title above to see that our Guilford Delegation is in the process of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.In the N.C House it was sponsored by Harrison, Jeffus, Adams and Wiley with a co sponsor in Blust House Bill #64 filed on 2-4-2009.

Then on the Senate side we have Dorsett and Vaughan who have senate bill #67 filed on 2-4-2009.

We will try to keep you informed on how this bill works it's way through the system but it is great to see it come to fruition.

Take a bow to everyone who has helped on this issue for the citizens of Greensboro. A lot of people wanted to know my motives on why someone from High Point is fighting for the citizens of Greensboro. This basic right under STATE LAW was taken away from you the citizens of Greensboro for no reason whatsoever purely political, and it needed to be brought to the proper attention. Now we have a bill to give the citizens of Greensboro the same rights as every other person in this state has. It will be a new day in the zoning process in Greensboro.

Feb 3, 2009

Briefing of the Guilford Delegation,

Below the fold is a announcement from the City of Greensboro on a meeting on Friday and one of the topics is to share the city's legislative agenda. This agenda should have the restoration of Protest Petition's as a part of the agenda , we will see where that stands with the so called compromise from last week that only muddied the waters. What part of STATE LAW does the Greensboro City Council not understand. It will be interesting to see how the state legislators react to what happened last week. Stay tuned.


Briefing of the Guilford Delegation

The Guilford Delegation to Raleigh is invited on Friday, February 6, 2009, at 10am to a briefing regarding Annexation and Jordan Lake legislation expected for consideration this session at the General Assembly, both major items of concern for the city.

Some members of the City Council will be in attendance. The briefing will take place in the Plaza Level Conference Room, Melvin Municipal Building, 300 W. Washington Street. City staff will also take the opportunity to encourage the delegation to protect state-shared revenues for municipalities as they look at the budget for this year and next; share the City’s legislative agenda; and economic stimulus projects. This meeting is part of the City’s on-going legislative advocacy efforts.

City of Greensboro
P.O. Box 3136
Greensboro, NC 27402