Thursday, August 21, 2014

ACLU On Heritage House

I got the following e-mail from Emily-Mary Brown of the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union today:

"Mr. Jones,
Chris Brook, our legal director, continues to investigate the matter you referred to the ACLU-NC on July 28, 2014.  Our turn-around time for responding to intake requests is normally 4-6 weeks.

In order for us to accurately evaluate the circumstances of this matter, we ask you again to instruct Heritage House residents/owners/renters impacted by recent events to contact us directly."

Don't be shy- the link above takes you directly to the form you need to fill out. May the law suits against the City of Greensboro begin.

Council's Hands Tied On Heritage House

From WXII:


Why have a meeting about something if you know you plan to take no action? Damage control. I don't think City Council can take any action. As a matter of fact: I know City Council can't act. The property is zoned residential. The City can't change the zoning unless over 51% of the property owners on the entire block vote to do so. Next door and taking up much of the block is a nursing home owned by the largest nursing home company in the Southeastern United States. Nursing Homes are located in residential zoning. The largest nursing home company in the Southeastern United States is not going to vote to change the zoning on their nursing home and force themselves to close one of their homes. Heritage House property owners are not going to vote themselves out. When it comes to land use, the only powers the City really has is control over zoning and taxation. And zoning requires property owners consent.

The City couldn't declare Heritage House a public nuisance because it was a public nuisance created by failures on the part of the Greensboro Police Department who had until very recently, failed to patrol Heritage House.

Everything the City did at Heritage House was a show. A very expensive and unnecessary show. From Fox8:

"The City of Greensboro says it cost an estimated $36,089 safely shut down Heritage House. The property on West Meadowview Road was condemned after the power and water were shut off due to delinquent utility bills. Moving residents out of the deplorable living conditions wasn’t easy or inexpensive but city staff say..."

They continue:

“Everything that was reported was within our budgetary allowance for the year, so there were no expenditures outside of that,” Wilson said.

Paying to close Heritage House could pay off in other ways as well. Police and firefighters responded to an average of eight calls a day at the complex, so resources will spread more evenly throughout the city now.

Wilson added that the cost to the city does not include the countless hours put in by community partners such as the Greensboro Housing Coalition."

That's interesting that Mr Wilson would mention the Greensboro Housing Coalition. You see, while I've yet to ask for records for the Housing Coalition I did get records for the Interactive Resource Center (IRC) where I found that the IRC was given over $7,000 Dollars just days before the Heritage House evacuation. I wonder how much city funding was paid out to the Greensboro Housing Coalition and other "community partners."

I'm betting the actual costs are currently two to three times the $36,089 figure quoted by Mr Wilson and it's not over.

Sources have told me that the Homeowners Association (HOA) is expecting (via the City Attorney) to put their own locks on the building tomorrow so they can start clean up and repairs. Homeowners believe (and they're correct) that as long as they continue to pay down the water and taxes the City and County can't foreclose. Once the bill is paid and the units again pass inspection people can start moving back in. With no one using any water and homeowners paying the HOA (their plan) they will pay it down in no time. Any homeowner who isn't paying the full amount gets foreclosed on by the HOA. That's the plan.

City Council got their wings clipped for being a bunch of idiots, Vestal and/or Coffey gets away with embezzlement and the small owners without the means to weather the storm get pushed out. All the big players have lawyered up but none are looking out for the little guys. Vestal and/or Coffey will get sued by the big players and settle out of court-- everybody profits except the little guys. And Heritage House goes right back to what it was before just with fewer owners and fewer owner-occupied units. City Council played right into the hands of those responsible in failing to demand a criminal investigation.

The HOA is never going to vote for the plan George and I presented at Tuesday nights City Council meeting as it blows the slum lords out of the water and the slum lords control the HOA.

But they never saw us coming.

Vestal, Coffey, the slum lords, City Council, City Staff, they never expected a band of investigators would emerge-- several whose identities they do not know-- who were computer savvy, connected and knew how to get their hands on the documents everyone wanted kept hidden. The story we present online is only part of what we know, only as much as we want to make known so that you, Dear Readers, know that someone really is working to do what your government wouldn't do for you-- protect your homes and properties from corrupt politicians and their political cronies.

You see folks, I'm not the brains behind this effort-- I never have been. I'm just another pretty face to put before the public while the real heroes fight behind the scenes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

City Attorney Admits Heritage House Property Seizure Illegal

I have been told by sources close to attorneys for the Heritage House Homeowners Association that Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers has admitted the City of Greensboro's seizure and subsequent lock out of property owners from Heritage House Condominiums was in fact illegal.

I've also been told that on Friday morning, property owners are expecting the City of Greensboro to remove the locks and allow them to install their own locks on the property so that they may come and go to make repairs as necessary in anticipation of returning to full use of their building.

Greensboro Urban Ministry Runs Out Of Food

Charles at Yes-Weekly is reporting that Greensboro Urban Ministry has run out of food. It might be time for Mayor Vaughan and the Greensboro City Council to do something other than build performing arts centers and give away money to the rich.

After all, the mayor wouldn't want me posting directions to her kitchen online, would she? And she knows damned well I know her address.

Heritage House Vultures

I have e-mail confirmation that a Greensboro law firm is circling Heritage House residents ready to pick their bones with offers to buy Heritage House condos for as little as $100 per unit, From their e-mail:

"We are willing to pay $100/unit.  Alternatively, we are willing to pay $1/unit with an agreement to pay the first $1000 we receive in rent or sale of the unit in the next 30 years if that ever occurs.  We will handle all closing costs.  You will have to be in a position deliver clean, lien free, title.  If interested, below is my contact info.  If you have contact info for other owners, please let us know or feel free to pass along this offer."

At 1:11 AM this morning I forwarded the entire e-mail to the entire Greensboro City Council and added the following statement:

" I had better not find out this is is in any way, shape or form connected with anyone in Greensboro City Government or the Greensboro City Council or there will be hell to pay like you have never seen before. My recommendation is to have GPD in their offices ASAP! This sort of taking advantage of people is simply not acceptable and it is IN IT'S ENTIRETY THE FAULT OF GREENSBORO GOVERNMENT. George Hartzman and I will be at that 11:15 HOA meeting at Stephanies Restaurant on Randalman Road and you'd best have representatives from the city of Greensboro and GPD standing by to launch their investigation.

-Billy Jones
PS. Roch, Tell Ben Holder thanks for helping to create this nightmare."

I immediately followed that with an e-mail to outgoing GPD Chief of Police Ken Miller asking him to send cops.  I posted this at 8:00 AM and delayed the autopost to 11:30 AM as to not tip off the vultures that myself and others will be there waiting for them.


Heritage House Resolution Proposal

Last night before the Greensboro City Council, George Hartzman and I proposed a resolution to the problem at Heritage House that would restore properties to their rightful owners, allow landlords out of the burden of City regulations and restore the Heritage House Community to better than ever before. George has posted the proposal online here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ben Holder: Heritage House Code Enforcment Mercenary

How much experience does one need before one can begin an exciting career in Code Enforcement forcing people from their homes, condemning properties and taking on notorious bums too lazy to mow their lawns? This e-mail shows all Ben Holder needed before the City of Greensboro allowed him free range as a mercenary code enforcement inspector.

And hey, Greensboro is hiring more code enforcement mercenaries right now.

Greensboro Makes Another Top 10 List

With everything going on at Heritage House I forgot to post this before so I thought I'd go ahead and do it while it's on my mind.

Greensboro has made the top 10 list of cities with the highest growth in poverty nation wide, tied for 10th place with North Port, Florida and just 2 places ahead of 8th place Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Good job, Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan, your emphasis on economic development seems to be right on track with Mayor Perkins before you.

Heritage House Fallout

This is to be filed in the It Couldn't Get Any Stupider Drawer:
I learned today that Time-Warner customers who were residents of Heritage House are being billed for services at Heritage House after the City of Greensboro forced said residents to leave the building.

As always, you can count on Time Warner to rub salt on the wound.

The Heritage House Water Bill Published

Here's what Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers and others in Greensboro government are still refusing to release to the public and don't want you to see:

Payment Type

Billing & Payments

Check Payments

As you will note on the checks, the homeowners association was very much being managed by Vestal Property Management who claimed the account was in name only. When was the last time you just handed your checkbook to someone else? And do some of those checks not have Gloyd Vestal Jr's signature on them? Is this who our politicians are covering for?

Might I remind Attorney Tom Carruthers that lies of omission are still very much lies.

Why have the Greensboro Police not yet opened an investigation? Is it because some of the Heritage House property owners are in on the scam?
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