Friday, July 25, 2014

The Trouble With Consulting

Ed Cone said of Ben Holder:

"Ed Cone is a Greensboro journalist and blogger who has been friends with Holder for years. He said it’s important to distinguish the quality of Holder’s work from his sometimes outlandish online persona as “The Troublemaker.”

“He’s sincere, and he’s committed to the online character,” Cone said. “But Ben on the job or Ben at home with his family or friends is different than ‘The Troublemaker’ and the guy who goes and makes speeches in public,” Cone said."

But is that true? My own experiences with Ben Holder were never like that. I worked with Ben in the employee of David Hoggard and Ben never turned the online character off for even a second. When he wasn't being dismissive towards me he was insulting me publicly and privately. Why Ben disliked me I never knew but it goes back years before I ever began writing about local politics. And frankly, until just a few months ago I never once uttered or wrote a harsh word directed at Ben Holder-- I even praised him many times. So based on my own personal experiences with Ben Holder I hardly think his personality meets the requirements necessary to act as a consultant. Hell, I wrote good things about Ben and he attacked me! I think Ben has anger management issues and highly recommend the free anger management classes at the Mental Health Association in Greensboro. They did me a world of good, Ben, you should seriously give it a try. You too Roch. Y'all already know some of the folks there.

Chris Wilson writes to Jim Westmoreland:

In March, I began the dialogue around contracting for additional services in the Neighborhood Development Department. At that time, it was apparent that the department’s capacity versus case load was a challenge that impeded community progress. Additionally, the department was facing five full-time vacancies due to turnover and medical leave."

Notice he writes, "case load was a challenge that impeded community progress".

But as seen in Exhibit A of Ben's Contract,  if Ben Holder is successful he will in-fact increase the case load of the City's inspections departsharing (At the bottom) Ben won't be helping to reduce the existing case load. As a matter of fact,  if Ben Holder is successful he will in-fact increase the case load of the City's inspections department.

So you tell me, how did the need to add more inspectors to an understaffed and overloaded code enforcement department get changed to Special Projects Related to the Development and Implementation of Strategies and Methods to Enhance Code Enforcement and Other Neighborhood Improvement Efforts? After all, when it comes to consulting Ben Holder is hardly qualified as he only has roughly 2 years experience in code enforcement. Surely several within the department have far more experience than Ben.

Why wasn't Ben Holder rehired as a code enforcement officer if the department is short handed?

Why contract him to create more work for an already overworked department? 

Would you hire a consultant with less experience than those working in your own department?

Jim Westmoreland writes to the City Council: 

"In closing, I clearly understand the frustration expressed by members of Council regarding Mr. Holder’s past behavior. However, because it was not a condition of the RFP, concerns about his past personal behavior do not appear to be sufficient to prohibit the City from entering into a contract with an otherwise-qualified vendor. I also understand Council’s concern about communication on this topic and to that end, will endeavor to continue to work with our team to identify and communicate potentially controversial concerns to Council in advance of actions in the future."

Otherwise qualified for what, Mr Westmoreland-- to keep his mouth shut long enough for you, Mike Barber, Nancy Vaughan and Yvonne Johnson to pull the wool over the public's eyes one more time? 2 years, only 2 years?

I submitted a public information request yesterday asking for all e-mails between Ben Holder, Jim Westmoreland, Mike Barber and Police Chief Ken Miller. Let's see what turns up, shall we? Of course, they can always lie and not send me their e-mails as the law allows each one of them to remain in charge of saving and releasing their own e-mails.

Nice little loop hole the State Legislature built in there, don't you think? It goes all the way from the local level to the governor's office and remains the #1 issue with getting truthful responses from government officials.

And finally, I'm going to put this out there: The City of Greensboro is forcing everyone to move out of Heritage House because the Homeowners' Association has failed to pay the water bill even though the property owners and renters paid the homeowners' association. Many of these people have actual deeds to their apartments. Why didn't the City just take over the responsibilities of the homeowners' association instead? Can you say land grab? Myself and others believe that's exactly what Mike Barber has going on. Just watch to see what well connected developer gets his or her hands on the property.

Ben, you've been duped and now you're participating in the scam.