Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trouble Is On His Own Now

I tried to give Ben Holder an out, not once but twice.  But Ben thinks he has everything figured out when reality is, Ben Holder is clueless and hanging on by a thread.

How do I know this? Let's begin with Ben's plagerized Code Enforcement-- Initial Summary Of Recommendations which was in-fact the work of Tom Reischl, PhD, Evaluation Director at MI-YVPC and the Prevention Research Center of Michigan:

"Both violent crime and property crimes are greatly influenced by causal factors in the physical and social environment. A neighborhood’s physical conditions and the social dynamics are among the primary reasons why crime occurs in very specific neighborhoods one generation after another. Urban blight and decay are now widely recognized as invitations to violent and property crimes. This is often referred to as the Broken Windows Theory, introduced by James Wilson and George Kelling in the early 1980s.

Broken Windows theory posits that untended property (symbolized by a single broken window) is a visual cue for diminished social control and attracts additional vandalism, loitering, and other criminal acts. Vacant buildings can become havens for trash, stray animals, squatters, and criminals. Vacant properties are also more likely to be vandalized or burned to the ground, and theft from vacant properties is less likely to be reported. Moreover, as residents perceive a rise in crime, they modify their behavior by avoiding social interactions near the untended property or by moving out of the neighborhood, further reducing informal social controls and fostering more crime."

That's right, plagerized. Seriously Ben, you were previously nominated for journalism awards and now you're reduced to plagerism? That's what happens when you haven't a plan and you're pushed to put something together overnight

You see, I've read of Doctor Reischl's work and been familier with Wilson and Kelling's Broken Windows Theory for quite a few years and it took me but a minute or so to recognise Ben's copying and pasting from the Internet. No plagerism isn't a crime but it's hardly honest or ethical and no one who considers himself any sort of real journalist would ever resort to doing so. And to make matters worse, Ben Holder was paid $2,000 for doing so:

"Holder is, in fact, due $2,000 from the city for turning in a page-and-a-half “Project Overview.”

Seriously Ben, $2,000 for copying and pasting from the Internet? What, Roch didn't have time to edit and proofread for you? That might be considered a breech of contract but at the very least it shows the actions of a very desperate man who has yet to figure out how to attack the problem he has promised to correct.

And then there's the question of the legality of Ben's contract:

As George so aptly points out, proactive inspections were the heart and soul of landlords concerns with RUCO (Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy) an ordinance struck down by the North Carolina legislature and yet Ben's plan points towards proactive inspections. From the Greensboro Landlords Association on RUCO:

"The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution provides guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure. It requires that governmental entities obtain either permission, or a warrant, before conducting a search. None of us are constitutional scholars. However, the information below makes it clear that the courts have found that warrantless inspections by a city inspector do no pass constitutional muster unless permission has been obtained by the resident of the unit being inspected. This means that the city cannot conduct RUCO inspections unless the resident of the unit to be inspected agrees to the inspection, or a warrant has been obtained. Residents have the right to refuse inspections. "

The truth is: if Ben Holder can't see the violation from the street or public sidewalk he can't write it up because has no legal right to enter the property-- meaning the yard, much less the house-- unless so invited by the property owner or tenant. Does Ben have X-ray vision? I sure as hell ain't never seen him fly, have you?

Ben wants you to think he can take on the folks who manipulated the North Carolina State Legislature and some folks on the Greensboro City Council are happy to let him try. Why? Because it cannot be done, that's why.

Oh how the mighty Ben Holder has fallen. Maybe this is Mike Barber's way of getting back at Ben all these years later:

"I was on the wrong end of Ben’s whipping stick half a dozen years ago, he blogged me bloody, but that was his right,” said Councilman Mike Barber."

Since Ben has made his blog private, why don't we see if we can get Councilman Barber to remind us of what it was that Ben exposed him for? Was the Councilman involved in the corrupt firing and cover-up of police chief David Wray?

As was written about RUCO in 2011:

"Tyler Mulligan, a professor of public law and government who follows issues of community development and affordable housing for the School of Government, addressed the question in an aptly titled Sept. 20 blog post: “Minimum Housing: A Way Around Residential Inspection Limits?” Even assuming that the two sections of state law “provide separate authority for minimum housing public officers to conduct periodic inspections — a court is likely to resist an interpretation that allows minimum housing public officers to get around the reasonable-cause provisions of the rental inspection law,” he wrote."

I'll even go so far as to direct you to the actual post by Tyler Mulligan where he also writes:

"But what if the first assumption is made: namely, that a minimum housing public officer possesses independent authority under the minimum housing statutes (Part 6 of Article 19 of G.S. Chapter 160A) to conduct periodic inspections? That assumption would be based on two sections of the minimum housing statutes. Under G.S. 160A-448, a local ordinance may grant a minimum housing public officer “additional powers” to “investigate the dwelling conditions in the [jurisdiction] in order to determine which dwellings … are unfit” and to “enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations.” G.S. 160A-449 directs local governments to prepare an estimate of the costs “to provide the equipment, personnel and supplies necessary for periodic examinations and investigations of the dwellings in the city for the purpose of determining the fitness of dwellings for human habitation.”

Even making this assumption—that G.S. 160A-448 and G.S. 160A-449 provide separate authority for minimum housing public officers to conduct periodic inspections—a court is likely to resist an interpretation that allows minimum housing public officers to get around the reasonable cause provisions of the Rental Inspection Law. Rules of statutory interpretation dictate that statutes on the same topic should be read together and harmonized, with any repugnancy between them eliminated. See, e.g., Nat’l Food Stores v. N. Carolina Bd. of Alcoholic Control, 268 N.C. 624, 628-29, 151 S.E.2d 582, 586 (1966). G.S. 160A-448 and G.S. 160A-449 arguably deal with the same topic as the Rental Inspection Law: that is, local government authority to inspect residential dwellings for code compliance. It could be viewed as repugnant to the Rental inspection Law to allow minimum housing public officers to disregard the Rental Inspection Law’s reasonable cause provisions."

Seriously, minimum housing public officers aren't allowed to do it but Ben Holder, as a private contractor can do it? Who died and made Ben Holder a god?

And then there's this: The Rhino Times reported last week that Ben Holder's first project would be Heritage House. Tonight Fox8 reported that all residents of Heritage House will be forced to leave by July 30th.

Way to go, Ben, looks like you did exactly what you told us you were going to do. We'll be looking for those reports.

And finally, when you go back and look at the last paragraph of Ben's  Code Enforcement-- Initial Summary Of Recommendations, ask yourself this one simple question: What's to stop the contractor from "finding" violations that aren't really there so that he can go back and get paid to fix them later? I'm not saying Ben would do it but you can bet the next guy will.

You're on your own, Ben, your plans are half baked and your "friends" downtown have hung you out to dry.