Sunday, August 17, 2014

City Breaks Own Rules In Heritage House Condemnations

We're Greensboro, we don't need no stinkin' rules. 

 In her June 21, 2013 IFYI to members of City Council, former Greensboro City Manager Denise Turner Roth published the entire Greensboro Housing Code, aka the Minimum Housing Code. (Scroll down to Page 11 of the linked document to find Page 1 of the Housing Code.)

On page 14 of the Housing Code we come to Sec. 11-39 Condemnation Procedure. This is going to get messy.

It says a hearing must be held. No hearing was ever held, still hasn't been held, no property owners were given the chance to gather evidence, hire attorneys or state their case before Greensboro Police Officers removed both owners and residents from the building at Heritage House. The rule requires the hearing be held before the property is condemned, not later that same day. That's not a hearing, that's a kangaroo court with a rigged jury and a bought and paid for judge.

And what do the Minimum Housing rules say you are to do about a building that has been condemned? You don't lock the owner out, you post a sign on it that reads:

But what did Greensboro do? Greensboro locked all the property owners out. There's also a clause in there somewhere about Greensboro's rules being in compliance with State regulations but when you don't follow your own rules I guess the State rules are of little consequence, might as well break those too, right? And they did.

Further down in Ms Turner-Roth's IFYI is another letter, this one from then Deputy City Manager Jim Westmoreland to Sue Schwartz in which Mr Westmoreland gives praise to the efforts of Charles Coffey and the Heritage House Homeowners Association. He wrote that 7 of the 8 units that were not up to code were vacant-- no crime there. He wrote that Greensboro Police and the HOA were actively working together to solve the problems there. More evidence that someone dropped a bomb. 

Oh, and the last page of the IFYI includes some PIRT requests I never got. That was before the grand jury started investigating the City over the way the handled public information requests.

Tomorrow I post e-mails our Dear Mayor Vaughan and members of City Council are going to find very embarrassing-- e-mails that will shine some light on several recent scandals that have gone unresolved and unanswered. Or, perhaps Madam Mayor would like to offer me a cushy job instead?