Monday, August 11, 2014

Mayor Vaughan Hides On Heritage House Issue

In an e-mail exchange today with Councilwoman Sharon Hightower and Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan the mayor tried to deflect criticism by writing:

"Sharon, didn't Duke Energy also disconnect the power due to nonpayment?"

To which Councilwoman Hightower replied:

"They sure did. As a matter of fact, they were scheduled to cut it off before our cutoff date.  This would have put the residents out sooner than our cutoff date.  They consented to work with us thus allowing the opportunity to execute a plan for relocation efforts."

The problem with hiding behind Duke Energy is that Duke Energy didn't take anyone's home for failing to pay the electric bill. As I wrote to the Mayor and City Council:

"Duke Energy didn't take away the lawfully deeded homes, the City of Greensboro did. Don't try to hide behind Duke Energy. It makes you look weak, cowardly and corrupt." 

The city regularly condemns properties because there is no electricity but condemning a property only stops people from living there. Homeowners are still allowed in. They can do repairs, clean the place up, etc. Homeowners remain locked out of Heritage House until this day. The City of Greensboro has already made known their intent to sell the property to a single owner via various local media outlets. Condemnation allows the City to force people from homes deemed unfit to live in, condemnation for reasons other than structural problems (none have been reported or were cited by building inspectors) does not allow governments to block people from having free access to their deeded properties for even one day.

Without going to court the City has crossed the line from condemnation to foreclosure. The City had the right to stop people from renting or living in their properties but the City has no right to keep anyone away from property to which that person still holds a deed. This, my friends is a failure of due process-- a violation of the constitutional rights of every person who owned property at Heritage House. Greensboro leaders acted as judge, jury and executioner all wrapped into one and now they're trying to hide behind Duke Energy who would have simply turned off the electricity and turned the bill into collections without taking anyone's home.

Remember: If the City of Greensboro, North Carolina can steal 177 homes in the Heritage House neighborhood then no neighborhood in America is safe.

Now: there you have proof that a crime has been committed against the owners of 177 properties at Heritage House. I call on Mayor Vaughan, Councilwoman Hightower and the rest of the Greensboro City Council to order a criminal investigation into what took place there or forever be held suspect in the court of public opinion.

Your call. Considering your blew the water bill excuse you might want to look into it.