Monday, September 15, 2014

Nancy Cries RUCO

In a Facebook discussion with Cara Michelle Forest about a Heritage House refugee about to become homeless despite the fact that I personally made Mayor Vaughan aware of this person's situation via e-mail weeks ago (Parts 1 , 23 and 4) Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan cites the loss of RUCO, the Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy, as the reason for the conditions at Heritage House becoming as bad as they were but RUCO which was rendered illegal by the State Legislature in 2011 doesn't explain this 2007 letter from a Heritage House resident. Does it Mayor Vaughan?

"The exterior is nice-looking, and the rooms are not bad (it used to be hotel once). The tenants, however, are a different story. Since I've been here, I have encountered drunks, drug dealers, theives, and prostitutes (I only wish I were exaggerating!). Police officers have become a common sight for me, as fights (particularly domestic situations), confrontations, and robberies occur regularly. Then, there is an idiot that has decided that sounding the fire alarm at night when everyone is sleeping is "fun." Add to that the mentally challenged individual who not only vandalizes the laundry room, but urinates in the washer and dryers."

Would that not have been a RUCO violation? Nancy?

Got a screen grab of that Nancy, don't bother trying to pay them to take it down.

Nancy wants dearly to hide but in a

"Council member Nancy Vaughan had questioned whether RUCO might be less costly if it were converted into a complaint-only  process."

Don't bother to beg Ed Cone to take the link down, Nancy, I took screen grabs of that too. I long ago learned how you operate when you started deleting my questions from your Facebook page before you blocked me there for catching you at a lie. Then there was Jordan Green's report in July of that same year:

"A recent report that Greensboro Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Vaughan wants to explore the possibility of revising the city’s RUCO program — that’s an acronym for Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy — and go back to a complaint-driven system pricked my curiosity about whether the units at JT Hairston Memorial Apartments have a RUCO certificate and whether reports of bedbug infestation there would constitute a violation."

A complaint driven RUCO would not have been RUCO at all. Have no doubt, Then Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Barakat Vaughan was attempting to dismantle RUCO one brick at a time beginning with the very foundation, the piece most objected to by slumlords-- the ability of inspectors to inspect without first being called upon.

On August 10, 2010, Cara Michele Forest wrote: 

 "The worst part about the push to go to elimination of RUCO and self-report of violations is that it pits power and money (TREBIC, Greensboro Landlords Association) against poor people who are most likely to live in substandard housing and fear reporting housing code violations.  Power vs. poverty is an unfair fight. Too often, power wins. I’m hoping and praying that many advocates — and renters! — will step up and fight for the continuation of this successful program."

Yep, the Wayback machine... Michelle spoke to me for the first time in about a year just recently. (In an e-mail) She didn't want to get dragged back into politics, I suspect it will be at least a year before the beautiful young woman I first met over 30 years ago will speak to me again. Despite my well known adoration for her I have a long history of blowing it with Michelle, it's nothing new so after Michelle and I argued today about her intent to remain apolitical I'm dragging her back in kicking and screaming, like it or not.

And while Nancy was working to undo RUCO at the local level hubby Don Vaughan, himself a former Greensboro City Councilman, State Lobbiest and then State Senator had already began work to dismantle RUCO at the State level. From Yes-Weekly, October 15, 2008:

"Despite the low premium on rhetoric, lawyer Don Vaughan took his place in line for the second round of speeches after a bluegrass band stopped playing and the registered guests had made a pass through the barbecue line and turned in their drink tickets. A business-friendly Democrat, the candidate for the state Senate seat being vacated by Kay Hagan was in familiar territory. Individuals employed by real-estate companies and law firms represented by the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, or TREBIC, have donated at least $5,525 to Vaughan’s campaign. If the total seems unimpressive, then the increments — 33 checks averaging $167 — at least suggest a set of relationships marked by mutual ease and assurance.

 “Real estate is the beginning of economic development in Guilford County,” said the emcee, a Greensboro lawyer named Tom Terrell who argues zoning cases before the High Point City Council. A sign urging, “Stop the Jordan Lake Rules,” rested on an easel at the head of the candidate line to underscore TREBIC’s agenda. Requirements put forward by the state Environmental Management Commission to reduce upstream nitrogen pollution in the Haw River to clean up the Jordan Lake, which provides drinking water to a number Triangle communities, has been roundly opposed by developers, municipalities and manufacturers alike. The estimated cost of the cleanup to Greensboro is $70 million.

 Terrell introduced Vaughan at the TREBIC reception as “a real-estate attorney and former city council member.” Favored to win his race, Vaughan served seven terms on Greensboro City Council before losing a reelection bid in 2005. A busy law practice in which he has represented everyone from clients charged with driving while intoxicated to residents from neighborhoods such as Glenwood and Westridge lobbying to block infill development has won him supporters. A consummate insider, the candidate has served on the NC Banking Commission and the board of the state chamber of commerce. From 1993 through 2007, Vaughan acted as a lobbyist in Raleigh for a string of clients, including the National Solid Waste Management Association and what is now the Greensboro Partnership."

Don Vaughan went to Raleigh with 3 goals: eliminate RUCO, eliminate Protest Petitions and do away with the Jordan Lake Rules. Having achieved the first 2 he retired after 1 term in the State Senate figuring 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

You see, Nancy Barakat Vaughan has been the problem all along. TREBIC was the #1 opponent of RUCO. And when it was pointed out to Nancy Vaughan in October of 2011 that the City funded Greensboro Partnership was a dues paying TREBIC member that opposed RUCO Nancy said:

“...I’m very aware of what’s going on in the partnership and the chamber, and I support them 100 percent. This year, our funding was cut by 10 percent during our budget process. I advocated very strongly to restore that 10 percent. Unfortunately, I was not successful..."
Could it be Nancy has already decided to be a one term mayor having already done all the damage she set out to do just as Don accomplished all he planned to do in one term in Raleigh? One can't help but wonder if everything hasn't already been arranged.

When I first saw the screen grabs of Nancy and Michele's Facebook conversation I sent Nay-saying Nancy an e-mail that included the following:

"Also, progress was being made at Heritage House, crime was going down. Then command of the Southern Division was suddenly changed, the walking patrols ended and crime there skyrocketed again. Why was the command changed? Who wanted Heritage House to fail?

The city is rushing the process to take ownership and resell the property in hopes of beating an court orders stopping the sale. They're almost sure to pull that part off. And the lawsuits, the taxpayers pay them so the politicians lose nothing. But those in charge were so sure myself and others would fall for the slumlord story and take their side. They didn't know I already knew homeowners living in Heritage House. They didn't know Ben Holder's first Heritage House contact found Ben via me: was back in 2012. They didn't know that I knew before the first story hit the media that it was a land grab in the making.
And they didn't know I would leave all the dots behind so that they could be easily connected:
Oh, and we know this began under Robbie Perkins buy why go after him when Nancy is every bit as guilty and still in office? What's really sad is that Barber is going to slip away because Nancy won't open her mouth and Barber becomes the next crooked mayor.
Remember this Nancy: No, Michelle didn't send it to me, she's usually made at me. I've got the entire conversation. You can't block everyone like you block me from Facebook and the more you block the quilter you look."

Nancy Barakat Vaughan'r reply:

"I fully expected you to see my response to Michele, or I would have called her. After all your "Team" is a "friend".   

But Mayor Vaughan failed to address any of my concerns just as she dodged Michelle's questions and has continued a long campaign of lies and deception that has gone on for years. I replied to Madam Mayor with the following:

"If this is how you want to play the game then have at it."

And I included a link to this post.