Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jamal Fox And Sharon Hightower Are Lying About The Animal Shelter

And I've Challenged Them To Prove Me Wrong

Over the course of the weekend I asked some of the County Commissioners the following questions concerning the property Marty Kotis is attempting to buy-- the same property where Greensboro City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower and Councilman Jamal Fox have been expressing opposition to a proposed East Greensboro animal shelter:

“The answer is no,” Greensboro City Councilmember Jamal Fox said of a recent proposal by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to build the county’s new animal shelter at 3307 Burlington Road in east Greensboro.
“No, we don’t want it over there,” Fox added.  “I object to everything about it.”

The Rhino article I linked to mentions Hightower as well:

“I don’t support it and I will not support it,” an animated Hightower said this week.  “I’m sick and tired of people trying to come dump every negative thing on our community.  I’m pissed off and, if you want, you can put that in the paper.”

Hightower said she felt as though the majority of the Greensboro City Council would refuse to go along with putting the animal shelter on that spot.  She said the City Council had been working for a long time to bring positive changes to the area, and they had been working hard to lure beneficial businesses back to east Greensboro – so, she said, she didn’t believe they would support such an egregious step backward."

So what did I ask our County Commissioners?

"Who else has bid on that property besides Kotis?

When and where was the property advertised for sale?

Were the County Commissioners advised before Kotis first attempted to buy the property last year?"

Our County Commissions, not knowing the answers, forwarded my questions to the current Guilford County Property Manager, Robert McNiece who wrote:

"The property has not been advertised. The only offer is an unsolicited proposal."

 So apparently Marty Kotis thinks he can just buy any municipal property he wants to buy even if it's not for sale. And with nobody bidding against him.

As to Councilmembers Fox and Hightower: On Friday I challenged them in a Facebook thread at Greater Greensboro Politics to tell me who objects to the animal shelter besides themselves who have both benifited greatly from Marty Kotis campaign contributions:

It's Monday, I'm still waiting on replies from Fox and Hightower. But just to make sure I eventually get a response from someone I submitted the following public information request to the City of Greensboro on Friday as well.

"Please provide me with all communications to the Mayor and City Council Members voicing opposition to Guilford County's efforts to build a new animal shelter on county owned property in East Greensboro.

Thank you
-Billy Jones"

We'll find out where the objections are coming from and/or prove Fox and Hightower to be the bought and paid for liars I believe them to be.

And finally, in my conversations with these county commissioners which were forwarded to John Hammer. Jeffrey Sykes, Alan Johnson and others in local media I pointed out that the last time Mr Kotis and I spoke with one another the conversation was about that particular piece of property.

In that conversation Kotis relieved to me that his intentions were to build a shopping center there in 10-20 years, not anytime in the near future. As I pointed out to Mr Kotis in our angry conversation my East Greensboro neighborhood will starve to death before 10 years and his was no plan to solve our food desert issues.

In my final e-mail to the County Commissioners, Hammer, Sykes and Johnson, I suggested they ask Kotis about his timeline for construction. I also recommend the Greensboro City Council and citizens of Greensboro do the same and that a requirement for quick development be placed on any purchase of municipal properties.

And finally, may I remind you that 40 years ago, Marty's father purchased a property 3 miles east of the proposed animal shelter site at the intersection of East Wendover @ the Interstate Bypass and two years ago the City of Greensboro gave Marty Kotis taxpayer dollars to defray the cost of developing a shopping center there and to date there remains nothing there and not one shovel of dirt moved.

Marty Kotis isn't investing in East Greensboro-- Marty Kotis is investing in a portfolio for Kotis Properties buying up cheap land where he can find it and using the power of political graft to avoid competition.

Prove me wrong-- I dare them.

Update: Monday May 23, 2016, 1:20 PM. Got the following reply from the City of Greensboro:

"Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for your public records request (PIRT 5761) in which you asked for “all communications to the Mayor and City Council Members voicing opposition to Guilford County's efforts to build a new animal shelter on county owned property in East Greensboro.”

Please provide the time frame that you would like us to use for your email search.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator

Communications and Marketing Department - 336-373-3282

City of Greensboro

PO Box 3136, Greensboro, NC 27402-3136"
My reply to Ms Carter:
Do a 60 day time frame ending on Friday May 20, 2016 and I'll be very happy.

Let's see what this brings, shall we?

Update 2: Sunday, June 6, 2016. I'm still waiting having gotten no response from Council members Jamal Fox, Sharon Hightower or the City of Greensboro.  Guess it's really hard to forward communications that never existed in the first place.

Update 3
: June 15, 2016: Still no word. From May 23 until June 15, almost a month, this has remained one of the most well read posts here at and still neither Jamal Fox, Sharon Hightower, Mayor Vaughan nor any other member of the Greensboro City Council has produced communications showing objections to placing the new and bigger Guilford County Animal Shelter and the jobs that come with it in East Greensboro.

 I promise you, if you elect me Mayor of Greensboro I will continue to call these liars out publicly and will do so in front of the television cameras. I'm not scared, are they?

Update 4: July 6 2015: May 19 to July 6 and still no reply from Jamal Fox, Sharon Melvin Hightower or a reply to my public information request #5761:

Is anyone still willing to make the claim that Fox and Hightower have the best interest of East Greensboro in heart? Share this post, show me any who still believe in them.

Update 5: July 6 2015 PM. I decided to push the issue today and force a reply and in just a couple of hours I got 9 copies of a single e-mail that I had sent to Mayor Vaughan and the rest of City Council in support of the Animal Shelter. Seems that's all they had and no one was opposed.

Six weeks and one day to receive copies of one e-mail that I sent and already had a copy of.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.