Dix Campus Action Plan: Why was it killed?

Dix Campus Action Plan: Why was it killed?

The Raleigh News and Observer and WRAL TV and WRAL.com have repeatedly quoted those who claim the Dix Property lease that was signed in December was the direct culmination of eight or more years work. But WRAL reported on another proposal that would have involved NC State University in a joint venture for future use of the Dix Campus. The N&O then also wrote in December 2012 about the Dix Campus Action Plan. WRAL’s Laura Leslie obtained the Plan from the Governor’s office according to emails I have just obtained from NCSU--after requesting them 12/12/2012.

There has been a lot of talk from Raleigh’s Mayor, Democratic Senators, and especially Jim Goodmon yesterday, about the lack of “good faith” on the part of Republicans who want to revoke the lease. I think good faith in government involves openness and honesty, too. I asked Governor Perdue’s Office about the proposed lease in emails, and asked if they had corresponded with NC State University about the Dix Property. I was told by the Governor’s media representative that there were not any emails, and she left a phone message saying the Governor’s office was not involved.

I challenge the News and Observer and WRAL, who have known for months that the lease was indeed a last minute proposal, now show good faith with readers and listeners and report the facts about which the Governor’s office lied to me. Also, the Democrats on the Council of State have been covering up the problems with the Dix Lease just as Governor Perdue and her staff did. Even if you support the Dix Lease as written at the last moment in December, give the public the whole truth of the situation instead of a partisan interpretation of the facts.

It is time we get an answer to the question that NCSU media personnel said folks would want to ask: Why did NCSU back out at the last minute, and why did the governor then, and only then, rush through the lease now in force between Raleigh and the state? The Council of State has evaded this question, and so has the media. That only makes me more curious about the reasons for the current situation.


Thanks for keeping on this

Sadly, the GOP response seems to have nothing to do with improving mental health services. They're out to control whatever they can control, for the sole purpose of amassing power. From the water in Asheville to airport in Charlotte and everything in between, GOP advocates for small government are hell-bent on state control over everything in sight.

I hope I'm wrong, but so far I see no evidence of anything but good-old-fashioned greed on the part of the Pope administration.

More on legislative bullies: Dems and GOP varieties

I am not sure the Republicans have decided yet what to do about the Dix Property. They seem focused only on the lease and the money for funding mental health services. But as I have tried to make clear, the path we came from a hospital to a park is not abundantly clear.

I am referencing here an excellent piece from the Indpendent Weekly from this week's edition: "Look Behind the Curtain" by Kirk Ross. As Ross makes clear from the beginning, the current GOP Regime did not by any means invent the abuse of power in Raleigh. I have watched Democrats act arrogantly and without regard for their districts' constituents needs and wants for years before the GOP turned the tables on them.

Read Ross' column here

"Well, why'd you do it?" I asked. Tony Rand, then the all-powerful head of the Senate Rules Committee and at one time known as this state's Shadow Governor because of his influence, paused­—and I swear this is true—he got kind of misty-eyed.

This was in July 2001 and we were discussing Rand's attempt earlier in the year to remove the Town of Chapel Hill's planning and zoning authority from property owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is, as you might imagine, a sizable chunk of the town. The thought of just one kid from his district not getting into Carolina due to the town's refusal to let it expand, he explained, had greatly upset him. It was Rand's less-than-subtle way of reminding Chapel Hill, which was balking at a massive UNC building plan, who was boss.

A fervent backer of Carolina, he had slipped the provision into the omnibus state budget bill as it was readied for floor action. When word of it hit the streets, it caused a firestorm, especially for then Sen. Howard Lee, a member of the Senate leadership who represented Orange County. Lee and a few peeved lobbyists for the state's cities and towns managed to persuade Rand to back down, but his message was a powerful reminder of who has ultimate say in this state.

The simple lesson from that episode was don't piss off the chair of the Senate Rules Committee. The more nuanced lesson was that in this state, the Legislature creates not just the game and the rules, but the players themselves...

Martha Brock

Wake NCGA delegation meeting on Monday should be hot

From Under the Dome today:

Expect an earful about the Dix property deal on Monday when the Wake County House and Senate delegation holds an open meeting.

The delegation meeting, set for 4 p.m., was moved to a larger venue, Room 643, of the Legislative Office Building because of the expected large turnout.

Among those sending out twitter feeds urging people to attend are Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane saying “support Dix Park, wear green, come early to Wake Delegation Mtg. Monday.''

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to revoke a lease for the Dix property signed by outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue.

Read more here: http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/with_the_dix_property_an_issue_wake_delegation_meeti...
If you have an opinion, pro or con, to share with legislators from Wake County at their meeting on Monday at 4pm:

Contact steinla@ncleg.net to sign up to speak. Sign up not later than 11am Monday.

Martha Brock