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Nov 14, 2012

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Brian

What? A logical, reasonable resolution to the conspiratorial frenzy initiated by Hartzman? Inconceivable. Can we please put entertaining Hartzman's wild fantasies out to pasture once and for all - including the one where he is considered a viable candidate for Mayor? Although I realize the fact that Ed got these answers from Nancy will just prove that he is covering for her.

David Hoggard

Tell me you didn't actually SPEAK with her?!?!

Why. I mean... it's just not done like that. What's wrong with you man?

Fec

We looked at the buildings in that block last summer. The owners had been victimized repeatedly over the years with prospective tenants who caused the owners to spend money with architects for designs only to have the tenants back out.

Rather than being defamed, anyone putting up money for one of those properties should be congratulated for doing downtown a valuable service.

Roch,

David, people did ask her directly. She saw fit to ignore some inquiries, apparently. Nonetheless, it is not surprising that Hartzman did not want to be pinned down on the facts.

Ed Cone

Roch, how did you ask her? If it was via a personal email to an active address, then a response would have been polite. But if it was a reply or fwd of an unsolicited mass email, well, I don't read many of those myself.

Her phone numbers are listed on the City website. I called one. She answered. Not as much fun as just saying things on the web, but that's why this blog's management pays me the big bucks.

George Hartzman

Nancy voted to give money to an entity which she was involved in negotiations with for the money she voted she voted to give money to. If you fellas don't think that was a recusable conflict of interest...

Roch,

Wait, what? If I asked her in a reply to an email with multiple parties copied, including her, and addressed her specifically that doesn't count? Well, doesn't that just set a nice standard for public officials? Geez, Ed, what happened to your spine?

Roch,

"Nancy voted to give money to an entity which she was involved in negotiations with for the money she voted she voted to give money to. If you fellas don't think that was a recusable conflict of interest..."

Did she vote to give them money or, as Brian thought he remembered, allowed them to retain some additional monies they'd already received?

Roch,

"I asked if she saw a possible conflict, or even appearance of such, if DGI does rent space from her." -- Ed

Did you happen to ask her of her ethical opinions of voting on fiduciary matters regarding DGI while she had open negotiations with them?

Ed Cone

Just a practical point, Roch -- I don't think it's reasonable to assume people will always open the nth "Re xxx" email in a series, or that they will do so according to someone else's schedule.

If you want a prompt answer from someone, it makes sense to contact them directly.

Triadwatch

"She has exchanged proposals with DGI" , complete conflicts of interest if she has voted to give more money to dgi after the fact.

sal leone

Well I well give Nancy respect here and trust that she is not renting to DGI. There is some conflict on the issue that she talked with DGI and voted on there financial matters. I think the best thing would of been to stay out of DGI business for now until she renst the building to them or someone else. It just dont look or feel right to talk with someone on a matter and vote on another matter.
But lets give her sometime to prove herself, I will do that for Brian since thats the least we can do. Besides I think Robbie is the star attraction right now on the council.

George Hartzman

What Roch said.

Roch,

I did contact her directly, Ed.

Worst person on the internet

This must be one of those citizen journalist territorial pissings that always sails way over my head.

Brian

Nancy asked the City Attorney if there was a conflict of interest. He said no. That is her legal advice; therefore, as an elected representative she is obligated to vote on any and all matters in which she doesn't have a conflict of interest. If you want to hash out what is and what isn't conflict of interest, then speak to the City Attorney. And to be clear, she did not vote to give DGI more money. DGI had $18,000 (my memory says) left in its contract with the City from various programs. DGI asked City Council if it could retain those funds and roll them over into the next contract. I'm sure the semanticists here will say that indeed that is more money, so have at it. So, I guess the next call should be to Ed Wolverton. Roch?

Brian

October 16th Council meeting, item #32 at 2:52 on the video. Listen to Trudy's confirmation that it was for $18,000 retention.

Fec

Damn funny, CP.

Roch,

Huh? Sorry, not understanding what you are asking of me? You want me to call Ed Wolverton? Why?

You are correct about councilors having to vote if there is no conflict.

Roch,

Above to Brian.

Brian

I was suggesting calling Ed to see what he says about any lease agreement or what they are pursuing. They do seem to be the other party here that might lend some sunlight on the situation. That was all I was suggesting.

Roch,

I see. If I thought he could verify something I question, I would.

Worst person on the internet

Fec, you know I'm too dull to follow this stuff, but bear with me on one thing: Does this mean that Roch has seen the light and converted to Hartzman's deputy watchdog, or is he just pissed that Ed scooped all the answers Roch put to Hartzman via the brilliant idea of picking up the phone whilst Roch sat refreshing his inbox?

Ed, I had not heard about your spine problem either. Hope it wasn't from bungee jumping.

Eric Robert

Brian, actually two agenda items were covered that night...one was the retention of the funds(32) but the other item (33) was the allocation of the funds (budget) to dgi for the upcoming fiscal year.

Hartzman

The city attorney can clear all this up.

I believe the city attorney is incorrect on the conflict of interest issue.

I believe he may be beholden to those who hired him
after the law was changed to make it so.

Either way, he confirmed that negotiations were ongoing
between DGI and Nancy Hoffman.

Doesn't matter if the press won't report it.

I saw a television news report with Robbie...

Just about worthless as to informing the public of anything material.

Sounded like Ed's expose.

Two sets of rules.

Fec

CP, my considered opinion is the latter represents reality best.

I have on several occasions tried to facilitate a peace between these parties, to no avail. However, I must concede it reflects well upon them that they still speak to me.

The crack about Ed's spine is tired. Someday, when he is ready, Ed will purchase a cross stick it in the ground and climb up on it. He will sing a dumb Monty Python song and be done with it. More's the pity.

Eric Robert

and Roch...you must have dealt with Ed Wolverton before, as this is the kind of answers one gets when questioning dgi's actions... they are simply incapable of being candid or honest/forthcoming... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=333336196759106&set=pb.167087546717306.-2207520000.1352942029&type=3&theater I think DGI as we know it is over (rumors are that dgi charged additional, undisclosed management fees off of the passthrough funds for center city park...) dgi no longer benefits from the political clout it once enjoyed (food truck, noise , 6 to 3 vote etc...) I believe that dgi must evolve now or cease to exist by next budget cycle.

Hartzman

"She has exchanged proposals with DGI"

And then she voted to give them money.

Simple as that.

sal leone

I think Eric is right on the money with DGi, they have to adapt or go away. The problem with DGI is that there are few small business owners on the board.
I will agree with GH that once talks started with Nancy H, and DGI then the line was in the sand and she crossed it when she voted to allow them to keep funds, the conflict with DGI was born.

Roch,

Eric, I'm not even sure what it is Brian wants me to ask Wolverton or why he doesn't ask him himself. I have never had any conversations with him and can't attest to his candidness, my strongest impression of him was that his public arguments in favor of a downtown teen curfew seemed rather spurious.

Hartzam, the North Carolina School of Government is very generous in giving opinions on legalities of government actions. Why don't you run the situation by them and see what they say. (CAUTION: Include all the facts, separated from your opinion and stated clearly and formatted properly. Something like this: City council person has been negotiating a possible lease of her downtown property to downtown booster organization that receives funds from the city. Does she have a conflict that should prohibit her from voting on financial matters relating to the downtown organization?)

Hartzman

Kind of in the middle of starting an investment advisory business Roch.

Why don't you?

Hartzman

"Brian...in favor of a downtown teen curfew seemed rather spurious."

Who is Brian?

Does Brian live downtown, or was he really speaking for another?

Did Brian have kids when he advocated to discriminate against teen agers?

Brian

Hartzman, please pull the wool from your eyes and practice reading comprehension. Roch was referring to Ed being in favor of downtown curfew not me. I'm pretty sure you could find the issue on this blog and find comments from me that were not in favor of the downtown curfew. Don't worry, I won't wait for or need your apology.

Roch - It seems fundamental to the question of the relationship between Nancy and DGI as to whether or not there is an agreement. Nancy says there isn't. I simply suggested contacting Ed to get his perspective. I personally don't care if you do or you don't - or if anyone does for that matter.

Hartzman

I was quoting Sal.
.
.
"She has exchanged proposals with DGI"

Ed

"It seems fundamental to the question of the relationship
between Nancy and DGI
as to whether or not there is an agreement.

Nancy says there isn't."

Brian
.
.
So Brian, if a City Councilperson exchanges proposals
for personal business with an entity taxpayers fund,
doesn't sign anything yet,
and then votes to give the entity taxpayer money,
that's OK?
.
.
Who do you work for Brian?


Andrew Brod

One of the academic trends I don't like has emerged in some of the humanities, where it's often required to note one's own racial/cultural identity before making comments, having opinions, etc. One's identity is as important as the one's opinions or statements. The implication is that a given opinion or insight should be interpreted differently if it comes from a white woman from a working-class background vs. a Latino whose parents were physicians; or whatever. In most contexts, I find the notion that an idea doesn't stand on its own merits pretty disturbing.

I just realized that this is precisely what George does. He can't interpret Brian's opinion about the downtown curfew until he knows more about Brian. For politically correct academics, all opinions are intricately wound up in one's racial or cultural background. For George, everything is a function of who's on the take, who's paying off his friends, who's self-dealing. When everything's corrupt, corruption permeates everything. So George has to pry into Brian's background: Does he live downtown? Does he have kids? To George, an idea isn't an idea and an opinion isn't an opinion until he knows precisely how you might be (and his view, undoubtedly are) benefiting from stating it.

This generates the Hoggard exchange in this thread, and now that I think of it, George's attempts to paint me as some kind of relevant player in the PAC process. If the ethics are as important as the idea, then it's reasonable to assume that someone who disagrees with George has a finger on the ethical scales.

It's the only way he can understand the world.

Hartzman

"Eric, I'm not even sure what it is Brian wants me to ask Wolverton or why he doesn't ask him himself. I have never had any conversations with him and can't attest to his candidness, my strongest impression of him was that his public arguments in favor of a downtown teen curfew seemed rather spurious."

Roch on Ed and Brian.

Wrong quote and wrong person?

Looks like Roch was talking about Ed Wolverton.

Hartzman

Thanks for the analysis Andrew.

Should I send a check?

You recommended the consultant for the PAC Andrew.

That was what I brought up as you defended the process.

I feel it was a legitimate point at the time
and still do.

What am I thinking about what I thought about that?

Brian

Hartzman, I've already told you to direct your question about the conflict of interest to the City Attorney. Someone else recommended the UNC School of Government. Trust me, my opinion carries much less weight than theirs. You'll just have to trust that how I earn my paycheck has exactly zero connections to any of the players in this thread. Again, the only reason I began commenting on this issue was that there seemed to be clear avoidance of nor pursuit of any facts. An abundance of innuendo does not trump the facts. I apologize if my reasons for participating in this don't fit your conspiracy theories.

David Hoggard

I believe you have nailed it, Andrew. Everyone is on the take in his eyes. Denial of his allegations and innuendo is only proof that you are trying to hide something. His is a particularly cruel brand of attempted character assassination.

As I was refuting his false allegations regarding "involvement" in the "deal" currently under discussion, I became infuriated with his shuck and jive tactics almost to the point of distraction. I kept remembering the story of "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby". Hartzman is Brer Fox.

From here on out... we would all do well to simply whistle past any future Tar Babies that the man places in the road. He's got obsessions that are just plain destructive - to both himself and to anyone who gets entangled with him.

Lesson learned. At least by me.

Hartzman

"Those who do not accept the fundamental principles of state propaganda,
are simply excluded from the debate.
(or if noticed, dismissed as "emotional," "irresponsible," etc…)"

Noam Chomsky
.
.
Nice strategy fellas.
.
.
Now that the city attorney serves at the pleasure of council,
I think I like Roch's idea that this should go to the School of Government.

Peggy Hickle

It's not just Hartzman, Andrew. Billy Jones actually cyber-stalked me to find out "who" I was because I commented on a post here in such a way that did not feed his own paranoia. The biggest crime he could discover was that I live in High Point, which of course, automatically invalidated anything I had to say about downtown Greensboro, despite the fact that I have worked diligently for 10 years on downtown Greensboro projects. As with many who feel powerless, they have become big bullies in the small sandbox of their own conspiracy theories.

Bless their hearts....

Hartzman

So Brian, if a City Councilperson exchanges proposals
for personal business with an entity taxpayers fund,
doesn't sign anything yet,
and then votes to give the entity taxpayer money,
that's OK?

Any "abundance of innuendo"?
.
.
"(a) ...no public servant...authorized to perform an official action
requiring the exercise of discretion,
shall participate in an official action by the employing entity
...if the public servant .
...may incur a reasonably foreseeable financial benefit
...which ...would impair the public servant's independence of judgment
or from which it could reasonably be inferred
that the financial benefit would influence
the public servant's participation in the official action.

...(c) A public servant shall take appropriate steps,
...to remove himself or herself to the extent necessary,
to protect the public interest
...from any proceeding in which the public servant's impartiality
might reasonably be questioned
due to the public servant's familial, personal, or financial relationship
with a participant in the proceeding.
.
.
.
§ 138A‑36. Public servant participation in official actions.

"Any officer, department head or employee
who has financial interest, direct or indirect,
in any proposed contract with the city
or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services
to the city or to a contractor supplying the city,
shall make known that interest
and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in
the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee
who willfully conceals such a financial interest
or willfully violates the requirements of this Section
shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position
and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section with the knowledge
expressed or implied of the person or corporation
contracting with or making a sale to the city
shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest:
Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter

Andrew Brod

As I've stated more than once, George, the minutes you found online (which said that I recommended the consultant) are wrong. I did not recommend the consultant for the PAC. I gave the steering committee a list of a number of consultants, which I put together by the time-honored (at least over the last decade) technique of doing some Googling. I provided no further editorial comment about any of the firms on the list. I didn't know anything about the firms on the list. Based on what I presume was its own assessment, the steering committee picked one of the consulting firms on the list.

For a skeptic, you're very credulous.

Of course, even if I had recommended the consultant, it's far from clear how that would wed me to the PAC process or invalidate my opinions about the PAC. But that's for your fevered mind to ponder.

By the way, from time to time, I am involved in something that's going on around town. When that's the case, I don't comment here.

David Hoggard

See Andrew? You have your very own Hartzman Tar Baby.

Despite your continuous denials and truthfully stating of what did and did not occur, you are deeply "involved" in his weird world.

Fec

It's much like struggling with an authoritarian, except his dogma is paranoia.

George Hartzman

thanks for the clarification andrew.

so back to the question at hand.

should nancy hoffman have voted for the dgi monkey?

brian, andrew, ed?

Worst person on the internet

While we're all getting McCarthied, theoretical question: if I have explored the lower intestines of one or more of the principals involved, am I complicit too? This is not to be construed as an admission that I have, mind you, just wondering.

Fec

LOL, Chyme Boy.

Mick

Anybody called the SoG for abner yet?

Mick

How bout now?

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