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« Build baby build | Main | Stakeholders »

Feb 26, 2013


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I hear Milton Kern, Susan Schwartz and Betty Cone were also there.

One big happy incestuous family.

Robbie Perkins was there so DGI board member Al Leonard, Roy Carroll's employee didn't need to show, as Mr. Carroll's interests were represented by the mayor of Greensboro along with Zack, who's headlining Roy's "Entertainment Subcommittee along with the Greensboro Partnership's ex-lobbyist Denise Turner Roth.

Isn't Robbie Perkins on DGI's board?

Robbie knew about all the problems, no?

Hasn't Robbie been supposed to be overseeing DGI?

Don't they take very good care of the park in front of his condo at Roy's Center Point?

How is anything found amiss not a reflection of Robbie's complicity, if he serves on DGI's board?

Who gets to be on the working group?

Notable Downtown Greensboro Contributors

Susan Schwartz's Cemala Foundation, $10,000.00, which represents the Cone Family foundation money.

On 09/17/09, Susan Swartz contributed to Robbie Perkins political campaign.

On 09/13/07 and 09/09/09, Susan Swartz contributed to Zack Matheny's political campaign

Cone, Elizabeth W., $1,000.00, who worked for former Mayor Johnson and now City Councilwoman’s campaign?

On 09/21/09, Elizabeth W. Cone donated to Robbie Perkins political campaign.

The Carroll Companies, $550.00 - Who on the City Council members listed has not received thousands in campaign contributions from Mr. Carroll?

Milton Kern & Co., Inc., $250.00

On 5/29/09, Milton Kern contributed to Nancy Vaughan's campaign.

Schwartz, Susan, $125.00, Also a board member of the now taxpayer supported Children's museum.

Susan Schwartz gave to Nancy Vaughan's campaign.

Brown III, Chester H. & Martha, $100.00, who I believe serves on the Cemala Foundation's board.

On 6/21/2007, Chester Brown III gave to Zack Matheny's campaign.
"Knee-jerk would be one way to characterize the legislative action, which was proposed by Councilmember Zack Matheny.

...There were a number of speakers on both sides of the issue. Those in favor of the ordinances included Michael Schiftan, Roy Carroll, Randall Kaplan, Betty Cone, April Harris and Susan Schwartz.

Carroll, a developer, said, "We probably would not be here tonight if it were not for the unfortunate incident involving the shooting outside the N Club." He said the downtown was evolving, but that a number of downtown property owners had met and decided that nighttime safety levels needed to be improved...

...Matheny said ...the curfew was needed because, "We've got a problem with youth downtown. Those under 18 don't have anywhere to go and just hang out."

I believe the curfew, the noise ordinance and now the Entertainment laws, all favored by Zack and friends, are purposefully attempting to rid downtown of black people unwanted by some of the above.

On 5/27/09, Elizabeth Cone contributed to Nancy Vaughan's campaign.


...(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...

§ 138A‑36. Public servant participation in official actions.
Susan S. Schwartz is a member of Action Greensboro's Operating Group

Susan S. Schwartz is a member of the Greensboro Partnership's Board of Directors

Susan Schwartz is on the board of directors of the Greensboro Chamber Foundation

Dawn Cheney is a TREBIC MEMBER along with Robbie Perkins, Roy Carroll

Betty Cone is on the GPAC Economic Impact / Feasibility Task Force with Roy Carroll and Susan Schwartz

Denise Turner Roth is on the GPAC Advisory Committee with Ed Wolverton and Robbie's Campaign Manager Ross Harris.

Betty and Ben Cone, Jr., Susan and Jerry Schwartz, and Melissa and Ed Wolverton were on the 2012 Friends of Center City Park

Ed Wolverton, Betty Cone, Milton Kern and Al Leonard were on the Downtown Design & Compatibility Manual Steering Committee

Roy Carroll, Dawn Chaney, Milton Kern, Ed Wolverton, Susan Schwartz and Chester Brown were on the Greensboro Downtown Economic Development Strategy Project Committee, Community Stakeholders and Adisory Group

Susan Schwartz, Roy Carroll and Ed Wolverton were on the Downtown Area Consolidated Plan Committees
Notable Robbie Perkins 2011 Campaign Contributors:

Roy Carroll, whom Robbie works for
Betty Cone
Susan Schwartz

Nancy Vaughan 2011:

Ross Harris
Sue Schwartz


Susan Schwartz


Betty Cone
Robbie Perkins

Nancy Hoffman:

Susan Schwartz
Henry Isaacson, Roy's attorney.

"(e1) A member of the board or any other body exercising quasi‑judicial functions...shall not participate in or vote on any quasi‑judicial matter in a manner that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights to an impartial decision maker.

Impermissible conflicts include, but are not limited to, a member having a fixed opinion prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change, undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business, or other associational relationship with an affected person, or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter.

If an objection is raised to a member's participation and that member does not recuse himself or herself, the remaining members shall by majority vote rule on the objection.

§ 160A‑388.
I object.

George Hartzman


In reading Travis Fain's N&R article about the amount of tax money received by DGI vs. the amount received from the BID, I'm troubled that the representation on DGI on how to spend that money is limited to downtown interests only. If my tax dollars are going to support improvements in downtown, I think representation is in order. Per his article, almost half of DGI's funds come from taxpayers, and so those crying my BID money, my party, my downtown are wrong to exclude the rest of the city from decisions made about downtown. Downtown is comprised of people (some owners, some renters, mostly visitors), buildings (some private, some public), and a lot of public space - streets and sidewalks. DGI is simply too insular - representation on its board needs to be broadened to reflect, not just the moneyed interests, but the interests of everyone. If DGI's budget continues to be about 50-50, shouldn't a board reflect that balance?

Ed Cone

George, of all your strange data-dump-and-cue-sinister-music tics, the one where you include personal donations to support a park seems extra odd to me.

Also, Cemala represents one branch of the Cone family, of which Betty is not a member.

Beyond that, much of what you've shown is that people involved in organizations and causes tend to show up for events and projects involving those organizations and causes. Less than shocking.

Well past time to move past the shotgun approach and innuendo.


Sorry to hit close to home Ed, but this stuff has got to stop.

The Greensboro News & Record's Allen Johnson is with the status quo on this.


Did Travis Fain's piece get into today's paper?


Our leaders have played fast and loose with everybody else's money.

If I were looking to invest in downtown, I would not want to play with these people.

How many real estate listings has Ed Wolverton shoveled into Robbie Perkins' pocket?

I don't believe I am being round about in accusation.

I don't believe I am employing innuendo, but making a case that there are clearly conflicts of interests intertwined with those tasked with fixing problems the same people created.

These are not the people who should be taking a "fresh" look at DGI and downtown.

We have been presented with two opposing sides which are inappropriately intertwined, and the News & Record won't report it, because they are knee deep in it.

Greensboro is a microcosm of what occurs at the national level which you have little problem addressing Ed.

This is how these things happen.

We cannot grow Greensboro and bring in jobs with this kind of Crony Self Dealing.

To let this pass without proper vetting which is obviously not going to happen with some of the above mentioned names would be detrimental to our community.

Would you agree that we need some third parties who aren't complicit in the tributes and rentier class to step in as an non-biased overseer of the process here.

Ed Cone

That's the thing, George, you aren't hitting close to home -- mine or anyone else's -- when you just fling pixels, and even less so when you get (or imply) facts incorrectly.

I don't disagree at all about the need for transparency. In fact, I'm asking you to practice it by making your point more clearly and accurately.

Your grab-bag approach is pretty useless, and on the rare specific -- your question, for example, about Wolverton and listings for Perkins -- you settle for leading questions that might or might not actually point to something interesting.


Maybe we misunderstand George. Perhaps he isn't trying to make sense, but rather art? Blog comments as art...a vastly misunderstood and largely ignored form of art. Ed, can you connect him with someone at the Weatherspoon?

Eric Robert

Can someone explain to me why such haste in publishing the press release without giving the city manager a fair chance to explore real alternatives. Council suddenly ended all hopes for an RFP ,therefore, eliminating any new/ innovative perspectives for our downtown .i am afraid that giving Ed Wolverton a new title while gathering the same old individuals to decide our common fate may not yield any different outcome. Was this all for show?


"the one where you include personal donations to support a park seems extra odd to me."

It's not a perpetual park, it's a holding company disguised as a park. If the economy ever gets to the point the land is viable for commercial development, it's adios CC Park.


"How many real estate listings has Ed Wolverton shoveled into Robbie Perkins' pocket?

I don't believe I am being round about in accusation."

Sorry for the bait, but I have found that after stating a great deal of empirical data, I get castigated for a small point, which provides some who want everything to stay the same ammo to negate all the other legitimate information pointing to serious problems no one in power seems to want to address.

Consider how quickly the status quo eliminated and/or downplayed the issues.

Ed, if we let this go with these people put in charge of fixing what they broke, nothing will have changed. Nothing will get better. We will have the same corrupt local government with the same parasites sucking down everybody's tax dollars.

There has to be some accountability. That accountability will not occur with the above people in charge of determining what is wrong. We will just get more of the same, with the paper of record praising their "objectivity"

After observing the News & Record blatantly promoting and apologizing for what they chose not to pay any attention to, while being involved in the enterprise, I can't help but think about 2011 when Ross Harris lied to me about Robbie's personal issues and Allen Johnson telling me he wouldn't tell the city a mayoral candidate was having an affair to achieve the best of two unpalatable candidates.

I wonder how Allen Johnson feels about omitting facts that would cause angst for some relatively Christian Perkins campaign contributors who didn't know he was sleeping around while running for mayor of a large city in the bible belt.


"Was this all for show?"

Good lord, Eric, are you not familiar with Greensboro's motto? "To seem rather than to be." It's a freakin' disease.

Ed Cone

Hugh, I think that idea that the park is a secret land-warehousing plan has been pretty fully debunked -- I'll try to find the thread in which the legalese is discussed.

Beyond that, I've never understood why foundations that exist to give away money would suddenly undo one of their signature accomplishments.

And, beyond the reasons it can't happen and the reasons it wouldn't happen anyway, I've never understood why the (not happening) plan to warehouse land in such a great-for-the-community way would be so terrible anyway.


"I've never understood why foundations that exist to give away money"

Foundations are tax avoidance mechanisms that transfer monies from government to the heirs of estates with which the heirs can control how the tax money is spent, including some indirectly receiving income for "managing" the disbursement of said monies that otherwise would have gone to the government.
From the News & Record this morning;

"Some on the council say they want a “Matt Brown” approach, in reference to the enterprising, high-octane managing director of the Greensboro Coliseum.

There’s no questioning Brown’s effectiveness. But Brown runs a coliseum complex and supervises a staff; he does not represent a community."

As Doug Clark disclosed here, he does not enjoy the free/bartered tickets Matt Brown bestows to the News & Record. David Robinson said he didn't get them, so that leaves Robin Saul and Allen Johnson.

I wonder how Warren Buffett may feel about some of the top brass at one of his papers enjoying the benefits of local taxpayer largess as they prop up with praise those who provide the froth of the communities venues.

Ed Cone

...adding to my previous comment, it would be terrible to lose a beloved downtown park, just saying in terms of land-banking it would be a uniquely good and public-oriented plan.

If it could happen, or would happen, both of which seem highly unlikely.

Eric Robert

excuse me for insisting but :"Can someone explain to me why such haste in publishing the press release without giving the city manager a fair chance to explore real alternatives. "
is it fair to assume as it is becoming obvious that council never had any real intentions to go through with the improvement of our downtown and was merely posturing? So much for ethnic and social diversity/representation in our center city.

Ed Cone

George, once again your broad brush paints over some inconvenient facts.

Ask the Bryan family how much they control they have over the Bryan Foundation, and how much income they get from it (cheatsheet for both: zero).

Your general criticism of foundations rests on the notion that the private money would be better spent by the government, or belongs to the government. That's debatable at best. It also ignores the good done by foundations, and seems to overstate the income flow to heirs, at least under the spirit of the law. I'd guess a lot of heirs, were they motivated by personal gain, would prefer to own the after-tax portion of an estate to (maybe) having some say in how a foundation spends the money.


Ed, if the intentions of the owners were pure philanthropy why wasn't the park donated to the city? By retaining ownership they retain the right to dispense of it. Greed is the ultimate motivator. When the value of the place rises to where it sparks that greed, it's a goner as a public venue.

David Hoggard


Best as I can recall... The long term ownership issue hinged partially on the ability to sell alcohol at events hosted at the park. That would be precluded if it was a city park, quite legal as a private park.

But now that I think on it, I've bought a beer or six across the street at Performance Place which, i believe, is owned by the City... So my theory might be off.

And I completely disagree on it becoming a 'goner as a public venue' in the foreseeable future.

Ed Cone

Hugh, as I said, I don't think it's legally possible, and I'll try to find the notes on that. Also, along the same lines, how does a non-profit make money for the alleged greedy masters of the property? And, again, why would a philanthropic organization undo one of its signature accomplishments and make itself a villain to the city it is chartered to serve?

Just repeating the urban legend about an allegedly possible future event doesn't make it any more convincing. How, who, and why need to be answered to give that story any credibility.


David, I agree, the foreseeable future doesn't hold hope but 15-20 years from now may be different.

Ed, can a non-profit be dissolved and it's assets be retained by it's principals?

I'm not against the city's association with the park but challenge the belief that it's perpetual and will always be there (redundant).


Editing: David, I agree, the foreseeable future doesn't hold hope for the economy but 15-20 years from now may be different.

Ed Cone

Hugh, I'm pretty sure that trustees or managers can't just terminate a non-profit and keep the assets.

Anyway, here's the thread that discusses the ownership of the park and the reasons that a sale for development profits would be really hard to imagine, but damn if you aren't on that thread, too, repeating the same unsupported urban legend, so I'm guessing you won't be persuaded now, either.

Also, I was told that one reason the City didn't take ownership of the park is that it didn't want the cost and liability of the fountain, so the private route worked better.


The public-private development of parks is not unique to Greensboro. The City of Cincinnati just refurbished Washington Park using private funds from an organization called 3CDC - similar to our Action Greensboro, except this organization is made up of CEO's from the major corporations headquartered in Cincy. (Ahem, Procter & Gamble is one of them.) And remember that thing called Occupy Wall St? - private park. The truth is a land asset can be sold at any time whether it be a city, non-profit, or private entity. I think you would be hard pressed to find many examples of such a case, however when it comes to urban parks. It's a required amenity for any downtown. Suffice it to say, both public and private interests benefit from the presence of a downtown park. The reality is, we could use at least one more park the size of Center City in downtown.


Quoting Eric Robert "is it fair to assume as it is becoming obvious that council never had any real intentions to go through with the improvement of our downtown and was merely posturing? So much for ethnic and social diversity/representation in our center city."

Have you spoken individually to council members? Have you asked them what the intentions are? You seem to believe that you know what they are thinking. You ascribe suspicious ulterior motives and continually throw out comments ascribing a subtle racism to Council members & DGI, because in your eyes there is not enough social and ethnic diversity downtown.

Could you explain for everyone your proof and authority that downtown does not draw diverse crowds?

Because when I go downtown at all different times, I see black, white, young, old, gay, straight, single groups of women, couples, families, dogs, some really nice homeless guys, some not so nice ones, street performers and sidewalk prophets. I see a club which has salsa dancing and restaurants which have beer tastings. I see hotdogs in the park, and fine dining a few blocks away. I see museums and several thrift shops next to high end salons. I see pizza joints and places where you can try wine flights. I see a cigar bar, New Orleans style food, Greek food, and tatoo places on the same block. I See football games in the park, joggers running down Elm Street, and musicians playing at a cheesecake bakery. I see a comedy club and a few sports bars. I see fundraisers for Goodwill and proms at the Empire room. I see concerts in Festival Park. I see everything from Burlesque shows to great community theater at Triad Stage and the Broach. I see movies of all genres at Carolina Theatre. I see churches feeding the homeless, and a library with community activities in the same downtown with Yoga Studios and Art Galleries.

I see great progress with a long way to go still ahead.

But for someone unfathomable reason - none of this seems to measure up to your standards.....You sound like you are complaining for 1 of two reasons...either that is all you want to do on the blogs, or you have personal grudges against people involved in developing downtown. Either way, it is not solving anything.


Let's call it a subtle form of economic racism Breakaway.

There are clubs downtown that cater to Greensboro's African American population.

Some seem to feel that upper crusty condos etc... can't be sold downtown as long as there are clubs catering to Greensboro's African American population, which surrounds the east and south side of downtown.

Some suggestions from downtown stakeholders at a semi DGI meeting at the Elm Street Center after the N club shootings included water hoses and K-9 units, among some clearly racist rhetoric.

Zack Matheny was there, so I suppose he could confirm it, not that he would want to.
"Get some more cops on the street at night because people do not feel safe there after 8 pm when the hoods invade the hood."

"Cool means different things to different people. Check out the galleries"

Would you like to address what you meant by your post Breakaway?

Eric Robert

Breakaway? hope this helps...
"Have you spoken individually to council members?"...Yes
"Have you asked them what the intentions are?"... Yes
"You seem to believe that you know what they are thinking." Not anymore
"Could you explain for everyone your proof and authority that downtown does not draw diverse crowds?"...not what I said...I said that the DGI board is not representative of the social , generational and ethnic makeup of our city...but you are correct that downtown does indeed attract diverse crowds and therefore should be represented proportionally.
"when I go downtown ...art galleries"...all that you see, I see and appreciate as they are my neighbors.
"you have personal grudges against people involved in developing downtown"...No, but I do have personal grudges against DGI because they take my money and yet do not represent me... all while stealing numerous management fees from funds destined to support the people they are supposed to represent...
http://downtowngreensboro.net/about/overview ...check out the galleries


"Some seem to feel that upper crusty condos etc... can't be sold downtown as long as there are clubs catering to Greensboro's African American population"

Are you saying blacks don't or can't afford to live in all of those upper crusty condos? That's so racist of you.

Who are "some"?

Names of these people who feel that way? Proof?

Which clubs are catering to these populations which you talk about?

Who informed you of these suggestions about "water hoses" supposedly made at a stakeholders meeting?

What is a semi DGI meeting?

Who puts together a "semi-DGI" meeting?

When did it take place?

Can you prove the meeting took place? Can you prove those things were said?

sal leone

I will side with Eric, we need change and DGI has out lived its purpose.


"So much for ethnic and social diversity/representation in our center city."

"the DGI board is not representative of the social , generational and ethnic makeup of our city"

Two completely different statements.


"Can you prove the meeting took place?"

I guess you can ask Zack or April Harris.

"...District 3 Councilmember Zack Matheny held a press conference on Wednesday morning, Nov. 10, at city hall to introduce his plans for making the downtown safe...

[Rocco Scarfone's] ...changes are not going to be enough for Matheny,
...he said he wanted the city to show "zero tolerance for quality of life issues,"...

...Matheny said that he had been discussing different options
to increase citizen safety downtown for years with downtown club owners,
property owners, residents and patrons of downtown establishments.

...There is no indication that anyone involved in the shootings was under 18,
yet one of the solutions Matheny proposed is to ban the under-18 crowd...

It doesn't appear that anyone involved in either shooting was parked in the parking garage,
yet according to Matheny the fees for parking need to be raised to $5.

There is no indication that the bouncers at the clubs acted improperly,
but there are a whole host of proposed regulations about bouncers and security."

John Hammer
I hear there was an emergency DGI stakeholder meeting after a shooting down from the N Club, lots of familiar names in attendance.

The racial epithets came out pretty big after the few blacks left.

Confirmed by two or three sources who were there.

Have publicly cited the story a few times before without an opposing interpretation.

Posted by: Hartzman | Feb 25, 2013 at 07:40 PM


"Names of these people who feel that way?"

Speaking of naming names Breakaway, I find it interesting that you want names named, but you don't have the courage to use your own.

I don't know how anybody felt, but I have confirmed what took place with more than two persons in attendance.

The actions of some after speak for themselves.

If you ban everyone under 18 from downtown without reason, for they had nothing to do with what occurred, it certainly lends credence to what was meant to be accomplished.

ie..., if a small group of undesirable looking citizens appears, the curfew gave the police department permission to run them off.

And then the noise, tent and now entertainment campaigns.
Greene Street Club, Led Head, Race Relations and why Robbie Perkins should recuse himself on Greensboro's Noise Ordinance Issue (3:17)

Looking out from the rooftop bar,
imagining what someone on the patio of the taxpayer subsidised penthouse
would be looking at late in the evening,
I noticed a long line, not in front of Greene Street,
but in front of a club next door.

Most of those waiting in line were African American.

As I recall, when the big push came for the downtown teen curfew,
which is now expired,
it seemed as though some who wanted to "clean up" downtown
were seemingly targeting clubs
where mostly African Americans tended to frequent.

If one were to look down from Center Pointe on Greene Street,
an observer, most likely white, relatively wealthy etc...
would probably see a good deal of very nicely dressed people,
but most likely not of same color.

Didn't the park in front of Center Pointe
begin to close at 11pm to clear out many
who were considered to be loitering?

Seems to me that to sell high end condos
in a downtown with night clubs
would be easier without seeing non white visuals
from the balconies.

Maybe noise isn't the whole issue here.

George Hartzman



George Hartzman on Greensboro Noise Ordinance and Crony Capitalism


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