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Feb 01, 2012

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Ab

no link

Billy Jones

They've denied access to the page so I guess I'll have do update my response to point here.

Wonder why they would deny access to a public web page?

Roch101

Ross Harris? WTF?

Triadwatch

Robbie Perkins campaign manager Ross Harris?

Roch101

Is the hidden web page part of the promised open and candid dialogue or is it more like this?

Axelskater

Thank you for the page. I enjoyed seeing the next steps in the process, and it looks like we will have a very good broad- based discussion. Very exciting to watch it unfold. Hope I am not in the minority in thinking so!

Roch101

Yes, Triadwatch, the campaign manager for Robbie Perkins and Yvonne Johnson. The mayor's business is a client of her's too.

bubba

"The mayor's business is a client of her's too."

And the business is Business As Usual.

Shall we guess what the task force's "findings" will be?

Roch101

Harris' role is confined to the area of fundraising, and as a facilitator at that. Maybe she's the best qualified; maybe this town is still too small to avoid these kinds of overlapping interests. Still, hiding an announcement of employing the mayor's campaign manager to participate in the pursuit of what will ultimately be significantly a public project doesn't look good at all. It makes the promise of openness and transparency seem phoney.

Videri Quam Esse.

Ed Cone

It's too early to assume that anyone's hiding anything.

A press release got unreleased. That could happen for non-sinister reasons.

Let's keep our torches dry and our pitchforks sharp, but hold off on storming the castle just yet.

Mick

Aww man.

Roch101

I am speaking, at this point, strictly of appearances; and it appears bungled right out of the gate.

Videri Quam Esse.

Ed Cone

Bungled, sure. That's not an appearance, that's definitional.

But there's no evidence that this is a move toward secrecy.

That's not an appearance, that's an assumption.

Given the fact that a detailed document was prepared and released via email and on the website, this could just as easily be about miscommunication or process failure in a nascent project with many moving parts.

Billy Jones

Roch, "I am speaking, at this point, strictly of appearances; and it appears bungled right out of the gate."


All the more reason the PAC should move east.

Ed, "A press release got unreleased."

Stick to journalism, a comedian you're not.

michele
Ross Harris: "Last night was election night here, and I was the campaign manager for my long-time friend Robbie Perkins."

I'm not one to point fingers, but I must say, this does seem cozy. And appearance matters. I'll take a Nerf pitchfork, please.

Ed Cone

I'm told that the release was pulled because it misstated the details of committee structure, and that a corrected (but largely identical) release is forthcoming.

Sue

Ed's right. There was a mistake in the press release. That's a shame, but it's not a cabal.

Billy Jones

Ed, "I'm told that the release was pulled because it misstated the details of committee structure, and that a corrected (but largely identical) release is forthcoming."

Which part?
"The task force will be a large, diverse city-wide body representing a number of groups with a significant interest in such a project, including leaders and volunteers from the arts, business and foundation communities. Members of the task force are now being recruited."

Or,
"The Community Foundation has contracted with Greensboro marketing and advertising veteran R. Ross Harris to help manage the task force’s work, timeline and deliverables."

Because that is all that is written about the structure of the task force and I'm calling BS and you all know I'm right as rain!

Like Roch said, "Esse quam videri"

Brian

But if we can't attribute that "mistake" to a conspiracy of some sort, what fun is it? Of course, I kid.

Roch101

"But there's no evidence that this is a move toward secrecy." -- Ed

Who said it was? The release to which you linked is now hidden from public view. That's what I said, that's what you demonstrated.

Please don't put people on the defensive for agreeing with you.

Billy Jones

Looks like Roch was right. The new press release is online.

Roch101

There are two things being commented on here. One, a press release promising an open and transparent process that soon dives out of public view; and two, the hiring of the mayor's campaign manager.

The former is an ironic mistake that nobody has construed as a conspiracy except Bubba for real and Ed and Brian in concocting their straw men. The later is noteworthy for those who have an interest in understanding the moving parts of Greensboro's civic and political workings.

Roch101

Speaking of bungling, the release is now back up at the original link. I'll let the revisions speak for themselves (my emphapsis added):

With this in mind, the task force will include three committees:
  • Economic Impact and Feasibility Committee – Develops a comprehensive report on the projected economic impact on downtown by a performing arts facility, including analysis of the impact on the city property tax base and comparison of impact by similar facilities in peer communities. It will also provide objective, factual data on the market demand and business model needed to sustain the operations of the facility.
  • Arts Subcommittee – Part of the Economic Impact and Feasibility committee, this group will examine the project from the perspective of the benefits of arts programming for the community
  • Development/Marketing Committee – Creates the strategy to raise $10 million from the private sector.
  • Citizens Engagement Committee – Engages input and participation from all constituent groups in the city.

Ab

"the city shall submit each project to the Greensboro/Guilford County Tourism Development Authority. The board of directors of that authority shall make recommendations to the city with respect to the projects within 60 days after submission by the city."

Greensboro Coliseum Complex Proposed Capital Improvements
Council Information Meetings
January 2012

Anyone know who is on the Board of the Tourism Development Authority?

Ed Cone

Roch, as noted here often, these little blocks of text are not always ideal for multi-party, multi-entry conversations, so I apologize if I misconstrued your remarks.

I was responding to your idea that someone might be "hiding an announcement...It makes the promise of openness and transparency seem phoney."

In the event, it seems that was not the case. A press release had not been read by everyone who needed to sign off on it, so it got pulled.

But I think we can all agree that 3 does not equal 4.

Billy Jones

Ed, "A press release had not been read by everyone who needed to sign off on it, so it got pulled."

So why not release a retraction instead? Isn't that SOP? If nothing else I think we can all agree the people in charge of this mess have already indicated themselves to be at least somewhat inept, if not crooked.

Roch101

Or, flying by the seat of their pants.

Ed Cone

Right -- there's no sign of anyone hiding things or reneging on promises of transparency, but they are moving so fast that things have to be fixed on the fly.

The latter is not always bad, if most of the movement goes in the right direction.

And that gets to the real question about the whole project -- will it be a rush job that yields an unsatisfactory result, or one that comes up with something that a lot of people can support with real enthusiasm?

Billy Jones

Ed, "And that gets to the real question about the whole project -- will it be a rush job that yields an unsatisfactory result, or one that comes up with something that a lot of people can support with real enthusiasm?"

In just 9 months? Yeah, right!

To date, the many clowns in charge of this DPAC have accomplished even less than I've done in my solo effort to bring about the East Greensboro project. And then there's the hotel myth...

sean

"the East Greensboro Project"... it just sounds funny when you validate the existence of a project because you've blogged about the need for its existence.

Ed Cone

I'm starting to miss "will tax for food" and the Occupy slogan.

Billy Jones

sean, ""the East Greensboro Project"... it just sounds funny when you validate the existence of a project because you've blogged about the need for its existence."

You're right but I'm not backing down until City Leaders honestly consider the site and voters have said they don't want it. But seriously, if people will take the time to read all my efforts they will come to the conclusion that the only reason not to pick East Greensboro over downtown can only be pure greed or politics.

I can and will debunk any stated reason why downtown or the coliseum is better and welcome all challengers.

Billy Jones

Ed, "I'm starting to miss "will tax for food" and the Occupy slogan."

What? Scared I might wreck the entire project? I mean, seriously, Dude, if you don't want to discuss something on your blog then don't blog about that something. It works for the rest of us. ;-)

sean

billy, the truth that no one talks about (and you know all too well) is that the vast majority of greensboro residents who don't live in east greensboro do their best to not frequent that side of town. as a former outsider now living on the edge of the divide, i've sensed reasons to be everything from racially tinged to semi-legitimate safety concerns (probably formed by watching the teevee news) to simply having no ties to the area, either by patronizing businesses or having friends and/or family in eGSO. any one of those three issues are legitimate problems for your proposal -- from a greensboro resident demographic -- even if they're only perception and not reality. if they're not adressed honestly, they'll dog any realistic shot of a PAC being built there.

another point: politicians like to sell new cultural projects with artist renderings, pointing out nearby businesses, parks -- essentially any and all warm and fuzzy amenities to add to the experience of frequenting the joint. while a PAC in eGSO, once built, *might* encourage entrepreneurs, developers and even the city to bring reputable businesses, upgraded housing, cultural establishments to the area and surround the establishment down the line, realistically speaking, there's no way the PAC will even be proposed unless a number of those amenities are already in place. this is huge for the crowd that will come from out of town to see shows. case in point: more than 40% of triad stage's patrons are from out of town (possibly, out of guilford county if i remember correctly). also, the hotel proprietors both downtown and off HP road have major skin in this game.

another reality: real cities tend to build outward, culturally, from their downtowns. now, by no means do i consider greensboro to be a "real city" -- if anything we're a large, spread out population with vast amounts of semi-rural and suburban communities tied together by a large number of strip malls and a downtown that's smaller than my 47,000 resident hometown... but greensboro *wants* to be a real city, in the worst way, and for the past 20 years city planners have invested in revitalizing downtown while curbing urban sprawl when possible. as far as i can tell, the location of rt. 40 and the existing coliseum complex -- with its ready-to-go infrastructure -- stands to be the only other compelling reason to not follow the same pattern.

just sayin'.

Ab

Guess who's on the committee
that approves the money to come from the occupancy tax...

Brian

"except Bubba for real and Ed and Brian in concocting their straw men." - Roch

I have no idea what this means or even implies.

Billy Jones

Sean and others,

Ed is tiring of me, please address your concerns at the Greensboro Performing Arts Center blog if you wish to debate me fairly as I've already addressed most of your concerns there.

That is, if you wish to debate me fairly.

michele
"now, by no means do i consider greensboro to be a 'real city'..."

Literal, unexpected, LOL. Thanks.

"...but greensboro *wants* to be a real city, in the worst way..."

Not me. I wish we would smallify. I wish we could be Mayberry, except with more houses. Our crime rate is ridiculous. Our poverty rate is ridiculous. If we became a "big city", would that get better or worse? Either way, I don't want to live in a big city.

Also, WHY do we NEED a performing arts center? Not want, but need? If you need something and you have the money to buy it, then you buy it. If you just want something and you don't have the money to buy it, and you also don't have the money to pay for all the things that you actually need, then only a foolish person (or city) would borrow money to buy the thing they want. Truth.

Ed Cone

I never tire of you, friend Billy, although I do think there can be diminishing returns from hammering the same nail over and over again.

As I think I mentioned before, the track record of stand-alone projects in sparking economic growth is poor, which is one reason your idea is not one I support.

But you are onto something important -- the need to focus city planning and resources beyond a few favored areas of GSO. I hope you'll keep pushing on that larger theme, and that we can find ways to work together.

Billy Jones

Ed, "But you are onto something important -- the need to focus city planning and resources beyond a few favored areas of GSO. I hope you'll keep pushing on that larger theme, and that we can find ways to work together."

You could start by pushing to put the PAC in East Greensboro. Sometimes a precedent must be set in order to establish new direction-- even if it's not the downtown party line, even if some are hurt, or in this case, weakened. Like it or not it's the right thing to do for the City as a whole.

And can you not see how big an asset a second downtown would be? World class cities have multiple downtowns. It's about bigger thinking than Greensboro's leaders have ever proved themselves to be capable of. It's reality, downtown Greensboro is landlocked and sooner or later it will expand to the areas I'm pointing to-- shouldn't those of us who live here have some say? Shouldn't we benefit as well? When my neighborhood is no longer liveable the downtowners will buy up everything for pennies on the dollar-- I want the process to be fair. Look at the area, there's almost no one to displace or stand in the way.

Thanks.

But seriously, I'm growing tired of constantly blogging the answers to questions and comments by sean and others again and again when they're all perfectly capable of following links and reading for themselves. That is, if they really give a damn.

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