I’ll be the first to admit that I’m new on the scene in Charlotte, NC. Since I’ve been here I’ve smelled something rotten. The familiar stench of corruption and oligarchy hangs over the metropolis like a shroud of decadence.
As many of you know Charlotte will be hosting the Democratic National Convention during the week of September 3, 2012. Many have touted the DNC as a boon for the city.
The convention may bring more money into Charlotte, however something much more sinister will follow with it. About a year ago the Charlotte City Council voted to give City Manager Curt Walton absolute authority over DNC contracts.
At first glance this vote appears to be innocuous. Unfortunately this is not the case. The city is slated to spend $25 million on equipment in preparation for the DNC. What exactly are they planning to buy no one knows. These purchases are not going to face a public vote.
Personally I would like to know how this money is going to be spent. The Charlotte Observer is also curious as they have sent a public records request to the CMPD. The Charlotte Police are responding to this request with silence and stone-walling. CMPD deputy chief Harold Medlock had this to say regarding the lack of transparency “All of that speaks to our ops plan, our strategy.”
The CMPDs official company line is that the denizens of Charlotte should get used to being ruled by secrecy. This kind of law enforcement immediately calls to mind other secret police organizations such as the gestapo and the KGB. Not only is this frightening it is also illegal. According to the Charlotte Observer “N.C. public records law states that city purchases are public record.”
Not one to take the local media’s word at face value I researched the law. The Citizen Media Law Project puts it like this
You can inspect all “public records” of North Carolina’s public agencies. The term “public record” refers to all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, tapes, or electronic data made or received in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1(a).
So how does Charlotte’s elected officials feel about this blatant violation of NC law? They think it’s just dandy. Mayor Anthony Foxx said “I am not bothered by the discretion given to the City Manager unanimously in a vote by the last City Council. As the Convention draws closer, we will need to be expeditious in decision making.”
City Council member David Howard seems to be asleep at the wheel. According to him “I definitely don’t remember that vote, but it doesn’t bother me. This (the DNC) is a live moving organism, We should make sure we get this right. If something goes wrong, we won’t care about how we did it.” My response to David is what the fuck. You don’t remember. If something goes wrong you won’t care how. It’s clear to me that Mr. Howard is an idiot.
Someone should tell the mayor that fools rush in. In regards to the oblivious David Howard I think he needs to find a job that he can do. He needs a career with a name tag and a paper hat.