Letter to Spencer Aldermen & Town Hall
At the end of June 2018 a Spencer town official was involved with
an out of town vehicle at the intersection
of Seventh Street and South Iredell Avenue. A van was being driven
south on South Iredell Avenue doing
35 MPH with is the speed limit. The other vehicle was driven by the
town official. The two vehicles ran
together in the middle of Seventh Street. The van was sited for
running the stop sign. He was not sited
for speeding. A couple days latter I discussed the accident and
after sharing with official my view of the
accident the town official went ballistic. He mainly went ballistic
because of my thoughts that the driver
of the van should have not been cited.
THIS IS MY REASONING: A month earlier I had taken
photos of this intersection stop sign to town hall
and the fact it was almost total obscured from vision. There were
two large over hanging tree limbs,
shrubs overhanging the street and a large bush well overgrown all
around the sign.
NOTHING WAS DONE TO CLEAR THE SIGHT LINE IN
THOSE 30 DAYS JUST PRIOR
TO THE ACCIDENT. Notice photos below.
To insure safe sight distances where
streets intersect and where driveways intersect streets a minimum
clear vision area shall be provided. On a corner lot in residential
and/or business districts, there shall be no obstruction to vision
by structures, grade or foliage other than power or utility poles
between a height of three feet and a height of ten feet, measured
above the average elevation of the existing surface of each street
at the centerlines thereof.
(`94 Code, App. C, Art. VI, § 6)
FOLLOWED THE LETTER OF THE LAW.
This is what the approach looks
|During my research I visited the NC State Highway Patrol Station and
inquired about how far a
van would slide at 35 MPH. The officer told me estimated 136
feet the best I can remember. I went back to
the point that the van driver could first see the sign and at
that point there were
a pair of tire marks where the van started sliding his tires.
I taped it off and the tire marks
stopped at 135 feet long and I was standing in the middle of Seventh
is where the collision took place. I am in no way saying the
town official was at fault but
I will say that I think the town was at fault.
Notice the skid marks under the middle of
the second vehicle.
Now you may wonder why I am sharing this incident. Here it is.
During my conversations
with this town official, he scolded me in saying "why don't
you stop complaining
and be part of the solution". After thinking about what he
said I realized it was a descent
thing to say. After being involved with the cleanup of this
intersection site issues, my
wife and I for the next two months cleaned up twelve (12)
intersections and stop signs.
As you all know I emailed photos and letters to all of you keeping
of what we were doing. I might add many of these day I paid a
local young man to help us.
I discussed many times what we were doing with the Town Manager &
LMD and had
their blessing. With October Tour approaching the HPC
distributed a list of personal
properties that needed help on their shrubs and r/w trees and
304 3rd Street
Bushes and Stop Sign
302 S. Carolina Ave
Bushes and Grass
404 S. Carolina Ave
Grass, Clean Up Porch, Yard Work, Weeds
400 Block S. Carolina Ave
Crepe Myrtle Trees need trimming,
411 S. Carolina Ave
413 S. Carolina Ave
500 S. Carolina Ave
General Yard and Trash Cleanup
502, 506, 508 S. Carolina Ave
Grass, Bushes, Weeds, Trash, Headboard
503 5th Street
General Porch and Yard Cleanup
419 S. Spencer Ave
Tarp on Carport, Carport Trash Cleanup,
S. Spencer @ 5th Street
Yucca bush too large, spilling into
StreetSide – cut back
521 S. Spencer Ave
S. Spencer Ave @ 6th Street
Mowing & Edging Needed
511 7th Street
Unkept Property, Bushes, Grass,
500 7th Street
Same as 511 7th Unkept
S. Iredell Ave @ 7th Street
Cut back bush at Stop Sign, Growing
Large Again. Blind Corner
400 Block 7th Street
Sidewalks needs general weeding and
610 S. Carolina Ave
Unkept bushes growing into house,
hoarding in backyard, grass
701 S. Carolina Ave
Rolling clothes rack on front porch,
inside furniture outside, chicken wire outdoor pens, cars
parked on grass
610 S. Rowan Ave
701 S. Rowan Ave
Kids toys everywhere and furniture
strewn all over yards, mowing
610 S. Yadkin Ave
Branches and tree stump need cutting
back and picked up
612 S. Yadkin Ave
700 S. Salisbury Ave
Abandoned Work Scaffold been there for
months, grass too tall
Police & Town Hall
General Yard Grooming
Need Weeding and Trimming
Bank Park Plaza
Rock cleanup on sidewalk where damaged,
Downtown Crepe Myrtles
All downtown need trimming, too low to
walk on sidewalk. 8’ Clearance required by code.
General weeding and mulch is needed in
planter beds, irrigation is exposed from erosion of yard
General Yard Cleanup, Weeds, Sweep
Rocks nicely back into patio / parking area
201 S. Yadkin Ave
Grass, Tree Trimming, Fence Post
307 S. Rowan Ave
Paint bucket on roof needs to be
S. Yadkin Ave @ 4th Street
Make sure construction equipment is put
away or nicely parked, not strewn everywhere.
155.045 INTERSECTION VISIBILITY.
To insure safe sight
distances where streets intersect and where driveways
intersect streets a minimum clear vision area shall be
provided. On a corner lot in residential and/or
business districts, there shall be no obstruction to
vision by structures, grade or foliage other than power
or utility poles between a height of three feet and a
height of ten feet, measured above the average elevation
of the existing surface of each street at the
(`94 Code, App. C, Art. VI, § 6)
eMail from LDM
The Historic Preservation
Commission held a Volunteer Cleanup Day this past
Saturday, meeting residents, and surveyed the Town’s
Historic District Tour Area. Their notes are attached
tilted “HPC Survey”. We are not going to be able to gain
compliance by issuing all of these properties a
compliance order or a citation. We need to approach this
list with an “ALL HANDS ON DECK” to help our neighbors.
This is always the best approach. Some of these
residents might not even have a leaf blower, lawn mower,
hedge trimmer, or can lift some of the trash and debris
that is needed to be moved to the curb. We have an older
But, if we all pitch in and help
one, two or three neighbors each, it will all be done in
time for the October Tour. I mailed out 572 letters
notifying the community of the Tour and what measures
they can take to take pride in the Town and spruce up
their properties. TODAY and this past weekend, we have
seen people in their yards cleaning up that we have
never seen before while trying to enforce the codes.
These people Love Spencer, I have seen it all day long.
We are a small town and neighbors coming together to
help one another is what a small town is all about.
You don’t need anyone’s permission
from the Town to help anyone on this list. All I suggest
is approach the front door to the home, knock and greet
them as a neighbor. Offer to help them with whatever
items are on the list for their property and I’m sure it
will be welcomed. If not, let me know and Code
Compliance will introduce ourselves to them. The Public
Works Department is working a long list that we have
helped create for them as well as picking up all of the
trash that we have encouraged the community to put out.
So, I have limited resources to ask them to do anymore.
With that said, anyone can weed the planters along S.
Salisbury Ave. Don’t remove any plants, but you are
welcome to remove the weeds. I’d suggest putting them in
a garbage bag. If you leave the bag by the planter near
an intersection or bring it to Town Hall and tell us
where it’s at, we’ll get it picked up.
Pruning the trees on S. Salisbury
Ave needs to be done by Public Works since there is an
ordinance on the protection of those trees. I’ll ask
them to raise the trees up from the bottom to an 8’
clearance for the sidewalk and vehicle parking so it’s
The time you take to help your
neighbor will be returned to you and our town ten-fold.
That is why I believe this is the best approach. Thank
you in advanced for helping out with this endeavor.
Please be sure to text me which
properties that you take care of so that I can direct
volunteers to the other properties. I would suggest
starting as soon as tomorrow. I’m forwarding this
message to the Town Board, HPC, Advisory Boards, and
some citizens in the community that I know are willing
to help. Please forward it to anyone you can think of
that will put on some gloves, crank up the mowers and
help their neighbor.
Have a blessed evening!
Troy D. Powell, MPA, CZO, HCO
Land Management Department / Parks & Recreation
32.40 COMMISSION POWERS.
(G) Enter, solely in performance of its official duties and only
at reasonable times, upon private lands for examination or survey
However, no member, employee or agent of the Commission may enter
any private building or structure without express
consent of the owner or occupant thereof;
The Salisbury Post article reporting what
happened and public comments
on September 14, 2016 by Reporter Amanda
Email the author
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016
In other business, the board:
Heard reports from different departments and the town
manager. Town Manager Reid Walters said Carolina Thread is
helping the town build a trail between Spencer Woods and the
Eighth Street Park. Oct. 1 and 22 have been scheduled as
work days for the project. Anyone interested in helping can
meet the workers at the Eighth Street Park at about 9 a.m.
on those two days.
Held public comment.
Dan Patterson talked about the need
for fixing sidewalks around town and cutting back bushes so
that people could safely walk on the sidewalks.
July 16, 2016
According to the meeting agenda,
asked that the board consider the conditional use of golf
carts on Spencer streets.
Boone said in an email that many Spencer residents own golf
carts and some have said they wanted to be able to drive
them in the streets legally. He said he wanted to be sure
the rest of the board was in agreement about the subject,
and also wanted to hear advice from the police chief.
“I personally believe golf cart travel is good for a small
community as it is a ‘green’ form of transportation and the
people that ride them tend to stop and talk with their
neighbor, meet at our restaurants, shop local, thereby
making our town a tighter knit community,” he wrote in an
During our crusade we cleaned yards, cut many deadly
rotten and ant infested limbs, mowed a
dozen yards and many vacant lots. We used our UTV during this time.
We parked it on the sidewalk
and used it as a clearance tool to trim literally dozens of overhanging
limbs and bushes
that did not meet code.
eMail to Aldermen on
Historic District stop signs and
30 days after original vehicle
Read this very close
I have had a very interesting past couple
of weeks performing a public service that certainly should have
been shared by both home owners and the Town of Spencer. I
certainly want to thank our interim Town Manager and the Public
Works Manager and his very busy staff. They have been very
prompt in responding to my requests. Due to the workload of
doing what we have been doing: clearing sidewalks, stop sign
clearance work and clearing vegetation from roadways and
sidewalks. It is also obvious that the town has a long way to
go. I certainly hope the town board and manager continue to
support these efforts because our visitors & pedestrians
deserve better. The trees and shrubs and vegetation is
still growing. I hope others in the town would take on this
work in their own areas.
It has also become
obvious to me that our town mayor has been very lax in his
leadership in many ways and has to date been unable to lead the
town and leaders to a cohesiveness of one mind that would help
beautify the town. The very stop signs and sidewalks
that we have been correcting, he has been walking and traveling
daily and has not got the work done. It is time for new
comments or complaints to town hall about the use of the
UTV. Just complaining about us illegally cutting
trees/brush on city R/W.
Pay attention to this:
Sent to me by the LMD:
Attention Town Board/Mayor/Town
owners in this town are totally confused as to who is
responsible to maintain the clearance on their sidewalks caused
by THEIR bushes/trees. I also have been of the
understanding that it was the responsibility of the Spencer
Public Works Department to clear all sidewalks to
The LMD/Code Enforcement
officers should immediately take a trip through town and walk
EVERY sidewalk and inform/instruct/enforce the ordinances that
pertain to sidewalk clearances. Do it now, do it in the
spring of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and forever.
The joggers and
pedestrians have the right to walk every sidewalk in town
without rubbing bushes.
Responsibility of Property Owner for Maintenance between
property line and edge of pavement
93.21 NUISANCES DECLARED.
(A) The following enumerated and described conditions
are hereby found, deemed and declared to constitute a
detriment, danger and hazard to the health, safety, morals
and general welfare of the inhabitants of the town and are
found, deemed and declared to be public nuisances wherever
the same may exist, and the creation, maintenance or failure
to abate the nuisances is hereby declared unlawful:
(1) Any condition which is a breeding ground or
harbor for mosquitoes or a breeding ground or harbor for
rats or other pests;
(2) A place of heavy growth of weeds or other
noxious vegetation over eight inches in height. This shall
include the area between a property line and the edge of
pavement of any abutting street, and to the centerline of
any abutting alleyway;
This same town officer told me I had NO right to haul dirt from my storage
on Third Street and fill
the low spots on the R/W on 5th. Street. He
was not legal. During this same time (July-October) I hauled 22 loads
of dirt in my UTV to fill/seed/straw on town R/Ws.
eMail I sent to town hall on 7/17/2018
and NO ONE repaired broken concrete or hauled dirt to fill areas
four inches lower than sidewalk and curb.
Public Works Manager,
Rev. Thomas McDonald, Pastor, CrossLife
Church of Spencer
With the startup of a new church in
Spencer at the location of the 1st.
Baptist Church location, I noticed
these three public safety
issues while pruning the hedges:
There is chunk of concrete missing and
two open grassy areas out front that need to be filled to top of
curbing and sidewalks to insure no turned ankles.
Also please verify the trash pickup day
for the church and if containers are picked up at rear of church
at parking lot or the street side.
Mayor Gobbel informed me that the dirt
hauled and seeding/strawing
done on street R/W in photo below was not legal.
eMail to all Aldermen on 7/5/2018
You all knew what I was doing and
had the approval of the
town manager. NO one complained about the use of my UTV
> I had an informative meeting with our
town manager, land manager and
> street maintenance manager this week.
We were able to discuss many
> concerns I have pertaining to streets,
rights of way and dead
> dangerous trees and limbs. We
discussed possible remedies, options
> and priorities. I am attaching
another link to a video I would like
> you to view. I would appreciate your
support in discussing all of these issues with Mr. Smith.>
> I also think the town needs to proceed
with updating the town code to
> get us out of the 1950s. Create code
that will place daily fines
> sooner for chronic violators of all
the codes. IE: (Tall grass and
> property owners maintaining the road
rights of way and removing dead
> and dangerous trees.)
Letter to Aldermen
Since 1991 I have been sending pictures of poor
conditions around Spencer to the Town Manager/Board of Aldermen.
I submitted many photos again a month ago that depicted the
condition of the streets and sidewalks in Spencer. I have
included photos today taken today of some of the same locations
and street conditions. One photo is of the perfectly groomed
Library Park and one of debris that washes up onto the grass
along 4th. St. each time we have a heavy rain. I
have brought this to the attention of the town/town manager
(Larry Smith) for a very long time. When this high water
condition exists my renters cannot get out of their vehicles nor
can the folks attending the church. Some of the photos
show sidewalks that are not safely passable. The
other photos show streets in front of my properties that my
pickup will not pass without scraping the bed topper. Another
photo is of a location just off 7th. Street that my
topper touches and also my 13.5 foot tall RV cannot pass.
These issues are brought up to the town EVERY year.
Other sidewalks along 3rd. Street are impassable now
and are each year. All these issues are repeat offenders and
need addressing NOW. Again I send photos this spring as well as
just a month ago. The Library Park & Salisbury Avenue have been
groomed FOUR times since my letter a month ago.
Areas belonging to the town should be handled/groomed the same
as is expected of the taxpayers. The town gives public offenders
ten days to fix problems and tomorrow is August 20th.
To insure safe sight distances where
streets intersect and where driveways intersect streets a
minimum clear vision area shall be provided. On a corner lot in
residential and/or business districts, there shall be no
obstruction to vision by structures, grade or foliage other than
power or utility poles between a height of three feet and a
height of ten feet, measured above the average elevation of the
existing surface of each street at the centerlines thereof.
(`94 Code, App. C, Art. VI, § 6)
Now for the reason why I have resurrected this entire story
and I feel like it needs to be brought to light. Town
official vehicle wreck last of June. Blinded stop sign and
refusal by town to fix the problem. Official commented "Be
part of fix and not the complainer". My wife and I take on
downtown/historic district using my own resources and UTV.
No UTV complaints. More than two months of hard work.
Hanging around contractors working on 4th. St. Storm Water
Project. Hauled bricks/materials for crew many times.
Allowed contractor the ability to store materials/spare dirt for
future use on my property to aid the job. Town/contractor
tied storm water culverts to my property drain lines which saved
the town of Spencer literally hundreds of thousands of
Might I mention that if the town would have listened to my
suggestions at town meeting dated
March 10, 2015:
SPENCER BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING MARCH 10, 2015 7:00 P.M.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Jody Everhart
Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Gobbel
Aldermen: Scott Benfield
4. PUBLIC HEARING – STORMWATER MANAGEMENT UTILITY
Mayor Everhart opened the public hearing.
Dan Patterson stated that repairs to the 4th Street area
infrastructure have been needed for over 20 years, and suggested
that water from Park Plaza could be routed down Yadkin Avenue to
his property rather than down Fourth Street.
Howard White, 501 Fourth Street, realizes there is a drainage
problem but would like more information about the ordinance. Bob
Oswald, 410 7th Street, thinks fees should vary according to the
value of the houses. W. F. Owen would prefer informal hearings
with dialogue with the Aldermen. Mayor Everhart closed the
The town only took my suggestion seriously when the
bids came in and it proved the town could not afford the
Might I mention that the
town DOES NOT have a legal agreement with me to make this tie in
and to dump millions of gallons of storm water on me.
Below is a small portion of a letter I sent to the town in 2002.
It cost me and my company $11,000.00+ to gather and carry tons
of storm water that almost exclusively from town streets.
The town should be appreciative for the use of my property.
But all I get is a big slap in the face.
|Here is the issue. At the December 2018 Spencer Board of
Aldermen meeting there was discussion by Mayor Gobbel about the
power bills were $5,000.00 a month. Which I find out was not
true. I retrieved reports from town hall that states the most
expensive bills were only $1,400.00. I held the mayor
accountable and proved he was spreading untruths. He and his
crew rebelled and began to complain to town hall that my actions and
UTV use was not legal.
Now tell me this:
1) Why have I been allowed for six years to use my UTV on city
2) All of a sudden Danny is above the law. Danny is
I hold the mayor accountable for his comments and he and crew and
a few aldermen go ballistic and start
3) The discussion during the
January 2019 meeting was not a discussion it was a slap in the face.
Chillcott speaks out with no discussion but reads the NC law
as to golf carts. Might I remind all of you when Ms. Chillcott
was code enforcement officer she rode thorough the town in my UTV
looking at code violations. She did not ask me about the
legality of my UTV.
5) Alderman Boone
had some discussion and spoke about others town who allow UTVs.
He said earlier when discussing "allowing golf cars" In a
Salisbury Post article of July 16, 2016 Mr. Boone said: "
July 16, 2016
According to the meeting agenda,
Alderman Mike Boone
asked that the board consider the conditional use of golf carts on
Boone said in an email that many Spencer residents own golf carts
and some have said they wanted to be able to drive them in the
streets legally. He said he wanted to be sure the rest of the
board was in agreement about the subject, and also wanted to hear
advice from the police chief.
“I personally believe golf cart travel is good for a small community
as it is a ‘green’ form of transportation and the people that ride
them tend to stop and talk with their neighbor, meet at our
restaurants, shop local, thereby making our town a tighter knit
community,” he wrote in an email.
Alderman Boone was
He offered a solution for golf cart owners.........
so blinded by hate and red eyed DID NOT allow any other real
supportive comments by any aldermen. He was not
toward local businesses or individuals.
IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ANY OTHER RESIDENT OR BUSINESS OWNER Mayor
Gobbel would have offered at least to pass the discussion onto the
Planning Board for research and discussion. That would have
been PROACTIVE. Mayor Gobbel led his cohorts Boone and
Chillcott down a VINDICTIVE road and slammed the door in my face.
By the way Gobbel Gate also slammed the door in the face of
future business prospects, tax payers, the North Carolina
Transportation Museum and North Rowan High School.
until there is a
to things that
Let me give you a few other words that mean
the same thing.
Down to business
Taking the initiative
2007 ? I believe
This statement made to the Salisbury Post is in so many words the
same sentiment of every alderman in the past 30 years before
If elected to the mayor’s spot, Gobbel says he hopes to focus on
the appearance of residential and commercial areas,
attract business to the town,
support the N.C. Transportation Museum, maintain communication with
state legislators and create a more cohesive environment in Spencer.
“If elected mayor, I will offer a
proactive leadership approach,
fueled by a personal desire and commitment to serve the town of
Spencer,” he said. “I would be honored to continue serving Spencer
as mayor. There’s plenty of work to do.”
He said the city needs to strengthen building codes that are
currently ineffective, seek innovative methods to be
and partner with neighboring municipalities on initiatives to
improve the quality of life in Spencer.
Well Mr. Mayor your goals have certainly
changed and have turned to anti-business
anti-citizen participation. The support of NCTM is a
joke. Being PROACTIVE and the Board/Planning Board taking
control and contacting our legislators is a joke. You
could have just as well passed it to the Planning Board.
Vindictiveness was your
your partners plan. Your foul mouthed approach to
conversations at meetings have caused many cheap seat tax payers
to not visit board meetings. You have said "Your opinion
don't count." Your leadership has caused dissention among
all employees and board members.
An audio of the Town
Aldermen meeting for December 2018
can be heard by clicking on below link.
Turn up your speaker volume and listen closely.
The more we knee jerk
more we stay the