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.


§ 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 centerlines thereof.

(`94 Code, App. C, Art. VI, § 6)

WE FOLLOWED THE LETTER OF THE LAW.


 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the approach looks like now.

 

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 Street.  That
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 you abreast 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 bushes.

 

 

SURVEY COMPLETED BY HPC

 

Address

Concern Noted

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, StreetSide

411 S. Carolina Ave

Grass

413 S. Carolina Ave

Grass

500 S. Carolina Ave

General Yard and Trash Cleanup

502, 506, 508 S. Carolina Ave

Grass, Bushes, Weeds, Trash, Headboard on Porch

503 5th Street

General Porch and Yard Cleanup

419 S. Spencer Ave

Tarp on Carport, Carport Trash Cleanup, Yardwork

S. Spencer @ 5th Street

Yucca bush too large, spilling into StreetSide – cut back

521 S. Spencer Ave

Grass

S. Spencer Ave @ 6th Street

Mowing & Edging Needed

511 7th Street

Unkept Property, Bushes, Grass, Horrible looking

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 leaf blowing

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

Grass

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

Bush Cleanup

700 S. Salisbury Ave

Abandoned Work Scaffold been there for months, grass too tall

Police & Town Hall

General Yard Grooming

Pinocchio’s Planters

Need Weeding and Trimming

Bank Park Plaza

Rock cleanup on sidewalk where damaged, trip hazard

Downtown Crepe Myrtles

All downtown need trimming, too low to walk on sidewalk. 8’ Clearance required by code.

Family Dollar

General weeding and mulch is needed in planter beds, irrigation is exposed from erosion of yard materials.

Beebops

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 removed

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 centerlines thereof.

(`94 Code, App. C, Art. VI, § 6)


eMail from LDM

 

Good Afternoon,

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 community.  

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 uniformed.  

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

 

Director| Land Management Department / Parks & Recreation

 


 

Bookmark§ 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 thereof. 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 Raymond.

By Amanda Raymond

Email the author | twitter

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, Alderman Mike Boone 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 email.

 

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 7/30/2018

Historic District stop signs and sidewalks

30 days after original vehicle accident

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 leadership. 

Dan Patterson

 


NO 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 Manager/LDM

Individual property 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 Code/Ordinances requirements.


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 said it 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.

 

Town Manager,

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.

 

Thanks

Dan Patterson

 

SO I DID.............................Photos below

 


 

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

 Aldermen,

>

> 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.)

 

Dan Patterson


Letter to Aldermen  8/20/2013

2013

 

Hello everyone,

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

 

 


§ 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 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 dollars.


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

Mike Boone

 Kevin Jones

 Jeff Morris

 Reid Walters


 

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 public hearing.


The town only took my suggestion seriously when the bids came in and it proved the town could not afford the proposed plans.

  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 streets?

2)  All of a sudden Danny is above the law.  Danny is evil....

I hold the mayor accountable for his comments and he and crew and a few aldermen go ballistic and start vindictive actions.

3)  The discussion during the January 2019 meeting was not a discussion it was a slap in the face.

4)  Alderman 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 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 email.

Alderman Boone was PROACTIVE.......................  He offered a solution for golf cart owners.........

6)  Vindictive Mayor Gobbel so blinded by hate and red eyed DID NOT allow any other real supportive comments by any aldermen.  He was not PROACTIVE 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.

Proactive:   intending or intended to produce a good result or avoid a problem, rather than waiting until there is a problem:

taking action to make changes yourself rather than reacting to things that happen:

  Let me give you a few other words that mean the same thing.

1)      Visionary

2)      Preemptive

3)      Insightful

4)      Farseeing

5)      Forward-looking

6)      Positive

7)      Down to business

8)      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 elected.

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 more business friendly 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 motive and 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.

Click Here!!

 

 

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The more we knee jerk the

 more we stay the same