Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Michael Barnes letter: What I did and did not do

From Michael Barnes, at-large member of the Charlotte City Council. This letter will appear on Wednesday's Charlotte Observer Opinion page: 

Recent articles in the Charlotte Observer regarding my work as the Charlotte City Council District 4 representative and Twin Peeks nightclub have compelled me to clearly state what I did and did not do. As detailed planning and other work on the Blue Line Extension light rail project got underway in 2012, a number of businesses along the corridor – from a hardware store to a bakery - began contacting me because of the impact the project would have on their businesses. They were generally concerned about limited access, limited visibility or the complete demolition of their businesses. Put simply, the business owners were concerned about whether the work on the light rail project would put them out of business.

My actions on behalf of all those businesses were the same. I tried to develop an understanding of the problems and I then asked our staff to contact the businesses to determine whether there were any solutions to their problems. Sometimes we were able to provide better access to the businesses. Sometimes we were able to provide supplemental signage. In the case of Twin Peeks, I was told by our staff that the timetable for the light rail project did not leave any options for keeping that business open. I then asked our staff to discuss that with the business owner and my work ended there. I never pressured or persuaded our staff to arrive at any particular conclusion or to do anything special for Twin Peeks or any other business. I asked our staff to contact the businesses, develop an understanding of the scope of the problems and determine whether there was anything we could do to help.

My conduct was consistent with what I believe almost all elected officials strive to do for their constituents. Whether it has been a concern about a neighbor’s tall grass, a broken street light, a pothole or in this case, the light rail’s impact on businesses, since 2005 I have always made an effort to lawfully assist people when I can.

8 comments:

carolina autobrokers said...

Michael, sure, we believe you How much cash did he slide under the table. Did he buy you furniture as well. Did you return his donations? Probably will now, but it is a little late.

deepenwide said...

"I then asked our staff to discuss that with the business owner and my work ended there."
That a boy, throw the hired help under the bus.

Unknown said...

Still waiting for Barnes to release his client list for the "lighting" company, or the Observer to put someone on it. This should be a very interesting read.
Would also like to see why Cannon was so pleased to get keys to a condo! The Feds have all his actions on video and audio, but since the taxpayers paid for this, shouldn't we get to see it for entertainment value?

Larry said...

We are just going to have to stop making folks feel uncomfortable, so they can get back to the business of doing what they did before in Charlotte/Mecklenburg.

No matter who is in office the same things will just go on and on as the major players deem it so.

Hoagie58 said...

Funny, I'm still waiting for a reply to the email I sent Michael Barnes FIVE years ago. I suppose that since I don't own a business, I should have known better.

TRUCKIE said...

I'm a little confused. Doesn't the City Manager direct subordinates to do work on behalf of the city. How do council members direct staff to do the work??

Cornelia said...

I would like to know more about that lighting company, too. Since it was a minority vendor, I am surprised it wasn't awash with government work. Seems odd that it couldn't make a go of it, with such well connected owners.
Wonder if Cannon planned to set his feminine hygiene company up as a minority vendor to serve some government entity?

Cornelia said...

I would like to know more about that lighting company, too. Since it was a minority vendor, I am surprised it wasn't awash with government work. Seems odd that it couldn't make a go of it, with such well connected owners.
Wonder if Cannon planned to set his feminine hygiene company up as a minority vendor to serve some government entity?