There he goes again: "Positive voice" Van Dyk attacks Crowder | Citizen | Indy Week
INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, September 28, 2009

There he goes again: "Positive voice" Van Dyk attacks Crowder

Posted by on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM

District D challenger Ted Van Dyk, running as "A Positive Voice for Raleigh," went the negative route again over the weekend with an attack postcard aimed at, of all things, incumbent Councilor Thomas Crowder's good work with neighborhood leaders on the comprehensive plan.

Think of it as a kind of minor-league Swift Boating, where you try to undermine your opponent's strength (John Kerry's Vietnam service) by hinting darkly that if we only knew more about it, it woudn't be a strength.

So Crowder meets once a month with neighborhood folks, mostly (but not exclusively) neighborhood association and CAC leaders?

click to enlarge unknown.jpg
This is a good, small-d democracy thing that Crowder, a few years ago, dubbed the District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA). But in Van Dyk's telling, DDNA meetings are "invite-only"  (untrue; everyone is invited), with the false implication -- via pictures of a guy with his finger to his lips and another of a blurry "meeting" obviously intended to look like it was taken with a hidden camera -- that they are somehow a big secret.

A secret? Crowder's fellow council member Russ Stephenson burst out laughing when he heard that one. Because as Stephenson says, Crowder offers glowing accounts of the DDNA's activities from dawn to dusk and at every opportunity from a (televised) council session to a chance conversation on a street corner. No audience too big or small, in other words.

It's to the point, Stephenson joked, that he's a little tired of hearing about the vaunted DDNA.

Then there's the caption on the blurry-meeting photo: "Last-Minute Changes." Crowder, the postcard insinuates, "brought forward over 50 changes to the [comprehensive] plan, at the last minute, and after the public comment period was closed. Do you know what they are?"

Oooh, scary. Unless you understand that the public comment period closed in January, before the official public hearing in March that began the review process, which was wrapped up earlier this month. Last-minute changes? Well, there were a few, as there always are in these sorts of highly technical and detailed (380 pages worth) plans. But Crowder and the DDNA started work on the comp plan in January, held their own public forum in city council chambers in February -- big secret? -- and made a slew of recommendations that strengthened the plan in myriad ways.

What's the evidence of that statement? As Stephenson pointed out at a candidates debate last night, almost all of the DDNA's recommendations were incorporated into the plan, either by the planning department itself (which produced the initial draft unveiled in December), by the planning commission during its meetings in the spring and summer, or by the full Council when it reviewed a final draft in August and September.

Van Dyk got an earful from DDNA regulars at the debate, incidentally. Mary Belle Pate, the longtime chair of the Southwest CAC, was among them. She said the tradition of District D councilors meeting regularly with neighborhood leaders goes back to the '70s and the late (and highly esteemed) Councilor Miriam Block. "This is not some secret group," she told Van Dyk. "This is citizens."

To which Pate added a word of friendly advice: "A lot more people may understand what's going on than you realize, Ted."

The DDNA meets, fyi, on the third Saturday of every month at 8 am, usually in the community meeting room at the Whole Foods store on Wade Avenue. I'm not much for 8 am meetings, especially on Saturday, but I've been a few, and everyone is welcome. There's usually a speaker (the city manager, for example), and discussion of neighborhood concerns. Attendance varies from a dozen to 75, depending on the season and whether any issue is hot. There's also a DDNA listserv that anyone can join (link to it here) to get updates and meeting info, including minutes of past meetings.

Tags: , ,

Pin It

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Citizen

Twitter Activity


You those who dislike the gaming rooms..whether you have played in one or is your chose to play …

by ThisWorld on Sweepstakes gambling on the way out in NC? (Citizen)

Of course you can't give airtime to fringe conspiracy theorists, flat earthers, etc! People who can take a voluntary blessing …

by Michael Czeiszperger on In Raleigh: Hitler used ovens, Obama will use hospice to kill people like me. (Citizen)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation