Oct 242015
 

Weddington corruption

Last week the man behind curtain of Weddington’s Bill Deter re-election campaign bought a full-page advertisement in the local weekly paper. The title of his “editorial” was  “The darkest day in Weddington History!” How ironic, considering backroom workings of the author.

If you’ve been observing politics in Union County as long as I have, you would know the darkest day in Weddington, was the day the current Town Council broke faith with the citizens of Weddington and terminated without cause, the 10 year fire service contract with the Providence Volunteer Fire Department, who had served Weddington for more 60 years. (There is more intrigue to this story.)

The campaign advertisement’s reference to the “Darkest Day” concerned the baseless accusation that Council member Pam Hadley had shared billing invoices for legal services with the Providence VFD. A great kerfuffle was raised at the October meeting, which was just an orchestrated attack weeks before the election.  They even tried to interpret a nod of Hadley’s head as an admission of quilt. (Seriously folks, Weddington’s  kangaroo court is in session)

FACT OR BALONEY:

The simple fact is that “Billing” invoices are Public Record and withholding them is breaking the North Carolina’s SunShine laws. The following article in the EJ covers parts of the issue.

Firefox_Screenshot_2015-10-24T20-43-06.953Z

Click Image to Read Article

 

Amanda Martin, an attorney who specializes in media law in North Carolina, said legal bills sent from a law firm to a town or the republic agency ordinarily are public.

However, some of the information that contains legal advice can be redacted but the remainder of the bill should be provided, she said.

The following publications concerning “Public Records” from the Attorney General’s office and the UNC School of Government is a great reference.

AG-open-government-booklet-4-8-08

public_records_overview

COVER-UP

In reading the “Campaign Advertisement” it is VERY clear that a cover-up  was in fact, what was behind the effort of Town Council-members who attacked Pam Hadley over the billing invoices and worked with “other parties” to break PVFD Fire Service Contract. It is apparent that Bill Deter in his quest for re-election was determined to keep the No. 1 issue of the breaking the PVFD service contract ($750.000) and the Weddington taxpayers gift to Wesley Chapel VFD by selling the Hemby Road fire station on the cheap ($750,000, a $173,000 discount), and hundreds of thousands in legal fees from influencing voters. The diversionary attacks on the opposition candidates (Hadley, Propst and Weaver), accusing them of supporting commercial development just about every is just a flim-flam, knowing that most voters are not educated in the permitting process, so they are ripe for panic voting.

We will have to wait for the lawsuit to reveal the truth in court, but know that as long has the current board remains the majority rule in Weddington, the backroom government will remain in power.

Voters, educate yourselves, call the candidates and ask them questions.

Don’t nod off, someone might accuse you of being honest.

 Posted by at 6:14 pm
Jul 312015
 

After 61 years and a coveted ISO 4 rating, Providence Volunteer Fire Department went out on its last call a few minutes before midnight Tuesday.

A hundred or more supporters, neighbors and fellow firefighters met in the Hemby Road station late that evening for closing ceremonies. Last week a judge ordered Providence out of the station before July 29. Weddington residents talked about their outrage, campaign promises new and old and legal action. PVFD fire fighters showed real grief as their last moments of employment with the department hurried along.

Chief Kenny Schott was absent from the activity in the department’s main bay for most of the evening. He was pacing around while on his cell phone or standing away from the crowds to smoke a morale-boosting cigarette.

PVFD board members Jack Parks, John Houston and Scott Robinson greeted people as they arrived. Their brief smiles faded into a concerned frown when asked what was next for the department. (continued)

Read full story at the Enquirer Journal — PVFD answers its last call

 Posted by at 8:05 am  Tagged with:
Jun 132015
 

New developments have occurred in the Providence VFD lawsuit, filed earlier this month against the Town of Weddington over the town’s wrongful termination of its 10 year Fire Service Contract. According to the EJ story, the PVFD has petitioned the court to include testimony from many of the principal actors involved with the decision on the town council as well as former the mayors and council members. Additionally, members of the Wesley Chapel VFD board of directors has been requested to be deposed.

The money quote from the story below:

“The Petitioner anticipates bringing a cause of action for injunctive relief and for tortious interference by Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, its officers, employees and agents (WCVFD) with Petitioner’s contract more specifically described as the Fire Service Agreement between the PVFD and the Town of Weddington”

Considering the language used above, the fireworks may just be starting.

Please note the excellent coverage of the story by the Enquirer Journal, please encourage continued coverage.

PVFD lawsuit expanded to include Wesley Chapel VFD, mayor

The Enquirer Journal:  Jun. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 PM
WEDDINGTON — There were two developments in Weddington’s controversial move to terminate its fire service agreement with Providence Volunteer Fire Department and contract with Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.The breach of contract suit filed last week was expanded to include statements by several people both in and outside Weddington government. And the N.C. Department of Insurance responded to WCVFD’s action plan for taking over service of Weddington.The April town council vote began a process that will likely cause Providence VFD to close on or before July 29, the date the new FSA with Wesley Chapel VFD takes effect. Not only does the council’s action strip Providence of its service area and revenue stream, it also sells the town-owned fire station on Hemby Road Providence inhabits to Wesley Chapel VFD.
The Providence VFD Board of Directors filed a breach of contract suit with the Union County Clerk of Court against Weddington. The complaint cited the 2013 FSA between the town and Providence. Mayor Bill Deter stated publicly that the town’s action was justified because Providence VFD was insolvent. He cited a budgetary shortfall for the current fiscal year and a fund balance lower than the council understood was necessary to operate.

But the FSA does not include the financial criteria cited by the mayor and a majority of town council members. Providence’s attorney, Bob Henderson, argued that the town violated the FSA and should pay the $750,000 for cancellation without cause.

Thursday, the lawsuit was updated to include a petition to depose 19 people. The plaintiff requests permission to take sworn statements from all current members of the Weddington council – Deter, Barbara Harrison, Don Titherington, Pamela Hadley and Michael J. Smith. It requests a statement from Leslie Gaylord, Weddington’s finance officer. Former mayors Walker Davidson and Nancy Anderson are listed, as are former Weddington Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Barry, retired Union County Fire Marshall Neal Speer and former town administrator Amy McCollum.

But the request goes further. It calls for depositions of WCVFD Chief Steven McLendon, WCVFD Board President Charles Rohland, WCVFD Boardmember Andrew Stallings, former board member Harold “Butch” Plyler, Union County Emergency Services Director Curtis Teague, Union County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Helms, Providence VFD firefighter Kenneth Lankford and Tim McGrath who authored the 2014 study that stated Weddington would need to raise taxes to fund its FSA with Providence.

“The Petitioner anticipates bringing a cause of action for injunctive relief and for tortious interference by Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, its officers, employees and agents (WCVFD) with Petitioner’s contract more specifically described as the Fire Service Agreement between the PVFD and the Town of Weddington dated October 13, 2013 for a ten (10) year term and with an option for PVFD to extend for an additional five (5) years,” the document states. “Despite the full compliance of PVFD with its obligations under the FSA, the FSA was terminated by Weddington Town Council by its vote at a special meeting held on or about April 28, 2015.”

At that same special meeting, the council voted to award an FSA to WCVFD and now seeks to evict PVFD from the Hemby Road Station for use as a WCVFD substation.

“PVFD desires to establish testimony as to the communications, representations and inducements that may have been made to the Weddington Town Council resulting in the termination of the FSA and the consummation of a new FSA between the Town of Weddington and WCVFD,” it states.

The request summarizes the plaintiff’s reasons for calling each individual. It alleges that officials from Weddington, Union County and WCVFD were involved in a “scheme” to switch from Providence to WCVFD, to the direct benefit of WCVFD.

State reviews action plan, asks for changes

Thursday, NCDOI Inspections Supervisor Davie Summey replied to Teague about WCVFD’s written plan outlining how it would take over service of Weddington’s municipal fire district.

Summey outlines five issues with the plan that must be corrected before the NCDOI can approve the plan. The action plan refers to a combined insurance district. But Weddington is a separate municipal district and to merge it into the volunteer fire district of Wesley Chapel VFD would require the town to give authority over the area back to Union County.

The plan also omitted the land in PVFD’s service area that would be excluded from WCVFD’s coverage. Summey wrote that the plan must also consider how the county will provide fire service there as well.

Weddington’s contract with Stallings VFD is also absent from the plan. Summey asked if WCVFD will cover parts of Weddington that is now covered by Stallings VFD or if the county has a different method of fire service there.

Summey also cited the need for consistent map accuracy throughout the plan and an analysis of needed fire flows for any of the district changes.

“If all the information in the revised plan is accurately in place and verified by onsite inspections that will be done, it could be possible for the areas in question to get the rating carried by Wesley Chapel of 6/9 E until a new rating can be conducted on the entire area,” Summey wrote. “With this said the current rating of 4/9E for Providence Insurance District, 4 for Weddington Insurance District would be downgraded to a 6/9E for the current Providence Insurance District and a 6 for the Weddington Insurance District.

Read more: PVFD lawsuit expanded to include Wesley Chapel VFD, mayor | The Enquirer Journal

 Posted by at 11:45 pm
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