Monthly Archives: June 2014

TOWN OF MATTHEWS v. WRIGHT – HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOUR PROPERTY WAS BEING CONDEMNED FOR THE “WELL CONNECTED”?

Home Place picture 1

Home Place picture sign court case listings

Do not forget to click on the light blue links to the documentation.  There is a lot of information and an absolute must read is Mrs. Wrights affidavit, former Police Chief Ronnie Morris affidavit and emails.  For those of you with questions I will do my best to answer.   Please remember to tell your friends and neighbors of MATTHEWS WATCH.  Thank You

Home Place is a quiet little dead end street with eight homes abut and leads to the private drive of Lester and Virginia (Ginger) Wright.  Along the Wrights private drive  are neighbors Marty & Marcie Kelso, Laurie Jamieson, Paul & Karen Jamison, Richard & Eleanor Morris and Stuart & Erin Wernikoff.   Paul Jamison serves on the Economic Development Advisory Committee of Matthews, Richard  and Eleanor Morris are friends with Mayor Jim Taylor, neighbor of Commissioner Joe Pata and past neighbor and still friend of Commissioner Kress Query and Stuart Wernikoff is Mayor Taylor’s physician.    Home Place Photo

For twenty years Lester and Ginger Wright of 1115 Home Place have been fighting for their property rights.  The Town of Matthews has been trying to obtain 1/2 acre of their property claiming it belongs to the town.  The Wrights have been in twenty-two courts, three times to the North Carolina Court of  Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court over “Whether Home Place was a public street.” Most people do not have the time or the resources for a battle such as this, but they stood up to Matthews and won.   There have been accusations made of  the Wrights blocking Home Place when there is no evidence to prove any threat ever being made.  In fact, the Wrights have given all neighbors permissive use of their private drive.   The Wrights have won every court ruling and so in their last ditch effort on April 8, 2013 Mayor Jim Taylor and Commissioners Jeff Miller, Paul Bailey, Suzanne Gulley, Nancy Moore, John Urban and Kress Query all voted in support of the condemnation of Home Place.                Resolution on Home Place 

The homes that were built along Home Place are part of the Davinmor Development.  The grantors are Richard & Eleanor Morris and Robert & Alice Vincent.  The Morris’s still live off Home Place and have endorsed Commissioner Kress Query, financially supported Mayor Taylor and Commissioner Joe Pata, donated $50,000.00 to the Town Hall/Library and $7,500.00 for library furnishings.  The problem occurred when the Davinmor Development was first being built across the Wrights private drive.   During the construction of these five homes the required road access was not provided for which is required by the subdivision ordinance of Mecklenburg County.  The grantor of the Davinmor Development broke subdivision laws of Mecklenburg County and North Carolina.  In Mecklenburg County and Matthews you cannot sell lots that are not abutting a public street and all subdivisions must be recorded with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds.  Davinmor is an unrecorded and unapproved plat on the 1978 Davinmor Survey there is no seal from the Register of Deeds of Mecklenburg County.  North Carolina is a “pure race” state if it is not recorded than it does not exist.                Support – Endorsements – Donations

1978 Davinmor Survey

North Carolina General Statue §136-102.6                                                                          Compliance of subdivisions streets with minimum standards of the Board of Transportation required of developers.                                                                                                 ” (a) The owner of a tract or parcel of land which is subdivided from and after October 1, 1975, into two or more lots, building sites, or other divisions for sale or building development for residential purposes, where such subdivision includes a new street or the changing of an existing  street, shall record a map or plat of the subdivision with the register of deeds of the county in which the land is located.  The map or plat shall be recorded prior to any conveyance of a portion of said land, by reference to said map of plat.”

N.C Gen. Stat. §153A-334

With no legal access no one is able to sell their homes.  These lots were sold with a reserved thirty foot access strip on the western and southern sections of the property for ingress and egress.  Would not the solution to this problem be to require the grantors to build the very road that was required from the start?  Instead of holding the grantors the Morris’s and Vincent’s accountable in correcting this wrong the town is attacking the Wright family.   Town Attorney Charles Buckley 12-10-2007

NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 1961 SESSION CHAPTER 203 HOUSE BILL 322             Sec. 6.  Penalties for Transferring Lots in Unapproved Subdivision.                                                           “If the Board of County Commissioners of Mecklenburg County adopts an ordinance regulating the subdivision of land as authorized herein, any person who, being the owner or agent of the owner of any land located within the platting jurisdiction defined in Section 1, therefore transfers or sells such land by reference to a plat showing a subdivision of such land before such plat has been approved by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, and recorded in the office of the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds, shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor.  Mecklenburg County through its county attorney, or other official designated by the board of county commissioners, may enjoin such transfer or sale by action for injunction.”

On April 8, 2013 Mayor Taylor and Commissioners Jeff Miller, Paul Bailey, Suzanne Gulley, Nancy Moore, John Urban and Kress Query voted unanimously to condemn the Wrights property.  On March 11, 2014 Judge Donald Bridges ruled in favor of the Wrights stating the Town of Matthews as being  “Arbitrary and Capricious” in the taking of Home Place.  To condemn property there must be a public purpose,  we were told by Matthews the condemnation was for the “opening, widening, extending or improving roads streets, alleys and sidewalks”  when in fact there were no plans for any improvements to be made on Home Place as stated by Town Manager Hazen Blodgett.                                            Blodgett Deposition – Condemnation 

With this new ruling in closed session our new leadership has decided to appeal and return to the March 25, 1985 Resolution which has already been ruled in 2006 Wright I as “void”.   Matthews is claiming Home Place was dedicated through this resolution in 1985.  The Wrights have always claimed Home Place had never been dedicated.  The State of North Carolina Department of Transportation has even supported there is no documentation of Home Place ever being owned by the State of North Carolina or being maintained by the state.  *see page 10*         March 25, 1985 Resolution

Every year for more than thirty years the Town of Matthews has renewed the contract with Town Attorney Charles Buckley with the residents incurring this bill.  I requested total amount spent by the town in pursuing the Wright case for twenty years and according to Matthews only four years of financial cost can be accounted for stating “per the NC State Records and Retention and Disposition Schedule and the Town’s Retention Schedule invoices are destroyed after three years”.  Within the four years that can be accounted for the Town of Matthews has spent in fiscal year 2010-2011 $13,513.50, 2011-2012 $6,063.00, 2012-2013 $30,983.81 and 2013-20014 $40,180.11 which comes to a grand total of $90,740.42.  How much more taxpayer dollars are going to be thrown at this?  Even though we have a contract with Town Attorney Charles Buckley the Town of Matthews has now hired the Law Firm of Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein of Charlotte to continue with this fiasco.  It is not the responsibility of the residents of Matthews to pay for this civil matter. And Matthews has no business being involved in civil matters.               Town Attorney Contract – Charles Buckley

The odds of citizens winning in eminent domain cases are only 2% and the Wrights have beaten the odds.  To better understand the history of Home Place I think Mrs. Wrights affidavit explains it best.    Mrs. Wrights Affidavit

In Mrs. Wright affidavit she describes her experience of being escorted out of the Town Hall.  Former Police Chief Ronnie Morris describes his instruction from Town Attorney Charles Buckley.       Police Chief Ronnie Morris Affidavit   So let me get this straight, we have a street being named after Mr. Buckley and Matthews can condemn a WWII Veterans farm and then not hold up to the agreement of naming rights.  What’s wrong with this picture?

DEPOSITIONS –                                                                                                                                       Deposition of Mayor James Patrick Taylor –  Deposition Mayor Taylor    

Deposition of Town Manager Harley Hazen Blodgett III Deposition Hazen Blodgett

Deposition Ralph Messera of Public Works – Deposition Ralph Messera

Commissioners Jeff Miller, Kress Query and former Commissioners Nancy Moore, Suzanne Gulley, Paul Bailey and John Urban were requested to give a Deposition they all claimed immunity.

COURT RULINGS

4-4- 2006 Wright v. Town of Matthews – WRIGHT I  

12-16-2008 Court of Appeals Town of Matthews v. Wright – WRIGHT II

8-16-2011 Court of Appeals Town of Matthews v. Wright – WRIGHT III

1-22-2013 Superior Court Town of Matthews v. Wright   In this ruling Judge Beal ordered an injunction against the Town of Matthews.

3-11-2014 JUDGMENT  Condemnation Judgment

Via email Judge Bridges sent a letter to attorneys stating his reasons for Condemnation Judgment    Email – Judge Bridges 

INFORMATION & DOCUMENTATION –                                                                                                Survey Cost  – Survey Cost

Letter written by Mrs. Wright to Board of Commissioners in the response to the towns NUNC PRO TUNC of the March 25, 1985 Resolution.   October 6, 2006 Wright Letter 

Whenever a street is dedicated there must be documentation.  Here is request for copy of “Certification of Dedicated Right-of- Way” of Home Place –                                                   Certification of Dedicated Right of Way

Article Charles Buckley 30 years – Article Town Attorney 30 years

On December 12, 2012 Mayor Taylor wrote a letter to the neighbors of Home Place.  The Wrights attorney Mr. Peter Juran responded.  12-12-2012 Taylor Letter & Response

EMAILS OF CONCERN – while every email is a concern these are just some that stood out more than the others.  Remember when there is more than one response you must start from the last page and scroll upward.  I think these emails speak for themselves. 

As you read all these emails pay attention to Mayor Taylor using his personal email account.  Email Taylor personal email account

In this email a resident of Matthews is being referred to as “odd” I find this very rude and inexcusable.  Even though this is public record MATTHEW WATCH will not print his name.  In my opinion Mayor Taylor owes him an apology.    Email odd guy comment – Taylor

What commitment does the Town of Matthews owe Mr. Jamison?   Email Jamison

Email Taylor game plan

Email Taylor personal email account 2

Email Moore-Wernikoff

Email Query-Pata

Email Gulley-Jamison

Email Taylor-Kelso

Email Taylor-Jamison-Kelso

ALL EMAILS SENT DURING THE CONDEMNATION OF HOME PLACE                                                         YOU WILL NOT SEE ONE SENT TO OR FROM THE WRIGHTS –  

Emails 27-50         Emails 51-100       Emails 101-151        Emails 152-201       Emails 202-250

On May 20, 2014 I sent via email a few questions to Mayor Taylor and all Commissioners.  Not one has been answered.

To Mayor Taylor –                                                                                                                                                    Is it normal practice for you to contact residents of Matthews and instruct them to contact all council members with their concerns?

Do you always refer to citizens as “odd” when they have the right to speak during Board of Commissioners Meetings?

To Mayor Taylor, Commissioners Miller & Query –                                                                    Besides the letter written by Attorney Mr. Peter Juran that is referenced in the emails, what threats have been made by Mr. & Mrs. Wright?

In a email from Paul Jamison , “We received a commitment from council that we would not be left behind on this issue.  I expect that commitment to be fulfilled.”  When has it become the Town’s responsibility to handle private matters and why are the residents of Matthews expected to incur this bill?

To Mayor Taylor, Commissioners Higdon, Melton, Miller, Pata, Ross and Query –                  Do you believe all residents of Matthews are to be represented equally and without bias?

Do you support special interests?

If a resident of Matthews is a friend, has endorsed you or has made contributions to your campaign do you feel they take precedence over other residents?

If someone has broken subdivision laws of Mecklenburg County and North Carolina, do you feel they should be held accountable? 

Town of Matthews Code of Ethics