EAST JOHN STREET UPDATE – On July 31, 2017 the NCDOT held a community meeting at Matthews Town Hall to provide an update on the widening of East John Street. During this meeting it was discussed that the traffic analysis performed by the NCDOT did not include the widening of US HWY 74 (project U-2509) and the McKee Road extension (project U-4713). During the August 14, 2017 Board of Commissioners meeting the Mayor and Commissioners approved that a letter be sent to Mr. Scott Cole of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) requesting a new traffic analysis study of all current road projects and to include NCDOT projects U-2509 and U-4713. The widening of East John Street has been in the planning for fifteen or more years. Citizens have always been lead to believe by the Town that the push to begin the project lie’s with the NCDOT, but according to a letter dated July 18, 2014 sent to the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) on behalf of the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) of Matthews, Paul Jamison who is chair of the EDAC stated “Therefore, EDAC recommends that the following projects in Matthews be given high priority and funded as soon as possible.” So, can you guess what street made the list? Yep…. East John Street and this letter was CC’d to Mayor Jim Taylor and Commissioners John Higdon, Jeff Miller, John Ross, Chris Melton and former Commissioner Kress Query. So I think the Town is also guilty in pushing the widening of East John Street. What is the CRTPO? In short, it is the CRTPO’s “responsibility to coordinate transportation policy for local governmental jurisdiction within the Charlotte Urbanized Area.” CRTPO ABOUT PAGE Just an FYI, Mayor Taylor is chair of the CRTPO which makes him a voting member and as a member has been well informed on the widening of East John Street. CRTPO MEMBER LISTING
With the Mayor and Commissioners approving the letter we have been lead once again to believe that they have come to the rescue when actually the community group known as Preserve Matthews has requested many times from our Town leadership that a new traffic analysis study be performed but this has fallen on deaf ears. Do you not find it interesting how all Board members have now boarded the train of “we stand with you” and have become more vocal and supportive? Isn’t it funny how an election year can change one’s mind. It is also very important to understand that the NCDOT works in Divisions. Division 10 covers Mecklenburg and Union County. Division 10 is Mr. Cole’s area and he is Deputy Division Engineer of the NCDOT. Many within Division 10 work closely with Matthews Planning Department, Public Works the Mayor and Commissioners so they know each other well. Do not be fooled when the town announces, we are working with the NCDOT or we are sending this or that to the NCDOT, this is all part of the game.
Also, I think you may find this interesting. Lat Purser E John St. Re-route Pretty much speaks for its self don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be nice if the Town treated the concerns of the all citizens who live in Matthews with the same respect? Here we have someone who does not even live in Matthews. I would like to point out that there is a citizen who is part of the Preserve Matthews movement, which I will not name for privacy reasons. This person has spent a tremendous amount of time in trying to preserve the history and small town feel of Matthews. So I find it very offensive and inappropriate for Mayor Taylor to degrade her for speaking up and trying to make a difference. Remember the Ridge Church email between Commissioner Chris Melton and Mayor Jim Taylor saying in email “I’d love to walk in on that meeting and see him say those things to my face.” And why is it that Commissioner Chris Melton always chimes in with Mayor Taylor? I think they need a reality check.
PRIVATE EMAIL ACCOUNTS, HERE WE GO AGAIN – What is public record? Public records are paper records, minutes of meetings, any hand written notes, reports, phone messages, maps, photographs, e-mail, spread sheets, audio and video recordings anything that has been received or created by a government agency pertaining to public business. According to North Carolina General Statute 132 Public Records pretty much anything unless there’s another law that state’s it is not and we all have the right to examine and obtain copies.
As we all know Paul Bailey is running for Mayor of Matthews now that Mayor Jim Taylor has dropped out. Through research I have discovered that Mr. Bailey has used his private Duke Energy email account to conduct town business and according to North Carolina General Statute 132 this is public record and anyone has the right to request copies. On Tuesday August 1, 2017 I sent in a Public Records request to our Town Clerk Lori Canapinno requesting all emails sent and received through Mr. Bailey’s Duke Energy email account from 2005 to 2013 that pertains to Town business. Mr. Bailey’s response was…
“I do not conduct any business other than Duke Energy business on my Duke email account. It is a violation of company policy and the law for me to do such. I will be immediately reporting this request to the Duke Energy Legal Department and Human Resources for their review and any further action.”
“I have no emails from any of my personal email accounts to provide for this request. Any Town business conducted has been through my former Town email account.”
I believe Mr. Bailey is a very smart guy so I was dumbfounded by his response. I think a very important character of being mayor is honesty and he has already blown that one to smithereens. A request to Duke Energy was sent and according to Duke Energy Ethics Office they have “initiated a review of Mr. Bailey’s email usage.” Its time for Mr. Bailey to man-up and take responsibility just as he did for his Facebook posting. Lying never gets anyone anywhere and in the end you always get caught. Needless to say there will be more to come on this topic.
Lastly I would like to be clear, by no means is this an endorsement for Commissioner Larry Whitley for Mayor.
For the month of October MATTHEWS WATCH will be posting a “Know Before You Vote” on the candidates running for Mayor and Board of Commissioners. Please help in spreading the word. MATTHEWS WATCH will be taking any question or questions you may have for the candidates. Please submit your question by September 15th. Also please be sure you make clear who the question is for. No names will be posted so that you may feel comfortable in asking your questions. Email address is…. firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send questions through the Contact page.
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