PatCarrGate: Open mouth, insert foot, repeat, repeat

Update 5/21/2010 - Watch the newest BD Production clip - EVICTED! The Movie - click here! Are you ready for the LGNA St. Patrick's Day Party Taliban Patrol? - click here

Like the elusive triple play in baseball, rarely does an investigative-style writer manage to score three outs on one story. But when that elusive moment arrives, we get down on our knees, place our heads reverently upon the keyboard, and quietly say, Ohmigod thank you for this great chance to rip someone a new butthole using their own words.

I want to say thank you to Lower Greenville NA's president Patricia Carr for giving me such an opportunity. In less than 24 hours, she has managed to dish out enough lies and disinformation to make up for all the pain and anguish that goes with being a community activist so worth the struggle. And thank you to modern technology for digital recording devices so small you have no idea anyone is even recording your conversation (just lean closer to my fountain pen, please).

 

The story started last evening, when Carr (photo) - with the assistance of World Piece cafe owner Rene Waters - evicted three members of the BelmontNA from what should have been a public meeting of the Lower Greenville NA.

Story #1 - The new LGNA bylaws, better than the old LGNA bylaws

BD and others mailed membership checks to LGNA on two occasions. Never heard from them, never saw the checks get cashed. So when we saw the meeting was going to take place in our neighborhood, we figured that was good reason to attend and pay our dues - again.

According to Carr, the LGNA's bylaws (which apparently are as secret as the President's Daily Briefing and as accurate as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) have been revised since being written in 1985 to allow the board to circumvent the association's original - and only - membership requirement ...

Article IV - The [Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association] shall have one class of members. The designation of such class shall be as follows: Residents of the area encompassed by the following streets: Mockingbird Lane, Greenville Avenue, Skillman Street, and Ross Avenue, all in the City of Dallas, Texas, excluding builders, businesses and mortgagees.

In order to restrict membership to only those people who the board deems worthy of such a blessing...

Article IV, subparagraph 1 - If an applicant for membership is named Avi S. Adelman, or is a member of the BelmontNA board of directors (which really does not exist), then their membership shall be held under advisement until Hell freezes over or Erykah Badu walks naked down Lower Greenville Avenue, whichever comes first.

According to Pat Carr,

No, you haven't joined the Association. You sent checks. However, our Board of Directors voted to put the matter under advisement because of your continued attacks on LGNA.

Which makes BD and others in the area wonder - Who approved these bylaws changes, and why are the bylaws not published? Every major association in the area (which does not include Lower Greenville West NA, aka Little LGNA) posts their bylaws on their websites (see Vickery Place NA's bylaws here and BelmontNA's here).

Story #2 - I said they were certainly welcome to stay and observe (Pat Carr)

In the Dallas Observer blog post - "The Future Is Hard to Determine" and Other Things Learned on Lower Greenville Last Night - Carr told the reporter ...

They were already there when I arrived, and I said they were certainly welcome to stay and observe, but I told them that we were having a vote and that they were not members so they couldn't vote. I invited them to stay as residents of the area, and that was not acceptable to Avi and Diana.

Carr did not know BD was wearing a semi-professional wire and digital recorder tucked in his - well, never mind where it was, he had one on. In the audiotape, you can clearly hear Carr speak (with an amazing interruption by the owner of the restaurant):

Pat Carr - This is a private function...

Avi Adelman - We're members. We've sent you our checks, and we live in the neighborhood. We have your bylaws.

PC - You have our bylaws?

AA - Yes, we live in your neighborhood, we are in your boundaries, we joined the association and we got the [Certified Mail] postcard.

PC - No, you haven't joined the Association. You sent checks. However, our Board of Directors voted to put the matter under advisement because of your continued attacks on LGNA.

AA - Your bylaws don't let you do that...

PC - Yes, they do...

AA - Do you something newer than the 1985 version I have?

PC - Oh sure.

AA - Okay, can I get a copy of them?

PC - Not tonight.

AA - No, but I would like to get a copy of them?

PC - I would like to ask you to leave and not make a scene.

BD - No. We are in a neighborhood association meeting. We are in the neighborhood even if we didn't join it ....

Rene (restaurant owner)- Avi, she booked the restaurant, the restaurant is sold to her. It's a private party, she paid for it. If she doesn't wish for you to be here, I'd prefer you left. And if you don't, I will call the police and ask them to remove you. It's not open to the public. It's a private party.

BD - We were invited ...

Diana Souza - We both received invitations [newsletters]. And we're members.

PC - No, you are not voting members of the Association. This meeting is for voting members. If you do want to be unpleasant..

BD - We were just going to sit here...

PC - You are being unpleasant by your presence, Avi. And you can do what you want but you are not part of this organization.

Carr and Rene clearly stated they wanted us to leave the restaurant immediately, under threat of arrest. Even after Rene threatened to call the police, Carr did not bat an eyelash. There was no misunderstanding of their intentions and there was definitely no invitation to hang around. They had no intention of letting any of our group sit,watch them vote, or contribute to the discussion.You can listen to the audio at this link.

Click here to read the BelmontNA version of this incident, written by the association's president.

LGNA has used the private party concept on a number of occasions when they want to keep people they don't like out of their events. In 2006, during the National Night Out event at Tietze Park (a city-owned park), LGNA and two other neighborhood associations wrapped yellow crimescene tape around the party and physically blocked any BelmontNA members from entering the area. The BelmontNA set up their food table outside the yellow tape barrier (see - NNO Crimewatch event turns into a crime scene).

Evicted - The Movie!

Story #3 - LGNA really cares about the issues on Lowest Greenville

This is too easy to shoot down. LGNA only started to care about the area south of Belmont Avenue after BelmontNA brought Resident Parking Only to the streets closest to Lowest Greenville. In less than two years, and nearly $8,000 out of the Arcadia Fund, BelmontNA was able to RPO nearly a dozen streets in its area, plus help (with tech and support services only) bring RPO to two other streets (5500 Alta and 5600 McCommas). In a few weeks, a petition for RPO on a street deep in LGNALand will be filed, with a guaranteed a slam-dunk approval. LGNA cannot abrogate the will of the residents who signed the petitions, no matter how much they threaten them with HBCC - Harassment by Code Compliance - or beg Ms. Hunt to make sure the petition is taken under advisement for a million years.

LGNA only cares because the gangbangers are parking on their streets and pissing on their cars. Their goal of keeping the bad bars south of Belmont Avenue is collapsing because the public is tired of paying $10 or more to valet park on Lowest Greenville. The LGNA Crimewatch manager told the Dallas Observer ...

After the Q&A session and meeting were adjourned, I wandered over to (Darren) Dattalo's table. I asked him what the LGNA's vision for the Lower Greenville area was if these SUPs successfully pushed all the trouble spots out and left even more for-lease signs in the neighborhood. His answer was that the "future is hard to determine."

"A clear vision for the future is probably something that needs to be discussed," he said, then added that "until the crime problem is solved" and the "numbers are lower" it'll be hard to have a solid vision for the future.

In plain English, they don't have a vision. They would rather see tumbleweeds flowing down a street full of empty storefronts (all of them) than allow any good business to develop down on this end of town. They want the good businesses north of Vickery protected from all sorts of competition.

Here's another example of LGNA's attempts to control their residents, taken from the St. Patrick's Day after-event review (discussed a few weeks ago and distributed by the Dallas Police Department on Wednesday evening).

Comments about house parties – both positive and negative – were included [in the LGNA post-event survey]. LGNA ENP officers counted 93 private parties just within the LGNA area. LGNA suggests that a “code of conduct” be distributed to residents, with instructions on how to properly conduct a party as well as instructions on what to do if your neighbor’s party gets out of hand. We request that the City assist the neighborhood associations in preparing this white paper.

If you thought BD had it in for the bad bars on his part of Greenville Avenue, just wait until the LGNA Taliban start patrolling the residential streets on St. Patrick's Day.

If LGNA had its way, all the RPO around Lowest Greenville would be removed so the bad bar patrons could park here and not bother their residents. About 1,500 residents will make sure that never happens.

A non-profit's bylaws are only as good as the officers who enforce them. In the case of LGNA, these officers have been recycled so many times the genetic pool is starting to show signs of weakness at the DNA level. It would be nice to see their members (or even residents who are fed up with being told by LGNA what to think) sponsor a revolution and overthrow the Board for making decisions without asking what the residents really want. Sources tell BD LGNA has less than 100 members (the true number is another state secret) in an area of 5,000 homes, all of whom apparently agree with this kind of misbehavior. Thousands more don't care about LGNA because they know it's a little clique of friends who rarely bother them. Contrast that to BelmontNA's public statement of having almost 150 paid members in an area less than 1/4 square mile and 1,500 homes (this includes about a dozen members on streets within LGNA who like BelmontNA's in-your-face proactive attitude).

It would be so much nicer and simpler if LGNA just voted to give up the territory claimed by BelmontNA and keep their happy thoughts and mind-control out of our neighborhood. Yeah, like that will happen right after they vote Pat Carr off the Board for lying so many times to the press and their own members.

Thank you, Pat Carr. Thank you, LGNA. Thank you, Rene. Without people like you, BD might have only gangbangers to write about.

And we all know what that means.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues