Endangered Durham and NIS
Seems that our local Neighborhood Improvement Services Department has been a little quick on the trigger finger when it comes to demolishing abandoned and neglected buildings around town. A number of folks, Gary included, have protested against this policy, and the city has recently declared a moratorium on the practice.
That's not the big issue.
Constance Stancil, NIS director, recently held a meeting with some east Durham leaders trying to justify her department's demolitions. And there are some concerns that maybe her presentation was a touch one-sided.
I just want to chime in a little by saying that i've worked in the past with Rev. Whitley, and i trust him implicitly. He's done as much good work for Durham in recent years as anyone i know. I've also had to deal with NIS and Ms. Stancil recently, not over an abandoned property, but an absentee landlord who's been content to rent a house on my block to a variety of drug dealers, petty criminals, and most recently pit bull breeders. I can't say that the results we obtained from NIS satisfied any of the neighbors.
So i hope that Gary and the rest of those who have supported preserving more of our historic structures are able to get together with Melvin Whitley and other east Durham activists who are working hard to make east Durham a safer and more attractive place to live and find common ground. It's always distressing when people choose division as the easier path.