What's up with Mr. Mike?

Mike Easley is a puzzlement to me. He seems to not much like the business of governing very much, and he enjoys politicking even less. One one hand, he came out stronger than anyone against the Site C OLF, and on the other hand, he seems oblivious to the state's miserable record of capital punishment. It's hard to know what motivates him, and I always find myself surprised by his actions.

Which is the exact response I have to his plan to develop a state office building on an incredibly valuable tract of land in Raleigh. The story's all over the tubes, and it's not attracting much support from leaders in his own party - as well it shouldn't.

Some of Gov. Mike Easley's fellow Democrats aren't supporting his proposal to build an office complex on the campus of a state mental hospital.

State legislators and civic leaders have been talking for more than a year about the future of the 306-acre campus of Dorothea Dix hospital, with many wanting to preserve it for a park. Dix, a 150-year-old state psychiatric hospital just southwest of downtown Raleigh, is set to close next year.

Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight believes preserving the site for a park would make it akin to what Central Park is to New York City.

"Raleigh will grow all around that, and there will be a city from here to Charlotte," said Basnight, D-Dare. "There will be no break but for the public lands we acquire today. ... So if you take 25 acres away, I don't see the value in that. I think you could put that building somewhere else."

Basnight is right on the money in resisting Easley's scheme. Especially when the primary justification is to consolidate thousands of employees into a single location.

Under Easley's plan, the department's 3,460 employees would be placed in a pair of five-story office buildings totaling 771,200 square feet. The buildings would also require an accompanying parking deck. "We think it's the best strategy to consolidate all those DHHS people into one place on property we already own," said Dan Gerlach, Easley's budget and economic adviser. "It gets us out of a lot of rental payments. It keeps people from having to drive around place to place, from different division to different division."

These guys need to wake up to the 21st century, because if the main motivation is to keep people from having to drive from place to place, well, I say tough doodoo.

I've worked from my home in Chapel Hill for five years. I have approximately 20 clients who are distributed around the country and the world. My team of colleagues, who work in five different cities, see each other in person maybe once a year.

An operating model that depends on administrative people being physically in the same place is . . . how should I say this . . . just a few notches short of totally insane. Get over it, Gov. Step into the 21st century and stop thinking about housing big bureaucracies in big buildings. And even if you do find the need to consolidate some staff, do it somewhere else. Putting office buildings on land with the potential to be a crown jewel park is a dumb idea.

Comments

My idea would be to revamp

My idea would be to revamp and modernize the hospital and keep it open to the mentally ill. Then use some of the property to build group homes and half way houses for the mentally ill who need help but not as intense as given in the hospital. The halfway homes for those to ease into the community and not just thrown out the doors. Approximately one third of the homeless in our nation are the mentally ill and mentally disabled. They are the ones being beaten, raped, robbed and killed on our streets. This would give help to those most helpless in our society, haven to those most helpless and wouldn’t take much room so there would still be a huge area left for a park. And, the great thing about this is the land will lose it’s value as buildable because no one ever wants near the mentally ill. They have leprosy also you know.

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That is what should happen

but I'm afraid that train has left the station.

It Was My Belief -

that Dorothea Dix had left that land in the public trust for the mentally ill among us - forever.

It drives me wild that I never hear about one penny being committed to the use it was intended for. Shame on the greed that would betray Dorothea's trust in that way.

Shame.

Spending time

in undeveloped parkland would be good for my mental health. Dorothea would probably approve.
Dharma Pup

I'm Sure They Would -

I hope they plant some medicinal shrubberies. NC State could probably help them out with that. :)

Not the threadjack, but ...

This is my personal concern about Easley as a potential SEN candidate. I think most of the time he'd be a fine movement dem, but every now and then he'd show all the wrong leadership on something very un-progressive like this.

I share the concern

not a threadjack at all. Like I said, sometimes I just don't get the guy. This plan reminds me of Bush trying to sell off national forests.

Its why

Even though he is ahead he isnt my first choice.

But we need SOMEONE.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

I'm with you.

I volunteered for Brad here in GSO, and I'd be first in line to tamp down signs and knock on doors for Rep Miller.

I have my personal

list of favorites. The ranking would probably shock those with conventional wisdom. thankfully i dont care about conventional thoughts.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Mike

Mike doesn't like meetings. That's why he's not running for Senate:
News & Observer

It's good to be the King Governor:

"You can go out and grab a problem by the throat and wrestle it down and do something, and you don`t have to sit around and convince 99 other people or 59 other people to go along with you," Easley said.

I can think of plenty of problems that still need wrestling.

I guess

he wont be running for the veepstakes either then. You cant go from being king to being an advisor can you?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"