Why I do not support the "Dix Visionaries" version of the Dix legacy

Letter to the Editor sent to the Raleigh News and Observer and other Raleigh media outlets:

Here is a short list (not a comprehensive one) of myths being presented to the people of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina by the local Raleigh media regarding the document signed Monday with regard to negotiations to sell the Dix property:

  • First, the complete cost to the taxpayers will be $52 million.
  • Second, there is a great need for more parks in Raleigh, particularly a “Central Park” like NY City’s
  • Third, the creation of a park and the use of the proceeds of a sale will “preserve the Dorothea Dix Legacy.”

The actual document signed [Monday] states is not a binding legal contract. Furthermore, while there was great drama and ceremony, only the Council of State has the authority to approve or disapprove the final contract.

As has been pointed out in previous letters and by Public Watchdog Joey Stansbury on WTVD today, the political process to date has been done completely in secret, and we still have no idea what the final “destination park” will look like or what the final TOTAL costs (not just land acquisition costs) will be.

I would hope in the future that those of you in the media will follow WTVD’s lead in providing balanced reporting instead of continuing your park booster approach of the past.

Martha C. Brock
Cary, NC

Note: My main quarrel is with the media that has carried over and over quotes by and interviews with Greg Poole and other so-called Dix Visionaries. They want to build a park and to tear down all buildings on the Dix Campus including the historic McBride Building (on the Historic Register). There has been no transparency in the political process at the Governor's and the Mayor of Raleigh's offices. Also, Raleigh has over 100 parks already, and a large, newly renovated park right across the street from the proposed Dix Park. Gov. McCrory made a big deal of giving the pen used to sign the document to Poole, a wealthy business man from Raleigh.

I do not feel as a mental health advocate that the Visionaries care one twit about preserving the "legacy of Dorothea Dix." If they really did, they would listen to alternate options for some of the buildings Attacking those who question their plans is their modus operandi. I do not oppose the sale due to the sales price. I oppose it because that land was originally intended and deeded for the use in the mid-1800s for the "mentally insane." The needs of those with mental illness is very great still. They are not being met, and the move of patients from Dix Hospital to the new facility in Butner in 2012 was a gross error--one politically motivated by legislators seeking jobs for their districts.

The patients themselves are nearly always afterthoughts in how decisions affecting them and their families are made in the NC General Assembly and in cities across North Carolina