Glenwood cites conflict, seeks mediation with UNCG

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Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 8.47.52 AMby Eric Ginsburg

In a letter sent to UNCG earlier this month, the Greater Glenwood Neighborhood Association called for conflict-resolution mediation with the university, alleging that “UNCG has not collaborated with us in good faith.”

In the Jan. 11 letter to UNCG Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Charles Maimone, the association says it voted unanimously at its January meeting to invoke a mediation clause in the memorandum of understanding between the university and its southern neighbor.

The clause provides that UNCG will pay for a neutral, third-party mediator in the event of an unresolved conflict between the school and the neighborhood, according to the letter.

UNCG is in the midst of a multi-year expansion into the Glenwood neighborhood, a diverse residential community that lies directly to the south of the school. UNCG’s push into the neighborhood — which includes student housing and a hotly contested new student rec center — has long been opposed by some residents, students and university employees.

It is unclear from the letter exactly where the conflict arises, but the letter claims that the neighborhood has “communicated a number of breaches of the MOU to various representatives of UNCG, but they have not been addresses or rectified.”

The letter is signed by the association’s president, vice president, secretary and the leader of the design delegation. According to Elizabeth Keathley, the association president who provided the letter to Triad City Beat, Maimone responded asking for “a complete list of what we regard as violations, and we haven’t sent that yet,” but added that the association has a meeting with UNCG’s chancellor this Friday.

  • Brian H

    In November 2013 when this issue was first raised, the entire neighborhood was asked to submit suspected violations of the MOU. Only two residents responded – Burt Smith and Elizabeth Keathley. Their original emailed complaints were sent along with a request to respond to UNCG. A response was received from Mike Byers addressing each of the suspected violations. That same response was shared with the Board of Trustees. Let me reiterate, that not a single other resident voiced concerns about violations of the MOU. Let’s not conflate the petty wars of two or three residents with the sentiment of the entire neighborhood just because the letter comes from “GGNA”.

    • Nancy Lenk

      Many different neighbors and groups of neighbors worked on the MOU over a long period of time. When some got burned out by the process, others took their place. The MOU was a collaboration. The fact that all our neighbors are not “policing” the MOU is not surprising. It has been left up to the GGNA as an organization, as it should be, since GGNA was a signatory to the MOU. Because of all the efforts of so many people, it seems the GGNA should make sure it is adhered to. All neighbors are invited to our monthly membership meetings through our neighborhood listserv, facebook page and by virtue of the fact that GGNA has existed for over 20 years and has met the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm for years. Also all neighbors are invited to run to be officers in the GGNA and would be welcomed to serve. The mission of the Greater Glenwood Neighborhood Association is to conserve and enhance the aesthetic appeal, safety, and community character of our neighborhood, which includes our historic buildings, parks, and open spaces. We seek to promote businesses and transportation systems appropriate to the needs and scale of Glenwood, and to assure that development respects the neighborhood context. We are guided by the principles of community, family, diversity, inclusiveness, and balance between individual rights and community needs. The Neighborhood Association builds relationships within the community, promotes neighborhood participation in decisions and activities, represents the neighborhood in interactions with governmental bodies, and organizes projects to achieve neighborhood goals.

      • Brian H

        Those are pretty words.

        • Will Shuford

          You just couldn’t help yourself could you?

        • Patricia Wisneski

          ….but not really true.

          • Al McMullin Walle

            Ask City PIRT about this cozy arrangement not in the interests of normal persons–anyone whose never been elected Vice President of Anything Much–persons who, more often than not, are still attractive and popular, nonetheless.

  • Patricia Wisneski

    Brian is correct. The problem with what the board of the GGNA is doing is they are “negotiating” on behalf of Glenwood, but not sharing the information with the rest of their neighbors. They are using the GGNA a mechanism for implementing their own agenda, not the agenda of the neighborhood. They have run everyone who did not agree with what they are doing out of the GGNA. They are bullies.

    • Al McMullin Walle

      Neighborhood Associations are also tight with wealth-loving city government; check the city’s search engine for the grisly details. The game both play is that everyone is welcome to join their neighborhood association–if you’re dumb enough to believe it. In truth, both have created a local hierarchy where the individual gets burnt in the end despite never attending the chili contest.