Turns out REBIC keeps a stuffed possum in its office, in honor of the frequent “Possum” awards it gets from my yearly Urbies column.
As those who read my Urban Outlook column know, every year I give out Urbies and Possum awards. The possum looks like this:
REBIC is the local developers’ lobby, a.k.a. the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition. It gets mentioned now and again, and so far it’s batting 1.000 in always being adorned with the dead marsupial. Our archives show they received their last possum on Oct. 30, 2005, when I wrote:
"REBIC: The local Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition lobbying group, like any of us, is entitled to present its views to elected officials. But REBIC's views seem to outweigh other folks’. It has tried to weaken just about every environmental protection and open space preservation proposal to emerge from local government. In 1998 it even opposed sidewalk requirements as “too much of a good thing.” In 1999, Huntersville proposed a voluntary pilot project to save rural land. REBIC blasted that gnat with cannon fire. In a shamefully misleading tactic, its lobbyists got legislators to kill the idea by telling them it was an impact fee, which it wasn't at all."
REBIC, which used to concentrate on Charlotte-Mecklenburg, has branched out in recent years and now has staffers who also lobby in Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, and across the S.C. border in York, Lancaster and Chester counties. It was REBIC’s guy in S.C., Tim Morgan (brother of Charlotte Chamber chief Bob Morgan) who brought in the possum to REBIC offices and, to my delight, let me visit it and snap its portrait there.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Posted by Mary Newsom at 1:41 PM