Friday, February 27, 2009

Perdue: N.C. DOT office stays in Stanly

In one of those Relics From Another Era kind of situations, the N.C. DOT's regional office in the Charlotte area is not in the city of 670,000 but in the lovely Piedmont city of Albemarle, population 15,000, in bucolic Stanly County.
Charlotte officials aren't the only ones who think that's a little nuts. The District 10 office covers Mecklenburg, Stanly, Union, Anson and Cabarrus counties. All, of course, have legitimate DOT needs and issues. But come on.
But WCNC reports, Gov. Bev Perdue isn't thinking of moving that office to Charlotte. "Right now, I'm just thankful to not be closing offices down," Perdue said when asked about the Department of Transportation’s office for the Charlotte region.
And why, you may ask, Stanly County? Old-timers say it's because, in an earlier era, the road department offices were put in counties with state prisons, so they could more easily use prisoners to work on the road gangs.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another prejudiced comment toward the advancement of the great state of Mecklenburg. Just what the taxpayers need to do--spend more money to move a state agency's location. I have to agree with the Governor in that it makes alot more sense to just keep it where it is. Besides, most of the cars parked in the lot at the Stanly office have permanent state tags--they can drive to Mecklenburg!

Anonymous said...

The Observer really needs some writers/editors who proof their work before publishing. Didn't you mean era in place of "in an early ear"?

Mary Newsom said...

Gee, I wish you'd been around to copy-edit my blog BEFORE I posted it. Yes, era, not ear. Thanks for catching. It's fixed now.

Anonymous said...

The State is already well represented in Mecklenburg County with a District Engineer's office, two maintenance yards, the IMAP & Traffic Management Center, and several construction offices. The Division office above them is located in Stanly County, and let's face it most of them don't do anything but delegate and are highly overpaid. On top of all that most of the roads in Mecklenburg County aren't even maintained by the state. They are maintained by the city of Charlotte. Meck Co & Charlotte can't run everything. The eastern part of the state already beat them to it.

Anonymous said...

That office belongs in the district's largest city, in my view and that would be Charlotte. That said, Gov. Perdue is right not to move it. The cost of doing so at this time would be an unnecessary spend when the state is hurting so much. We'll wait and hope for a better day.

Anonymous said...

That reasoning may make sense on the surface but the biggest city doesn't always have the largest amount of state maintained miles. In fact, the division office over Wake County (Raleigh) is in fact located in Durham. If you move one you may have to move them all.

Anonymous said...

Let's get prisoners to work on roads again and use the "stimulus" money for tax cuts!

rick b said...

Perhaps western Stanly County would be a better choice, placing the district office in the geographical center of the district. But I can see no compelling reason to locate this office in Charlotte, on the far western side of the district.

Furthermore, costs in Albemarle are likely lower than the grossly inflated costs in the city of Charlotte. Finally, because of a generation of idiotic decisions like city council's recent "non-connectivity" development approvals (discussed in Mary's 2/28 editorial), Charlotte has obscene traffic congestion; maybe it's a nice symbolic gesture to place NCDOT employees in a location where they can actually get to their workplace. It's convenient to blame the state for Charlotte's transportation woes, but it is predominantly city policies and decisions that have created these woes. Why should the NCDOT reward the City of Sprawl for its bad behavior?

Charlotte may think that it is the center of the known universe, but that delusion doesn't make it the center of District 10.

Anonymous said...

I know this is all semantics but there is a method to the madness of DOT. The office in question is a division office not a district office. NCDOT field operations are broken up into 14 divisions across the state. This area is Division 10 which covers Meck, Cabarrus, Stanly, Anson, & Union Co's. Each division is broken into districts. Moving the division office which primarily handles administration functions and caters to the commands of Raleigh and the wishes of politicians would gain nothing. It would also be a complete waste of money, which of course means they will probably do it.

Daniel said...

To the above comment which tried to say that western Stanly County is in the center of the district and so is the better choice than Charlotte for the regional DOT: Just because it may be the geographical center does not make it convenient for the most amount of people in the area. That's sort of a main point of the blog post to begin with.

Secondly, to respond to Rick et. al.'s anti-QC sentiment, this city historically has been stupidly and recklessly wasted by our state capital and the ole Eastern NC political power network. We are a vital economic resource for our state, and actually have a modern economic infastructure to continue to bring in business for the state, even more than our friends in the Triangle and Triad. To be sure, the rural prejudice against "the Great State of Mecklenburg" is a failure of communication between both sides to understand what having an urban center in a traditionally rural state can do to increase the prosperity of all North Carolinians. However, so long as the Eastern powerbase continues to perpetuate a distrust of Charlotte by the rest of the state so as to perpetuate their own power, isolating Charlotte, it will be Charlotte's continued independent streak that keeps it from floundering.