RFP Responds to Karen Alexander’s Email Response to Attorney Edward Norvell

Posted on August 2, 2014

RFP Staff

**Published August 2nd 2014**

♦ When did our city become so entrenched in hiding the truth, attempting to intimidate those who speak the truth, and attacking those who reveal it that they cannot even admit that it is not working? Isn’t the purpose of a city to create a prosperous environment in which everyone is, at the very least, safe?

We have reported previously that City Hall has engendered a perspective of “to seem rather than to be”.  In the email below, City Council’s Karen Alexander responds to a plea from a respected local attorney to attend to facts we have reported in the Rowan Free Press, facts he substantiates with a webpage outside the Rowan Free Press. Indeed, if you click on his link, you will note that the safety factor on the website rates Salisbury at 4 out of a 100, with 100 being the safest. Notice that Ms. Alexander’s response is to write that the RFP fabricates information, that Moody’s was just wrong to downgrade Salisbury’s bond rating, that Salisbury’s fund balance has increased, and that Fibrant (“this utility”) is 99.9999% reliable. She does not address the subject of the attorney’s plea, that work needs to be done to ensure a safe and well-educated public in Salisbury. Did Ms. Alexander actually think the plea was an attack on Fibrant? And why would the City waste time and funds on a “group” to investigate who “really” writes RFP articles?

Ms. Alexander missed her opportunity to seek real progress and instead promotes a façade.  Hers was not a response to a constituent’s statement that there is much work to do, unless she interpreted that to be to discredit those telling the truth and to cloak reality by reframing it to suit the façade.

What Is, Rather Than What Seems

To help Ms. Alexander and City Hall find their way to the truth, look up the statistics. RFP is simply unabashed in revealing them, unlike the white-washed spin in some media. Local gangs and criminals are stripping our streets of lives, property, and security. Moody’s rationale for Salisbury’s downgraded bond ratings was based on data that can be viewed online here. Salisbury’s fund balance was increased by manipulating financial statements and by wrongfully teminating the careers of valuable employees. In addition, RFP has been informed that employees of Fibrant have been reported as employees of other departments to hide Fibrant costs.

The City Government’s Spin

RFP staff expect efforts to discredit those telling the truth to escalate. Like us, some may be “researched”, offered public image Band-Aids such as satellite police stations, or fed stilted puffery such as the spin in Alexander’s email below.

To learn more about “the dangers of spin”, read one PR specialist’s analysis here.

Neighborhoods are unifying to provide what the City will not, just as has been done in other failed cities such as Stockton and Detroit. Those cities were also victims to misused funds and resources that were derailed by local greed and build it and they will come visions of city governments to stuff the pockets of a few cronies. While denying Parks and Recreation needed funding for youth activities or the West End required adequate safety lighting, the City budget has slotted $140,000 to pay for bike lanes on Newsome Road because only sidewalks will be paid for by NCDOT funding. This while promoting an image of caring for and protecting Salisbury’s taxpayers from dangerous spikes in vandalism, gang crossfire, and hard drug sales. Clean-up and image branding are not solutions.

To examine the proposed City budget for the coming year, click here. Even in the budget there is an award that seems to be for a distinguished budget. Upon careful reading, you will see that the award is given to any city that is a member of the institution and has “publish[ed] a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan, and as a communications device”.

The People Want Their City Back

Those of us who do not have our head in the sand and who prefer actual security to media spin and the City’s Seem Rather than to Be branding, have already noticed that Salisbury is in major decline and that our poverty, education, and crime statistics can no longer be ignored in favor of beautification, road diets, and green centerpieces that suck energy and funds from where attention is needed. (Yes, the City must invest its own funds even when grant monies are employed in such projects).

We can no longer pretend that our community is not responsible to provide programs for our youth or that image is more important than a well-staffed police force. Security will not be accomplished by providing more square footage of bricks, trees, or bike lanes. City Hall has attempted to create a Shangri-La in which it locks out actual progress and promotes a fantasy at the expense of real community members’ declined quality of life and safety.  The city’s budget declines to provide adequate community support. Neighborhoods have taken up their own lights and walk the streets at night to ensure the safety of taxpaying citizens and, most importantly, children.

Karen Alexander’s Peculiar Email Response to a Plea for Increased Safety and Improved Education (Obtained through a request for public information via NC General Statute 132):


 From: Karen Alexander <kalex@salisburync.gov>

Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:59 AM

To: Karen Kirks Alexander

Cc: Karen Alexander

Subject: Re: Rowan Free Press slams against Salisbury


Edward,    I am aware of these very negative post by Rowan Free Press.   Unfortunately,  there is probably  a few facts in the posts but most of it is complete fabrication.   All the correct information is actually on the City of Salisbury website in the recorded minutes of the meetings.    During the same time period that Moody’s evaluated the City financials,  the S&P gave two upgrades.      During that time period,  we have increased our fund balance by two million and we no longer use inter fund loans.   There is a group doing research to find who is actually writing this info.     As a Council we are focusing on how to make this utility work for economic development opportunities.   We have it.   It is 99,9999% reliable and other cities are trying to get broadband for their cities.   As with any startup it takes time.    Thanks for your concern.   Let’s get together some time and talk …….Warmest Regards,  Karen


On May 27, 2014, at 9:08 AM, Karen Kirks Alexander <karen@kkaarch.com>


From: Edward Norvell [mailto:xxx@xxx.net]

Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:16 AM

To: Jason Walser; Paul Fisher; Jake Alexander

Cc: Maggie Blackwell; Karen Kirks Alexander

Subject: Rowan Free Press slams against Salisbury

Dear Friends:

I read with interest the recent slam against Salisbury by Steve Mensing of the Rowan Free Press who moved here in 2008 from Philadelphia.


As much as I hate his attacks on our fair city. He does have some points such as the crime rate and the educational system. It is also disturbing to see the article about the recent Moody’s downgrade of the city’s bond rating. For all the good that exists in our city, we cannot continue to see our city through rose colored glasses; there is a lot of work to be done to make our city an attractive place to live. Another website speaks of the comparative safety of Salisbury neighborhoods. People are not going to move to Salisbury if they do not feel safe and don’t think the schools are good. Lots of work to do!


Edward Norvell

Attorney at Law



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