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Ammunition For The Foundation, Et Al

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David C. Johnson

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Jan 15, 2002
Ammunition for the Foundation, et al

Going through some old files recently, I found the following newspaper article appearing "below the line" in this post originally printed in September of 1999 in some of our papers. But it's still very current -- perhaps particularly so. Because the same crew from this time period are largely still there at the NCAB, and were also appointed by the very same people, through the very same system you are about to read about. I read about the AARO fiasco in David Bruner's "Working RE" Magazine (I hope I spelled his name and his publication's name right -- BTW, excellent publication, I got a two-year subscription a couple of weeks ago, and hope others will do the same). It sure appears North Carolina's appraisal board (NCAB) is now being a significant problem for the entire profession -- even outside the State, which by the way, was predicted numerous times by several of us starting back about the time this article was written. So maybe the old article will help out. Foundation people should always remember the most important Axiom within the profession in this state: "If the NCAB decides it is FOR something regarding the profession (or anything else), without a doubt, it is something that should never ever happen. If something is absolutely mandatory for the heath of the profession in the State, without a doubt it will be opposed by the NCAB." The Nation's appraisers, appraisal boards and all regulators are sure advised to consider accepting these truisms as early as possible.

<span style='color:purple'>A quick update:


In a prior thread some time back, two of our appraiser publications (yep, one was Working RE) had shown interest in Tom Hildebrandt writing an article on some FAIR topics, or his NCAB case. Tom basically ran out of time to get any one of numerous drafts on numerous subjects finalized to submit for publication prior to his extended sailing trip. No big problem though as all these issues are necessarily measured in terms of years, not months or weeks. I am sure we will eventually be seeing something from him on perhaps several important concerns to appraisers across the country.

Steve Vertin, I still plan to post to comment on several items in a previous thread you had mentioned in a post that I would eventually get around to reading, and I still have my notes. In fact, I'll wager I'll be doing that before Hildebrandt gets his article published!

Here is the article retyped by me so excuse typos if possible:

_________________________________

Norris Tolson Isn't Running

Paul T. O'Connor


Norris Tolson should have know better to run for governor.

But the former mucketty-muk at DuPont, who rose quickly in state politics after serving only one term in the state House, was naive. He thought that doing a good job by cleaning out a cesspool of political influences and financial mismanagement would help him get elected.

He must have thought he was living in Sweden, or some other Utopia.

He quit eh race last week, offering only some vague statement.

Tolson's the guy who Gov. Jim Hunt enlisted to clean up the Department of Transportation after the state's newspapers revealed how much of a mess it was. Hunt should have borne most of the blame, but, as usual, he escaped any serious political damage by 1) firing or forcing the resignations of the biggest scofflaws on the Board of Transportation and in the department and 2) hiring Tolson to put the department back together.

When Norris Tolson arrived at the Legislative Building in 1995, it was easy to underestimate him. What a mistake that would have been, however. He's what I call a no-nonsense guy -- a highly successful type who doesn't take shinola from pubescent reporters or nitwit lawmakers. I liked Tolson most because, unlike many of the wimps around here, he never seemed afraid of me or the press.

Tolson had two big jobs at DOT: Restructuring operations there to reduce the influence of the Board of Transportation members who had bought their seats for Hunt, and putting a realistic Transportation Improvement Plan in place.

Tolson put in place a number of procedures that, in theory at least, shield the professionals in DOT from much of the Board's political influence. But these procedures, because they are not law, can easily be changed by the next administration. A new governor in 2001, one who had promised Board seats to the big financial hitters in his campaign, could easily loosen the safeguards using some bogus argument about wresting power from DOT's bureaucrats.

Had the General Assembly passed meaningful DOT reforms in 1998, the Tolson changes might be permanent. But legislators of both parties were careful to protect the political class's interests in keeping those Board seats open to the highest fundraising bidders.

Tolson also tackled the TIP, a program for the funding of upcoming transportation projects. Hunt and other governors, have used the TIP to promise all sorts of roads, bridges and Christmas ornaments that the state can't afford.

Tolson looked at the plan and told the truth: There's no money for all this. So he cut the list and balanced expenses with revenues.

In short, Tolson took two steps at DOT that helped the average North Carolinian and infuriated the political operators. He tried to reduce the political influence of big contributors and political cronies, and he cut the life-support line to a lot of transportation projects that weren't going to be funded anyway.

That's not the way to run a campaign.

When he quit the race last week, Tolson's campaign treasury had raised pocket change compared to his competitors. But, what did he expect? If you want to win the game, you've got to play the game. Tolson tried to change the game, for the better, and he got nowhere.

_________________

dcj</span>
 
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