2017 Chairman Tom Anhut's Welcome Letter
“Act now or forever hold your peace.”
We all have attended weddings and heard these words. Have you ever wondered what it would be like for somebody to actually stand up and “act now?”
Well, now is your chance!
The mission of the Triangle Community Coalition is to promote public policy that encourages a balance among economic growth, development, the environment, and community needs while protecting the rights and interests of property owners.
In 2016 under the stewardship of David Lazzo, the TCC regained its status as the Triangle’s leader in fighting for land rights and responsible growth, and against insidious NIMBY’ism.
“Act now or forever hold your peace.”
In 2017 we will not hold our peace! We will act to:
· Influence public policy
· Promote responsible stewardship by government
· Shape public opinion through education
· Provide solutions for community issues
If you are not a member of the TCC, please join now and commit your resources to help us. If you are a TCC member, get ready for a year of action. We cannot hold our peace and leave the future of this region in the hands of those who fail to understand the benefits of growth, the very growth that has made the Triangle the best place to live in the country.
“Act now or forever hold your peace.”
I look forward to working with all of you in 2017.
Tom Anhut, 2017 Chairman
Triangle Community Coalition
Past Chairman Letters
2016 Chairman David Lazzo's Welcome Letter
Those Who Ignore History Are Condemned To Repeat It
There was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal a little over a year ago about the economic situation in Venezuela. Decades of tremendous oil profits made Venezuela a very wealthy country and its people, happily enjoying the spoils of wealth doled out by the Venezuelan government, became complacent and oblivious to matters that would one day adversely affect their lives. As you may have guessed, when oil revenues plummeted, the government could no longer provide the standard of living to which the people had become accustomed. When the people finally pulled their collective head from the sand, one stunned citizen exclaimed, “How is it possible we’ve gotten to this extreme?”
That story’s relevance hits home for me when I see that we in the Triangle are treacherously treading down a similar path. Remember the go-go days in the mid-2000’s when the Triangle was enjoying exponential growth? We were building homes, shopping centers, improving roads, competing for new industry. We were the best of everything: best place to live, work, commute, raise a family, get an education, find a mate, go for a walk, and on and on. Scores of families moved into the Triangle every day. We were all so busy making things happen and just trying to keep up with demand that we didn’t have time to pay attention to the insidious rise of a silent minority, surreptitiously popping up here and there to oppose growth.
Like an infestation of fire ants, suddenly NIMBY-ism was in full swing. Low-turnout elections placed this minority in control of local boards and governments. These new officials began re-writing ordinances, often times in conflict with state statute, effectively placing moratoriums on growth and curtailing the rights of landowners. This was portrayed by that minority as a great success, achieving what they were elected to do…slow growth.
The great recession hit and we all found out what no-growth really feels like. Jobs were pared, homes were lost, businesses shuttered, families suffered, and the flow of new families slowed to a trickle. Once again, many of us were so busy trying to survive that we didn’t have time to pay attention to anything else. All the while, the no-growth minority, still in control, kept working on their agenda to prevent a recurrence of dreaded growth.
Fast-forward to 2015. We pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps. Families are once again interested in moving back to one of the best places to live in the country. We are responding to that demand by building homes, expanding businesses, creating jobs, generating income, and growing responsibly. We are, thankfully, so busy making things happen, heads down, just trying to keep up with demand. But, in doing so, we once again run the risk of letting this resurgent minority further encroach on our ability find success in this economy. Case in point: the town of Apex is considering a moratorium on development until such time that elected officials, most of whom have no experience with land use, figure out how to control the use of other people’s land. Proposals are on the table effectively devaluing generationally-owned land that many families see as their retirement, college funds for their grandchildren, and financial security for generations to come.
This is just one fire ant mound that has popped up. More are sure to come. Who will stand up and fight for land rights and responsible growth? Who will show up in support of good growth and its many benefits and rewards? It must be us; it must be you; it must be me.
It must be the Triangle Community Coalition.
I am proud to be the incoming chairman of this great coalition of like-minded professionals and concerned citizens. We have much work to do. It will require significant support from you, not only financially, but with your active participation. Your voice in support of our colleagues must be heard at public meetings. We are all busy once again. We can mind our own business and assume someone else is minding the store. But when we find ourselves no longer able to contend with onerous policies put in place by a minority rule, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves when we wake up and exclaim, “How is it possible we’ve gotten to this extreme?”
Support the TCC! I look forward to hearing from you in the coming year.
David Lazzo, 2016 Chairman
2015 Chairman Laurie Donofrio's Adieu!
Dear TCC Members,
I have spent the weekend looking back on the last two years helping to lead the TCC. What I’m most thankful for are all those members who hung in through the downtimes, joined as we re-booted this amazing organization and stepped up their efforts to keep growth in the Triangle balanced. I’ve continued to be amazed at the work Charlene does and how far Jacob has come in the last year.
As part of our strategic plan for this reboot, most of our members said the thing they wanted most, was a list of accomplishments by the end of 2015. We all knew that what we have been fighting has been the death by a thousand paper cuts. This little fight here, those little fights there. The people who are scared of growth have been testing the waters throughout the Triangle, looking to see where they can get their footholds.
It has been a year full of accomplishments. Our latest accomplishments have been forming a Partnership with Google Fiber, developing partnerships with Carolinas Association of General Contractors and American Council of Engineering Companies for both local and State lobbying efforts and of course, coordinating and mobilizing members against more restrictive changes to Apex’s Land Use Plan. The list is long enough that we are attaching a sheet for you to help see what your membership has done for you and your business.
As I look forward to 2016, I’m excited to see how our joint Coffee Chat in March with Google Fiber, Duke Energy and PSNC will progress our relationships and help you at the end of the day with your projects. I’m must admit I’m curious to see how the Mayors of Raleigh, Cary and Durham interact and what they will have to say at our annual meeting as I pass the gavel to David Lazzo.
I’m also feeling reserved about Jacob moving from the head of the table to the side to serve as the Triangle Apartment Association’s representative. I know this is a great opportunity for him and I know we are in fine hands with David at the helm and Charlene supporting all of us. But I’ve grown accustomed to him sitting by my side and been very proud of the leadership he has shown this year. The accomplishments we have made this year were a team effort and he has been a shining member a wonderful advocate.
While we reshuffle responsibilities, we will again be asking for your help in attending meetings, spreading the word about what roadblocks or speedbumps you have run into and of course what direction you want TCC to go. It took us 7 months as an all-volunteer organization to find and hire Jacob and none of us want to lose the momentum we have gained. I look forward to seeing you in 2016 at the Annual meeting.
Laurie Donofrio, TCC Chair 2014-15