Frank Hielema is a native of Oxford, NC.  He holds degrees in physical therapy and epidemiology. He has lived in his present home in Raleigh for 30 years. Advocacy for justice at the national and international levels extends back to his senior year of high school. Now he finds that indeed, all politics are local, as he speaks out against the current city council’s implementation of the Missing Middle in Raleigh without sufficient public notice, citizen input or transparency. 

He is a member of the Steering Committee of Save Our Neighborhoods /

It has been noted that there is a lack of civility at council in addressing Raleigh’s runaway growth. What is the root cause of that lack of civility?

Could it start with the name-calling by the mayor and Councilor Knight who refer to their opposition in the pejorative use of Activist and Radical Activist? Could it be fueled by Councilor Knight who refers to citizens who dissent with giving a city staffer unlimited speaking time during the 1-minute public comments period as rude, entitled folks?

What we citizens do feel entitled to is a council that represents the citizens who elected you, and not the developers who fund your campaigns. We feel entitled to councilors who study the agenda, and know what they are voting for, and accept responsibility for their votes.

We feel entitled to being informed about matters that affect our lives. Or, could it be that a lack of civility is created, when the mayor and other councilors don’t respond to communication from citizens about a project that is going to drastically affect the character of their neighborhood?

And when the mayor instead casually tells the media that it’s fine to tear down an historic hundred-year-old home and to build 17 tall skinny townhomes on the site, because, “17 is better than one.” Why not preserve it as part of our history?

Or is the lack of civility due to a lack of engagement regarding and lying about the Missing Middle zoning changes? Councilman Knight lied in the forum for District E last week when he said he did not vote for Missing Middle 2.0. Your affirmative vote for that text change supporting Missing Middle 2.0 is captured at the 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 34 seconds point of the May 10, 2022 Council Work Session. Your affirmative vote is also recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Does civility suffer a blow when Mayor Baldwin, in a recent campaign letter lies by omission in failing to state that Missing Middle zoning changes also include the building of triplexes, quadraplexes and apartment buildings in what were single family neighborhoods?

We have heard nothing more about the round of public engagement efforts we were told would take place in each city council district. You have not notified the owners of the 30,000 parcels of land in the frequent transit areas of the consequences of your radical zoning changes.

Are you waiting until after the elections to proceed with this engagement because you fear the negative response from the public on becoming informed of what you have done to their zoning protections?

The lack of civility is rooted in a lack of trust.

Read about more of David Knight’s LIES here: David Knight is having a terrible, no good, very bad week.