Conservatives fight back against Dix property plan

The Dorothea Dix campus from the air.
November 29, 2012 2:02:45 PM PST
There's a new fight over the future of the Dorothea Dix property. The governor wants the land to be turned into a park but not everyone agrees.

Now, critics are ramping up their fight which means a possible phone call to you.

The fight started earlier this week when word got out that Gov. Bev Perdue crafted a deal to lease the 300 acre Dorthea Dix property to the City of Raleigh which would turn the former mental hospital it into a park.  

Critics have been pouncing.  The conservative non-profit Americans for Prosperity is blasting out robo-calls like this one urging people to call Council of State members who may hear the governor's proposal next week.

Mitch Kokai, with the conservative Raleigh think tank called the John Locke Foundation, said there are too many unanswered questions about the deal, from how it would work mechanically to whether it makes financial sense. Like many on the right, Kokai questions the governor's motivations.

"It seems like no it's being rushed to help Beverly Perdue get this legacy of 'I was the governor who allowed Dorthea Dix hill to be turned into a park,'" said Kokai.

ABC11 asked the governor about the deal, but she wouldn't get into any specifics.

"I can't? and I will as soon as I get them," said Perdue.

Perdue said it's been in the works for years.

"Everybody knows I've been talking about it for three years," said Perdue. "If this rushed, I'd hate to see a slow job."

The agenda hasn't been set for Tuesday's Council of State meeting but the governor said, more than likely, she will float the idea of leasing the Dix property.  If she does, more could be learned about just what it would mean for the city and the state.

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