The Council of State approved a deal worked out with the city of Raleigh and Governor Bev Perdue to lease the Dorothea Dix property to the city for a park. The agreement is worth well below the value of the land. The two Republicans on the Council, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry voted against the lease. Seven of the Democrats voted for it while Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood abstained. She said her staff told her the lease could have to be audited by her department so she declined to vote. Republican leaders in the General Assembly wanted the council to let Republican Governor-elect Pat McCrory and lawmakers handle the property. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger released a statment.
“It is a sad day for our state when leaders entrusted to protect the best interests of all North Carolinians give a valuable state asset to a chosen few for little in return,” said Berger. “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that a majority of the Council of State caved into political pressure at the expense of good sense. The Senate will begin evaluating legal options to terminate this ill-conceived lease and reclaim this land on behalf of its real owners: the people of North Carolina.”
Below is a video of the full debate by the Council of State and the vote.