Danville's big embarrassment

November 12, 2004

Dear Editor:

Now the cat is out the bag concerning the petition that Mr. Norman Bartleson circulated among the citizenry of our community and others. Mr. Bartleson presented the petition with the heading of the Danville-Boyle County Branch of the NAACP, its mailing address and "Norman Bartleson - President."

Under the heading, "Project for Moderate income Housing - Duncan Hill Area," the petition states, in part: "... we are trying to get a petition drive for Moderate Income Housing in this area. ..." Does "we" mean NAACP?

Now let's set the record straight. First, I knew before I ever went before the city commission that this piece of property could not be sold or given away without notice given. It was because of the underhanded way that this was being handled that I brought it to the public view. The embarrassing part of this is that so many people (255) believed in Mr. Bartleson and that what he was doing was for the betterment of the community that they signed the petition.


What they failed to understand is that Mr. Bartleson had a profit-making venture along with his silent partner (Mr. Kayvon Nevils). Mr. Nevils was introduced to me by Mr. Bartleson as a retired architectural engineer - a millionaire who was going to do a development of the Duncan Hill area. After listening to their plans I knew that things were not as they seemed. In other words, I smelled a rat!

Now, to the good folks of Danville: Do not be embarrassed if you signed the petition. Neither I nor my neighbors hold any ill-feelings towards any of you. I have had many, many phone calls and conversations with some of you who have expressed their sorrow and anger for having been snookered in to signing the petition. From what I have been told they all thought the NAACP was behind this project and it was going to benefit the community.

But two of the signers knew what they were doing. One was Mr. Bartleson, and for this I call for him to step down as president of the local chapter of the NAACP. The other was Mayor John Bowling. Mayor Bowling, being the head of the city government body that is in charge of said property, should not have signed a petition for or against the conveyance of said property but should have remained neutral. For this, he at least owes the community an apology.

Kerry Kenley

Resident of Duncan Hill

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