On 4 June 2023, I posted views held at that time on a proposed fence around Vick Cemetery. As I had during my remarks at the open forum, I urged caution concerning the fence and invoked Rev. Carlton Best‘s reminder that we must not lose sight of Vick’s dead as plans are made to move forward.
Two days later, Wilson Communications Director Rebecca Agner reached out to New South Associates with an ask: “We would like NSA to mark the property where we can place the fence as a beginning step.” A series of emails followed in which Agner and NSA’s Sarah Lowry hashed out the scope of the additional work.
Why is it so hard for the City, which has a whole spokesperson, to keep the public informed about what is happening at Vick? What part of transparency and accountability is so hard to comprehend and/or comply with? Agner communicated with the Times about the City’s plans to bring NSA back, but not reaching out to private stakeholders seems to be an affirmative strategy. (In fact, in an email Agner sent Assistant City Manager Rodger Lentz on May 31 at 9:35 A.M., she made this clear: “The city hasn’t been officially responding to anything related to Vick except during public meetings.” Why not?)
Lane Street Project got wind of this when NSA returned to Vick on June 29 to mark anomalies on two sides of the cemetery. LSP observers watched the work and immediately noted that numerous graves lay on or outside Vick’s present-day property line. NSA’s little orange blocks and the map Lowry produced in August demonstrate how thickly graves lie along the boundaries. (And do not even take into account the unscanned graves in the right-of-way.)
So three months later, what is the City’s unrevealed plan for this fence?