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Chatham commissioners schedule Community meetings for western Chatham County

Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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Siler City, NC - Residents who live or work in sections of western Chatham County are invited to attend one of two community meetings to share their concerns and priorities for the future. The meetings are scheduled for Jan. 29 at J. S. Waters School and Feb. 19 at Bonlee School, both beginning at 6:30 pm and located in the multipurpose rooms.

The meetings are designed for residents and businesses in an area that includes Siler City and extends south and west to the county line, with the Goldston and Gulf communities at the southern end.

“I have consistently heard concerns from people in this part of the county that they feel left out and want a stronger voice on issues affecting their lives,” said County Commissioner Carl Thompson, who initiated the meetings.

“The main purpose is to give people from these communities a way to identify their hopes and priorities for the future to share with the Board of Commissioners. I am very much concerned that we have residents who feel like their voice is not heard or is sometimes misunderstood,” Thompson said.

A third meeting will be scheduled in March to report back on key findings based on input at the two initial community meetings. Thompson said that it is possible that a committee or task force of residents from the area may meet several times to more fully develop recommendations.

“The goal would be to end up with a list of top recommendations on specific issues from this part of our county. Even if some of these recommendations differ from my own personal viewpoint, I will support the presentation of their ideas to the Board of Commissioners,” Thompson said.

He added that “I can’t predict which recommendations may or may not be supported and acted upon by the majority of county commissioners, but I am hopeful that at least some of their issues can be addressed.”

The initial community meetings on Jan. 29 and Feb. 19 may last until 9 pm, because “it will take a while to hear from everyone and identify common issues,” said Janice Almond, director of Deep River Mediation. She will help facilitate the community meetings.

“Be prepared to not only share your own viewpoint and ideas, but to listen to what your neighbors have to say,” Thompson said.

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