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Thank you note from the Chatham Coalition

By Jeffrey Starkweather
Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - I am writing on behalf of the Chatham Coalition, to thank everyone who participated in the November election, regardless of how you voted. We are amazed and grateful that, once again, Chatham had one of the highest voter turnouts in the Triangle.

We were especially heartened to see people streaming to the polls and standing up for their candidates and their voting rights, even in the cold wind and rain. Congratulations to all of you for caring enough about our community to engage fully in the democratic process.

It's clear that we have much in common: an abiding love for Chatham -- our human and natural resources, special way of life and rural character.

For the record, the Coalition is not interested in "telling everyone what to do," as some have said. (We think you were smart enough to make up your own minds.) Nor does the Coalition represent a particular ideology other than a belief that local government should be open and transparent and run by and for the residents of the county. Our platform is merely a reflection of the issues identified by diverse citizens from all over Chatham. And our objective is to mobilize voters to work together on those issues, suggest solutions, and support good candidates based on their positions and track records.

We are also not a "special interest" supported by "outsiders." All of our steering committee members, volunteers and supporters live in Chatham. They volunteer their time and support to our campaign in order to preserve and enhance this special community we call home. None of us derived any monetary advancement for our efforts.

Yes, it was a long and hard-fought campaign. Our Coalition volunteers canvassed relentlessly door-to-door to support candidates who advocate open government and the right for all voters to elect all of our county commissioners.

Now the voters have spoken clearly and we are grateful that the candidates we supported won and that we saved our countywide voting rights.

We believe everyone in Chatham is a winner in this election because our newly elected county officials, while committed to their platforms of open government, managed and balanced growth, sustainable 21st century economic development and quality education for all children, are equally committed to listening respectfully to all views and to representing everyone fairly, no matter where you live or how much land you own.

They truly want to communicate with and listen to residents directly and at public meetings and hearings. They believe there is nothing wrong with citizens who speak out passionately, and that in fact it's your civic duty to get involved when you feel strongly about something that affects your community.

Commissioner-elect Tom Vanderbeck has already expressed an interest in establishing citizen advisory committees in every region and in holding county commissioner meetings in different locations across the county to make it even easier for all to participate.

When our new officials take actions that we like, we plan to thank them. And when we don't like their decisions, we plan to let them know that, too. We hope you will do the same.

Let's take this new opportunity to look beyond our differences and begin building on the common ground that we know we share. Our community and our democracy are depending on all of you. And that makes us hopeful.

Gratefully and respectfully yours,

Jeffrey Starkweather

Chair, Chatham Coalition

Related info:
Chatham Coalition
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page

Related info:
Chatham Coalition
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