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Sierra Club announces Chatham County endorsees

Posted Monday, April 10, 2006

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The North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club is proud to announce its endorsees in the 2006 Chatham County Commissioner race. The endorsed candidates are George Lucier in District 3, Tom Vanderbeck in District 4, and Carl Thompson in District 5.

During his tenure on the county Planning Board George Lucier compiled an impeccable record on environmental issues. Professionally he is an environmental scientist, giving him a very strong knowledge base on the things the Sierra Club is concerned about. We are particularly impressed by his commitment to the issue of water quality in Jordan Lake and the tributaries that run into it. We applaud his proposal to increase fees for developers so that the county can hire more staff to ensure that there is compliance with environmental regulations that people are currently getting away with breaking.

Tom Vanderbeck practices environmentalism in his every day life as an organic farmer. He is a member of the Haw River Assembly and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, both groups that have similar goals and values to the Sierra Club. He wants to more strictly follow the county land use plan to prevent large scale developments that have been environmentally destructive in some parts of the county. Simply enforcing the current rules would be a big step forward in terms of protecting viewsheds, farmers, and river corridors. He also wants to improve air quality and cut down the emission of toxic waste in the county.

Carl Thompson has previously served on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and had an impeccable environmental record during that tenure. In particular he helped develop a recycling program that became a model for the rest of the state. He was also a strong advocate of protecting lakes and streams. In this term he wants to protect farm land and implement green building practices into schools and other county buildings. He recognizes that Chatham County is such a desirable place to build right now that it can have strong environmental regulations without causing all developers to turn away.

We strongly encourage Sierra Club members and any residents of Chatham County who care about the environment to support these three candidates in the May 2nd election. They are the best hope for a Board of County Commissioners that will place a priority on minimizing negative environmental impacts as Chatham County grows.

 
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