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Tom Vanderbeck to challenge Chatham BOC chairman

By Tom Vanderbeck
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - Tom Vanderbeck filed today to challenge incumbent Chatham County commission chair Bunkey Morgan in the May 2 District 4 Democratic primary. In stark contrast to Morgan, who recently loaned his campaign $50,000, Vanderbeck loaned his campaign treasury $50.00. The challenger refuses to engage in a campaign spending war. Vanderbeck is building a grass-roots campaign, meeting as many voters as possible and raising necessary campaign funds one voter at a time.

“I want my race to be a contest about issues,” Vanderbeck explained. “I will not be bought, and I will not buy votes. I will work to stop the current policy of selling out Chatham County to benefit large out-of-town, and out-of-state, developers.”

Vanderbeck has lived in District 4 since 1997, when he and his wife Laura, a native of Greensboro, moved to Chatham County to help with the care of her mother. Since his retirement after twenty-five years in the construction industry, Vanderbeck has pursued small-scale sustainable farming, while also providing property management services and being active in community affairs.

“The current BOC majority is carrying out a wrong-headed policy of promoting unplanned, large-scale residential development as Chatham’s only economic development policy,” Vanderbeck said. “I believe we need to follow a well-thought-out land use plan. We also need to focus on true economic development by doing more to promote small, local business that will bring good-paying jobs to the county and generate income that will be spent here.”

Vanderbeck believes in investing his energy to build community. He is an active member of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, an owner and investor in the Chatham Marketplace cooperative grocery store, and an owner of Weaver Street Market, where he volunteers weekly. He is also a member of the newly formed Chatham Alliance for Sustainable Energy, which is planning to work with local governments,businesses and utility companies to develop strategies for promoting energy efficiency and alternative renewable energy sources.

“Chatham is a beautiful county, and we are blessed with many capable and energetic citizens. But, we are at a crossroads. The choices we make at the polls this year will determine the quality of life in our county for generations,” Vanderbeck said. “I am not running with a claim that I know all the answers to our county’s problems. Nor will I make the type of overblown promises that Chairman Morgan made in his last campaign. But I will promise to listen to all the citizens of the county and to act in their best interest after careful thought,rather than simply act as a rubber-stamp for developers. I want us to work toward smart growth for our county. And, most importantly, I will tell people the truth about what is happening in county government and tell the voters why I voted the way I did on all important issues.”

 
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