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Some sensitivity, compassion and understanding are called upon to include all citizens of Chatham County

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Mr. Kirkman's comments in the May 22 Chatham Chatlist, are titled "the common good." That is a principle of most governments. All fine and good. However, when taxes increase by more than 50 percent in six years and more than 70 percent in ten years, that good is threatened. The people who built this county and are now retired with modest pay, by comparison to those who recently moved here, are hurt by rising taxes.

People who built this county and are now retired with modest pay are hurt by rising taxes

A few hundred a year may not hurt you, but that amount does hurt those retirees, the thousands who lost their jobs because we did not actively recruit any replacements for the dozens of factories now shut down, and poor people. Siler City, which is not in Pittsboro, had an 18+ percent poverty rate before the 2010 census. I suspect that it will have around 30 percent poverty in the published results for the 2010 census.

Wake up. Spending tax payer dollars is not meant to be the privilege of the few. It's meant to be a necessity of all, i.e., the common good.

Ms. Siverson quotes rules which are state environmental rules, enforced by the state and federal agencies. For your information, Chatham does not have a GC/MS laboratory for testing water for chemical pollutants, and, to my knowledge, has not used one for WQ or run off testing. The qualifications of those who served on the Environmental Review Board are not specified, so a biochemist, an environmental engineer, a hydro geologist or a microbiologist are not required to serve.

The ERB is being placed under the Planning Board. Sedimentation Erosion Control is assumed by another position on staff. They have not disappeared. The requirement to perform an Environmental Impact Assessment on all development above one acre is onerous, especially for residential owners. One acre limit is ridiculous. That covers all residential lots outside the towns and major subdivisions and commonly disturbed residential building with house, garage, and driveway. I assume that you would also wish to control all disturbance above one acre by requiring an EIA or EIS. Try flying that one by the farmers in the county.

As to transparency, the agendas of all meetings are published

We could not afford a PhD in any of the disciplines mentioned above. So, we hire a mid-level technician to perform the work who has no resources for testing, therefore, no basis for filing complaints or violations.

The state does have these resources, and so does the fed. We actually have no business doing these jobs, unless we are fully equipped and funded. The population necessary to support this level is somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 to 200,000. Then, I might agree.

Using scare tactics of saying that erosion, mudslides, pollution are going to occur because of these changes is a lie

Using scare tactics of saying that erosion, mudslides, pollution are going to occur because of these changes is a lie, and has no place in the argument. These violations are covered by state and federal regulations. The NC Sedimentation & Erosion Control Act was passed in 1976. Other anti-pollution acts were passed in the 1980's. Now, you just need to have convinced the democrats who passed them to have funded them at the state level. Interestingly enough, it was republicans who funded them after they languished for years without. Before that, there was one testing van and one crew to cover more than six hundred municipalities and many more private wastewater treatment plants. Our state motto ought to "Videre quam esse."

The positions to which you refer (being cut or amended) do not regulate development. Our subdivision and zoning regulations do, as do state and federal regulations on run off and pollution. So a developer violating these provisions will suffer just the same without the new positions. The staff in these positions also need to learn respect and tact when dealing with citizens and developers. The instruction is to serve the taxpayers, not punish them.

Some sensitivity, compassion and understanding are called upon to include ALL citizens of Chatham

As to transparency, the agendas of all meetings are published and there will be four meetings at which the public, in this case the Coalition, may comment on this issue alone. I call that transparent.

To both, voters tired of the way Chatham has worked for eight years voted last fall. We listened to what was said and saw how things ran for many years. I think we have heard it all. Now, that has changed. Criticize as you will, conservatives waited patiently until a change could be made. Hopefully, that change is not too late to protect those who do not have big bank accounts, good jobs and any job at all.

Some sensitivity, compassion and understanding are called upon to include ALL citizens of Chatham, even those less fortunate than ones living in the east.

 
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