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Jeffrey Starkweather steals opportunities for the voices of Chatham citizens to be heard

By David Morris
Posted Friday, November 4, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - I am writing you today to comment on the subject of decorum and behavior at board of commissioners' meetings, and to bring to your attention something I believe to be important when you head to the polls in 2012.

Monday's meetings included an invitation to speakers from the Green Energy Council and the principal owner of a natural gas company that practices hydraulic fracturing. It is important to note that these gentleman were invited guests, no matter one's opinion on the subject. I found the meeting to be informative and while many in the room were in opposition to the guest's positions, they were respectful and informative when offering public input in opposition as well as respectful when the gentlemen gave their presentation. I want to thank both sides for offering information I did not know and adding facts for me to consider in my own mind.

However, there were two of the same old agitators who ruined yet another meeting for all the others who took the time to come out and have a dialogue on a subject they care about. We all know Jeffery Starkweather, and we remember Lynn Fass as the lady who penned the letter accusing Mr. Bock of having improper relationships with Wake County. I challenged her to prove such a claim. I continue to await her response. Their behavior was disruptive throughout the meeting. However, the most egregious error was committed by Mr. Starkweather, a man who is rumored to be asking for your vote in 2012.

I believe as voting citizens you should know of this error. Mr. Starkweather's behavior was not a shock throughout, he often behaves in a disruptive and arrogant manner but what he did during this meeting was take away the opportunity for his fellow citizens to have their voices be heard. Instead, Mr. Starkweather chose to use this critical moment to grandstand for a rumored run for the board.

Let me offer some context.

After a meeting in which Mr. Starkweather was so disruptive that even some of the folks there that supported his position kept asking politely for Mr. Starkweather and Ms. Fass to please be quiet. They never did.

Nobody is disruptive when Mr. Starkweather offers his bi-weekly public input, it is hypocritical that he can not offer his fellow citizens the same respect. There was a lady who offered some great information during her public input in opposition of the speakers, and while we all suffered, she suffered the most due to proximity.

I am sorry that your name escapes me ma'am, but I want to thank you for your input and sorry that you had to deal with the childish behavior of these two due to your seat location in front of the rabble-rousers. It is a shame your request could not be honored by such rude individuals.

Following the presentation, in a move probably against the rules, the Board allowed a Q and A session with the presenters, allowing many of these citizens the chance to ask the questions they traveled there to ask. The questions were well thought and informative, that is until a yelling from the back Mr. Starkweather was allowed the microphone.

Then, with the camera film rolling, he proceeded to grandstand for the camera, yelling and pointing the finger, never asking a question, until he was finally asked to sit down. His childish and boorish behavior forced an end to the Q and A, effectively stealing any opportunity for other's who had patiently waited for the microphone and played by the rules set for this impromptu session.

Mr. Starkweather never raised his hand, instead choosing to go and swipe the microphone and opportunity away from someone who had waited their turn with their hand patiently raised. Folks, this is a man who will be asking for your vote. It is also a man who believes making a name for himself is more important than your search for answers to questions you care about.

We may not all agree on what the positions of our politicians should be, one thing we all should demand is that our elected leaders represent us with respect, class, manners, and a sense of decorum. Mr. Starkweather has none of these qualities. He disrespected all who attended that meeting, but he really disrespected those who were not afforded the opportunity to ask their important question because of his behavior. He stole their ability to have a town hall type forum on a subject important to them. Despite all of his horrific actions, this behavior was by far the most egregious.

He knows nothing about leadership, especially leading by example. I believe we all want in a representative: respect, class, manners, and a sense of decorum.

I have witnessed Mr. Starkweather's antics many times. He is none of these mentioned qualities. He is a selfish person who believes his opinion is more important than yours. The fact that he took away an opportunity for real citizens to ask real questions only proves my point.

You need to consider this should his name show up on the ballot. So folks, if this is your choice when voting in the primary then ask yourself this question. Do I want someone who respects me, or do I want someone who will disrespect me? The choice is yours. If you desire being represented, Mr. Starkweather is not the man for you.

P.S. Ms. Chiosso and Mr. Theye have spent the last six months lecturing the board and citizens alike that we must hear all sides of an issue. There opinions on the topic of fracking is out there for the public record. However, they waited until one minute into the presentation to stand up and walk out. I guess they do not practice what they preach.

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Jeffrey Starkweather steals opportunities for the voices of Chatham citizens to be heard
Former Chatham Coalition leader Jeffrey Starkweather is rumored to be running for the Chatham County board in 2012.

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