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Majority of Chatham residents are probably not against Chatham Park

By Jody Bruchon
Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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Siler City, NC - I'll see if I can answer a few of the questions Mary Phyllis Horn raised in a recent Chatham Chatlists.

You say that you have a philosophy of "open, transparent government." You also say that you have been working with the Preston developers on the Chatham Park plans for the past 7 years. Why then, did you not alert us to this monstrous project until just this past spring? It looks like the past 7 years have not been open nor transparent.
The information has been available if you wanted to learn about it. You choose your level of involvement in local government affairs. Those who sit in front of the computer reading a forum for all information do not tend to learn about things as quickly as those who put feet on the ground. It's entirely a matter of where your personal priorities lie. Are you saying that the government has colluded to hide the development from you? I don't think that would be an honest characterization of the situation.
Why do you want to change the Pittsboro human demographic? It will change. People coming in will not be of the same mind and preference as we have now.

What I get from your question is that you only want people here who agree with you and think like you do. Did it occur to you that you might not be a member of the majority on this subject? This county is a pretty diverse pool of thought and everyone has a different perspective to offer. Demographics change regardless of the existence of a major planned development and the change will happen whether the existing county residents like it or not.
I have 4 questions for those of you who favor the Chatham Park development coming in: Why aren't you already moving to Cary?

Why would anyone have to? Do you want your neighbors evicted for wanting to have things other than trees and deer in Chatham County? Your lifestyle is not everyone else's. I doubt you've considered the perspectives of others before writing these questions. For me, Cary has nothing to offer that I care about, and it's close enough that I can drive there and partake in some of the benefits without having to live there. That's good enough for me. I probably wouldn't mind living there, except for the fact that the NIMBY crowd is quite ridiculous. I also can't afford to live in Cary because I operate a Chatham County service business and many of the people here can't afford the services we offer if we charge what a place in Cary, Durham, Raleigh, etc. charge for services with the same description.
Do you realize that this project will turn us into a carbon copy of Cary?

It will take a lot more than one 7,000-acre development to become Cary II. Why don't you say that this is what you're concerned about and explain why so that we can have a discussion about the details? As it is, your arguments in the form of questions have assumed that everyone already sees things the way you do and just doesn't realize it yet. Perhaps it would be more helpful to your cause to discuss it in depth rather than ask questions that don't even address the root concerns you have.
Do you realize that while our property values will go up, so also will our taxes? (to pay for building infrastructure, increased personnel such as police, fire, tending to infrastructure maintenance, etc.) Why do you want significantly higher taxes?

No one exists that wants higher taxes. The question is one of what you get in trade for those higher taxes. If you choose to say "humbug! I opt out of this new society I don't agree with, so I shouldn't have to pay squat!" then that's entirely on you. Some people would like to have something to do on a Friday night other than drive to Raleigh, though. Your argument is also weak because more people moving here means more people to pay those extra taxes and more business for local businesses.

With all of this fear of Chatham Park, I am reminded of the Californians creeping into to Seattle. People in Seattle HATE people from California because relatively wealthy people from California showed up in Seattle and drove the cost of living up so high that the people who had lived there for a long time and weren't wealthy got pushed out by the rent increases alone. (Don't tell anyone in Seattle that you're from California!)

I recognize, however, that this is nothing like that situation and that trying to equate the two is willfully ignorant of reality. Everything in life is measured in shades of grey, and the real question that needs to be posed is how to balance the interests of everyone and come to a fair compromise. If you choose to stand back and shout on the Chatlist instead of participate directly in the discussions, your interests will not be heard and the final compromise won't lean in your direction at all.

The information has been available if you wanted to learn about it.

You have limited time and limited voice. Use it wisely. I always liked the phrase "work smarter, not harder.

 
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Majority of Chatham residents are probably not against Chatham Park
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