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Welcome to Chatham County

By Efrain A. Ramirez
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - I truly appreciate the new signs which have been posted on our county borders. I believe they are on fifteen501 N & S & on 64 E & W. Hopefully they will also be on US 421 & NC87. They depict the colors of our forests, meadows, rolling hills & the blue water of Chatham's three rivers & out beautiful Jordan Lake. These colors are also reflected in our county flag.

These attractive signs are some what deceptive however. There is something missing. No, its not the outline of our historic courthouse. What is missing are the thousands of residential rooftops already here & soon to come. I wonder, as these bucolic meadows & forests are replaced by homes if the welcome signs will also change to reflect the shingles that will be seen, instead of fields, forests & rolling meadows of Chatham.

We are all aware that the paving and shingling of Chatham continues despite the recent election resulting in the defeat of the dreaded three. Not only do the lame ducks approve new residential development at an accelerated rate, but now we have a plan for redistricting, to change the way citizens of Chatham vote for their county commissioners.

Here we are in the waning days of the terrible three, almost Sept. of 2006, just two months before they are to be replaced by two commissioners elect and one more to be elected. And what do we have on the plate ? A last minute plan, pushed through with very little debate or consideration, to change things around, on the basis of a six (6) year old census. By how much has the county grown over the past six years ? (Thanks in large part to developments approved over the past three plus years). Should this redistricting plan be approved, it would not take affect until 2008, two years short of the next national census. At that point we need to redistrict again ?

Or is this merely gerrymandering? An attempt to to undermine the decision made by a large number of voters in May to replace the rampant, uncontrolled growth on the part of one Raymond (Bynkey) Morgan & his out of state & out of county money backers. The same ones who subverted the will of Chatham residents in the 2002 county commissioner elections.

Why was this plan to redistrict not put before the voters in 2004? Why now ? And why a new contract for the County Manager at this time? Is this all part of the new scheme for Bunkey to regain power? Perhaps from his true legal residence the next time?

I firmly oppose the proposed redistricting plan and I oppose the plan for commissioners to be elected by only those voters in their district. All Commissioners should be elected on a county wide basis. I don't want someone voting on an issue that affects me when I don't have say on whether that individual continues in office or not. If commissioners were elected by only those voters in their district, he would be concerned about and accountable to only that which pertains to his district. We would degenerate county politics politics to the level of "who brings home the bacon" to their district & to the voters in that district.

County Commissioners need to be accountable to ALL the voters in Chatham County

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Welcome to Chatham County
New "Welcome to Chatham County" signs adorn main entrances to Chatham County, NC.

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