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In My Opinion

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Morgan's special interest campaign machine is at it againMorgan's special interest campaign machine is at it again
[Nov. 7, 2005] Chris Walker appears to have taken his campaign strategy for the Bunkey Morgan, ReMax and Newland play book. Walker's last minute attack ad in the Chatham Record and his turn to computer based robot telephone calls are classic examples of the Morgan special interest machine. What they don't know is robot telephone calling is among the least effective political campaign tools. It appears that Walker like the Morgan machine cannot run a clean campaign based on issues or his record and has turned late in the campaign to negative attack ads. By John Hammond
Also: It Took a Village
 
Why I support a "developer" for mayor?Why I support a "developer" for mayor?
[Nov. 2, 2005] I recently joined a progressive political action committee, Pittsboro Together, that has endorsed candidates in the upcoming November 8 Pittsboro town elections. These endorsements are based on candidates’ positions on issues such as open government; planned and smart growth; support for recreation, parks, and the arts; reliable and clean water and sewer services; downtown revitalization; and economic development promoting small business and well paying jobs. By Jeffrey Starkweather
 
Developers have a bigger say in Chatham than do the citizensDevelopers have a bigger say in Chatham than do the citizens
[Oct. 24, 2005] I just had to write to express my concern about what I feel is the hijacking of the voting by Commissioner Patrick Barnes concerning the addition of more lots to the Homestead neighborhood adjacent to Jordan Lake. Evidently Mr. Barnes was requested by County Attorney Bob Gunn not to vote on this issue because of Mr. Barnes' publicly stated position against development that would drain into Jordan Lake. By Lynn Hayes
 
County wins planning award thanks to volunteer inputCounty wins planning award thanks to volunteer input
[Oct. 22, 2005] I noticed on the County website, that Chatham County has won the top award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association for the development of its Compact Community Ordinance. The press release states, "The development of the ordinance involved many long hours of work by the county's Land Use Plan Implementation Committee over nearly two years, with input from hundreds of citizens." By Larry M. Hicks
 
Prevent 15-501 from becoming just be one long strip mallPrevent 15-501 from becoming just be one long strip mall
[Sep. 11, 2005] The Board of Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities is raising the request for consideration of a Commercial Corridor Ordinance to be planned as a prerequisite to any further consideration of retail/commercial development along the arterials of 15-501, 64 and 421 in Chatham County. By Rita K. Spina
Also: Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities
 
Why kids leave Chatham for educationWhy kids leave Chatham for education
[Sep. 11, 2005] This is a response to Gina Bechtel-Hicks. I think you answered your own question! Kids are leaving because as you stated, anytime a parent attempts to get any information or speak out about the problems, the parents are attacked and dismissed by the school board (and others), it is difficult and time-consuming to effect any changes in Chatham, and change is incremental and very slow... and the kids suffer in the meantime. By Amy W. Osborne
 
Is the Chatham EDC working in the public's interest?Is the Chatham EDC working in the public's interest?
[Aug. 20, 2005] Is the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) really doing economic develop in the public’s interest or in the special interests? In order to answer this question let us examine one of the EDC’s major projects the Kayser-Roth project in Goldston. As many know Kayser-Roth ceased business at 751 S. Church Street in Goldston prior to January 31, 2000. By John Hammond
 
Do community ethics matter against Wal-Mall’s $$$?Do community ethics matter against Wal-Mall’s $$$?
[Aug. 14, 2005] The other day I was having a friendly chit-chat with two female county government employees when the subject of Wal-Mart possibly coming to northern Chatham came up. “Don’t get me started,” one of the ladies exclaimed. An hour later I knew why. By Jeffrey Starkweather
 
Our lakes at risk: the impact of growth on North Carolina’s water qualityOur lakes at risk: the impact of growth on North Carolina’s water quality
[Jul. 13, 2005] As North Carolina's population continues to grow, our forests, farmlands, and open spaces are disappearing.As these areas disappear and as people move closer to our rivers, lakes and streams,water quality suffers. Between 1982 and 2002,North Carolina lost 2,568,700 acres of cropland and forestland, while it gained 1,849,800 acres of developed land. By Christine Wunsche
Also: NCPIRG
 
About Wal-Mart: What we know, and what we don't knowAbout Wal-Mart: What we know, and what we don't know
[Jul. 12, 2005] Many citizens have been reading the newspapers and then asking questions about the possibility of a Super Wal-Mart Shopping Center making its appearance in northern Chatham along Route 15/501. Our effort now involves collecting facts and the views of the citizens of Chatham County. By Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities
Also: Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities
 
Malice in Wonderland ?Malice in Wonderland ?
[May 23, 2005] In response to David's note on the 1% transfer tax, I don't believe this is an issue of Mike Cross raising money for power, but rather his seeking a creative way to address the impact of the County's failed policy on residential growth. And Barrett's comment about the such a fee reducing the growth in this country ... well for some, that would be a good thing. By Larry Hicks
 
1% Transfer Tax looks like the best solution1% Transfer Tax looks like the best solution
[May 11, 2005] Well, I think we've all heard enough to agree that we have a problem: Our county has run out of money to meet the needs of us citizens: Our schools have to go begging to get bonds passed to borrow money to build new buildings (just to meet demand) and we're still unable to maintain the existing buildings. Our sheriff tells a tale of woe about how pretty-soon he won't have enough deputies to police all the new roads, neighborhoods, and businesses that are being built. The problems just go on and on. By John Bonitz
 
Suggested improvements to public meeting and information proceduresSuggested improvements to public meeting and information procedures
[Apr. 8, 2005] The Commissioners and county staff should be applauded for the features that have been included on the county website to improve citizen knowledge and encourage their input, including: an application for potential volunteers to serve on advisory boards and commissions and a list of those boards and commissions; providing access to background and supportive information on agenda items attached to the county commissioners’ agenda, giving access to all county board minutes back to October 1994, posting the most recent planning board minutes and making land use regulations available, and posting a host of other key documents when they are relevant. By Jeffrey Starkweather
 
Top Ten reasons why the BOC needs to rethink changing from a uniform impact fee structureTop Ten reasons why the BOC needs to rethink changing from a uniform impact fee structure
[Feb. 12, 2005] The Chatham Coalition learned of Bunkey Morgan’s smoke-filled backroom secret impact fee plan just in the nick of time to stop a vote on this item that he purposely left off the Monday, February 7 county commissioner’s meeting agenda. His plan appears to be an attempt to get around a vote on a school bond referendum through the creation of geographic school impact zone that would cost new residents from $4,000 to zero depending on where they reside, regardless of the size of the residence or whether it is a mobile home. By Chatham Coalition
 
Who stands to gain from residential growth in Chatham County?Who stands to gain from residential growth in Chatham County?
[Feb. 9, 2005] Who stands to gain from residential growth in Chatham County? Certainly not the citizens. Lately, Chatham County has experienced an influx of residential development. Rapid development results in many losers and a few winners. The only people who gain anything ($$$$$) from development are realtors and developers. By Stuart Smith

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