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In My Opinion

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Why Chatham County should abandon all zoning lawsWhy Chatham County should abandon all zoning laws
[Dec. 20, 2004] The battle between pro-development forces and those who wish to retain the rural character of Chatham County has raged back and forth over the past two years, with both sides claiming small victories. For the pro-growth folks, the 2002 election of Chatham County Commissioner Bunkey 'Silk Hope' Morgan was perhaps the biggest, as his slim election win over slow-growth advocate Gary 'Preacher Man' Phillips virtually guaranteed the approval of several new developments and zoning changes. In fact, since Mr. Morgan has been elected to the Board, not a single major rezoning request has been denied. Now that's progress. By James A. McGurk
 
Ode to Briar Chapel
[Sep. 27, 2004] Briar the Blue Sky
In the Chatham wind
Comes a stinging rain
Driving politics
And smart growth goes down the drain
From a Newlands lie
Red-orange mud flows
See the river of greed
Running wild where the beautiful grows By Concerned Chathamite
 
Attributes of a new school superintendentAttributes of a new school superintendent
[Sep. 9, 2004] What has not been addressed to date is the need for a superintendent with business experience over academic and teaching qualifications. Chatham County’s unprecedented growth causes us to prepare to build schools to the tune of something between 40 and perhaps as high as 75 million dollars of taxpayer bond money. In addition to that bond, state and federal funds of some $54 millions last year and probably a similar amount this year. By Gerald Totten
 
In Chatham, victory for a diverse coalitionIn Chatham, victory for a diverse coalition
[Jul. 31, 2004] The headline on a July 22 N&O article about the results of the Chatham County elections read "Diversity loses in Chatham." Nothing could be further from the truth. The Chatham Coalition supported a diverse slate of candidates based solely on their positions on the issues. Our slate included an African-American school board candidate, Norman Clark, who received an overwhelming 68 percent of the vote -- the largest percentage of the vote of any candidate -- and Holly Duncan, a woman, who received 62 percent, the second-largest percentage. By Jeffrey Starkweather
 
Chatham citizen expresses anger over county commission behaviorChatham citizen expresses anger over county commission behavior
[Feb. 6, 2004] You all may not like being challenged. And you may not like the discussion going on in Chatham. But you sure well better begin having a conscience. Many of us have never received any answers to any emails we have ever written to any of you EXCEPT from Commissioner Atwater. At least he has had the courtesy to listen and respond, even in disagreement. The rest of you need a lesson in humility. And governing. By Nancy S. Brown
 
Why even bother having a compact community ordinance if it has no biteWhy even bother having a compact community ordinance if it has no bite
[Jan. 31, 2004] A close analysis of the changes made in the Compact Community Ordinance by Paul Messick in Draft "B" shows that that the proposed changes effectively take all of the teeth out of the original ordinance. Is this what Chatham County citizens really want? By Lynn Monson Hayes
Also: PDF version of the analysis
 
What does it take to be a school board candidateWhat does it take to be a school board candidate
[Jan. 29, 2004] Postings in the chatham chatlist as well as the Chatham Online Bulletin Board have suggested some qualifications for school board candidates. They can't live in the Governor's Club area, they must not be transplanted "Yankees", one has to be black, one has to be female and they almost have to be native born in Chatham County. Any less qualification is thought to be a disqualification. By Gerald Totten
Also: Chatham Chatlist Sign-up
Also: Chatham Online Bulletin Board
 
Chatham citizen examines differences between draft A and draft B of CCOChatham citizen examines differences between draft A and draft B of CCO
[Jan. 21, 2004] A Chatham citizen examines the differences between draft A and draft B of the compact communities ordinance. He responses to a letter to the commisioners from Messrs. Gunn & Messick, Esq. The attorney's letter was dated Jan. 9, 2004, and appeared on the County’s website on Jan.16. By Robert Eby
 
How did we land up in this school bond mess?How did we land up in this school bond mess?
[Jan. 15, 2004] The events of last Monday night when Ms. McManus, Cadle Cooper and Ernest Dark were scratching like a cat on a hot tin roof jamming all they could dream up into the proposal - and still came up short - seem surreal! Consider how we came to this juncture. By Gerald Totten
 
HRA comments on "Homestead" development
[Jan. 5, 2004] The Haw River Assembly is adamantly opposed to re-zoning of Jordan Lake land for more intense development. These are our comments as presented at the public hearing on November 17, 2003. By Elaine Chiosso
Also: Haw River Assembly
Also: Jordan Lake Water Quality
 
Why the Homestead at Jordan Lake is a bad idea
[Jan. 2, 2004] The potential for negative impacts to the water resources in Jordan Lake is a major problem as The Homestead proposes to build 1 house per 0.5 acres or less in an area currently zoned for very low density development in Protected and Critical Areas of Watershed IV. By Allison Weakley
Also: Homestead Five Findings
Also: Planning Board Discussion

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