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I put faith and trust in my elected officials to pass laws and regulations to protect our water

By Rita Cileo
Posted Friday, June 24, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - I find it unconscionable that Commissioners Brian Bock, Walter Petty and Pam Stewart voted to eliminate the Environmental Resource Position and Green Building Staff in the Budget by their three to two vote. A very hasty decision was made by them with no afterthought of the consequences including canceling the remaining budget work sessions.

I want to thank Sally Kost and Mike Cross for standing by their convictions and voting against this travesty of justice.

Mr. Brian Bock stated in one of his question and answer sessions earlier in the year that creating an environment that fosters job growth and job retention will be his top priority. So how is eliminating these key positions doing that?

Placing environmental resources, sedimentation and soil erosion control under Waste Management is a mistake. Do you really want to cross train individuals to assist in monitoring environmental protections? What background would these individuals have and how would they be cross-trained. We can‘t tread lightly on important environmental issues with inexperienced workers who do not have the background in environmental protection. The separate departments should stay separate. They are too important to be lumped under one department. It will be too chaotic and will not streamline operations. Monitoring the pollution levels in our drinking water reservoirs is key to getting ahead of pollution and preventing costly clean up and with that you need Environmental Resource to be one department.

Pittsboro gets its drinking water from the Haw River which is impaired causing unhealthy drinking water. Why I even have to spend close to $1,000 per year on bottled water because I don‘t have the confidence in the quality of my drinking water. Why should I be afraid of the water my grandchildren will drink or bathe in. I have received well over 15 Notices to the Public in the past years concerning the town‘s violations for high TTHM‘s in my drinking water. Why eliminate the Environmental Resource Position who works with the federal and state agencies to help improve our waterways like the Haw River and Jordan Lake so we can have clean drinking water because don‘t we all deserve a basic necessity in life like clean water to drink. Our soil erosion must also be monitored to prevent sediments from reaching water bodies. We all know that sedimentation is by far the largest pollutant to our waterways namely our Haw River and Jordan Lake.

I put faith and trust in my elected officials to pass laws and regulations that will give me and my grandchildren safe water to drink and improve our waterways that supply our drinking water thus enhancing our environment. Eliminating key positions like Environmental Resource is doing just the opposite.

But, Commissioners Brian Bock, Walter Petty and Pam Stewart have cast their votes to jeopardize our environment by eliminating crucial positions and they will have to live with that. I will have them to thank when I receive another notice of contaminated water. I will have them to thank when our waterways stay polluted. I will have them to thank for soil erosion because key positions have been eliminated

In closing remember that a clear conscience is a soft pillow and your decisions regarding this budget affect everyone. Sally Kost and Mike Cross on the other hand won‘t have to worry about their conscience because they did the right thing by the people and voted no against this budget. Sadly that wasn‘t enough.

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