This website is accessible to all versions of every browser. However, you are seeing this message because your browser does not support basic Web standards, and does not properly display the site's design details. Please consider upgrading to a more modern browser. (Learn More).

You are here: home > opinion > letters to the editor

Chatham Coalition candidates should immediately renounce the Coalition

By Patrick H. Barnes, IV
Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010

e-mail E-mail this page   print Printer-friendly page

Pittsboro, NC - I do not think George Lucier, Tom Vanderbeck, or Carl Thompson can necessarily ask for John Hammond and Jan Nichols resignation, but the other steering committee members of the Chatham Coalition can, and should. It is not that the Coalition endorsed commissioners are actual members of the coalition. If you read commandment seven, it states only actual steering committee members can make official statements. It's a nifty little loophole, but it's done so that the Chatham Coalition can't be held accountable for what others say. Basically, you, the individual, can volunteer, and they darn sure want your money, but keep your mouth shut. Interesting.

I distinctly remember when I first joined, well, I guess I have to say volunteered, to "be a part of" the Chatham Coalition, Jan Nichols telling me in no uncertain terms, I could not say anything against the Chatham Coalition. She was already realizing my dad wasn't going to be told what to do, and that I would go to his camp before staying with theirs. That was the first red flag in my mind, and over the course of the next several years, I had many discussions with different folks about this. The term I coined at the time, was that there should still be the right to "autonomy within the collective effort". Jeffrey Starkweather told me that statement was not valid, nor viable, and, basically, did not exist.

On the other hand, while visiting Randy Voller and Leslie Landis one day, I had the same conversation, and Randy completely agreed with me that yes, the individual should be allowed the right to autonomy within the collective effort.

Where I'm going with this is, I was being told I had no right to voice my own personal opinion, I could only say what the Chatham Coalition condoned. Now, it took me a few years to become fed up with that, but, really, that just isn't right.

I hope you all see where I'm going with that little piece of history. It kinda does make my head spin sometimes, 'cause it all does get confusing, but so that I don't write a whole book here, let's get back to the first paragraph.

George Lucier, Tom Vanderbeck, and Carl Thompson are chosen candidates on a given slate of a given group, or organization, or PAC. They have been chosen because their views coincide with that group. Technically, it doesn't have to be 100% agreement on given issues, and, technically, the candidates shouldn't have to be "beholdin'" to that group. But one of the major conflicts between the Chatham Coalition and candidates it has chosen in the past, is that, although a candidate may be appreciative of the support given, that candidate doesn't have to do everything "they" say. The term is "yes man", and the Catch22 on this is that you might be booted if you don't become one.

A couple of examples are:

1. Commissioner Barnes

2. Commissioner Cross. The very first vote he was involved in was Briar Chapel. People have railed on that man constantly since then, and it's hard to believe they still can't see the truth. He did the right thing. It was a done deal. Morgan, Emerson, and Outz were voting for Briar Chapel, so it was a done deal. What Mike did was gain millions of dollars for affordable housing, by making a deal. He can give you the details. The deal was he voted for and gained the funds for the county. But the Chatham Coalition didn't see it that way. And especially Jefferey Starkweather. They saw Mike Cross as a traitor, because they had just gotten him elected, and he wouldn't vote the way they wanted. Mike went for the greater good, and I applaud the effort. Maybe not so good for his new career in local politics, but I think it was incredibly honorable, in the end.

Jeffrey Starkweather went ballistic. He already had his eye on becoming a commissioner someday, but this really lit him up. I remember being at his house the Tuesday after the vote, and he was already planning to run against Mike Cross. I don't think he was very interested in hearing, comprehending, or relating the truth to anyone. I remember trying to explain to him why, but he was having none of it. Remember- in those days, I was firmly embedded in two camps. I was having a good time, and I was learning a lot.

But the Chatham Coalition never forgave Mike. And that gave Jefferey the ammunition to go after Mike. And he did.

Would you folks understand now, and please forgive Mike Cross for a "crime" he didn't commit? It was Mike doing the right thing, and showing he was no one's "yes man". It's so simple, the truth. But when egos get in the way, the truth goes out the window..

As to Lucier, I do believe he is his own man. I do know in the beginning, he and the Chatham Coalition butted heads over the control they wanted, but, in the end, I think "they" have bent more for him. I would vote for him.

Thompson? Now this is gonna be hard to handle for some of you, but I'm asking you all to understand what I am about to say is not an any way meant to be taken as derogatory. Thompson was a former county commissioner, is well respected, and Jeff needed the African-American vote. Whatever it took. Simple as that. Mark Barroso would call this electioneering.

I wonder if Carl really wanted to run again this time, or was he talked into it? Conjecture, but, I wonder. I mean, he has a lot on his plate, and hasn't, in the end, been, I think, available as much as he should have been. I think he would have a lot less stress in his life and be happier, if he wasn't re-electd. I would not vote for Thompson.

And Tom Vanderbeck. You know what's funny? If I had run against Bunkey, I think I would have won. Actually, I was the the first official unofficial potential. Guess who's idea it was? Randy Voller's. You and Leslie both remember, we were all giddy over the thought, but, in the end, I knew it just wasn't gonna happen. More than that, I didn't want it. But I did, for a month or so, let the thought run so as to inspire a far more prepared individual to step up to the plate.

It didn't happen. In the end, what we got was a ham sandwich. A yellow dog. Almost every upper echelon politico I know says the same thing. And that is not conjecture.

Bunkey Morgan, even though you were Dad's nemesis, I do feel for you. There wasn't a snowball's chance in Hades.

Tom Vanderbeck wasn't the best choice, he just happened to be the person that ran. He really hasn't done a lot. And don't give me that broadband spiel. Really. He will, quite simply, be dead in the water without the Chatham Coalition.

I would not, and will not, vote for Vanderbeck.

What this would do, is eliminate two of the current Chatham Coalition slated candidates, but the board of commissioners' majority would still be Democrat. I didn't say that because I love Democrats, but let's ease into a leveling of the playing field. It would, however, provide the Chatham Coalition with an excellent opportunity to show themselves to the door. Don't bother staying in touch. Bye.

Then, if the former Commissioner of District 1 would still be up to the challenge, have him re-elected, and send Sally Kost packing.

Sally, you know it, and I know it, you didn't win because you were a better candidate. You won because you were the candidate in the nastiest local election I've seen in my adult life. You should immediately resign. Seriously. You, Ma'am, are a hypocrite. You are worse than you made Mr. Morgan to look like, because you lied to the very people that were voting for you. Believe me, I'm working on your report card at this very moment. I'll get back to you on that.

I will vote for Mike Cross every single time that man runs, until such a time as he chooses not to run again. Then, I'll vote for the person he recommends. And that, is that.

In summary, people say they don't read the Chatham Online bulletin board and the Chatham Chatlist, but they heard something. People say that people that write on the bullrtin board aren't credible.

Mayor Voller posts on the Chatham Online bulletin board all the time. As himself, and aliases. John Hammond posts on the bulletin board. Jan Nichols posts on the bulletin board. Jeff Starkweather posts on the bulletin board. And I post on the bulletin board. If one is to be discounted, then all should be discounted. And that isn't going to happen.

Please feel free to print this, and send it to anybody you want. I believe it should be made known to the citizens of Chatham County, the Chatham County Coalition is about as bad as it can get, when it comes to local politics.

Jeff Starkweather, Sally Kost, Jan Nichols, John Hammond, Mark Barroso, Tom Vanderbeck, I'm not going away. The rest of you? I'm not going after you. Wise up and ditch them. I did. What do I mean by "going after"? Ask Mark Barroso. He calls it electioneering.

The current candidates, Democrat and Republican, do not need the Chatham Coalition to make this election happen. The Chatham Coalition does, however, need those candidates. I would suggest all the Chatham Coalition candidates immediately renounce the Coalition.

e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
Chatham Coalition candidates should immediately renounce the Coalition
Chatham Coalition endorsed Chatham County Commissioner Sally Kost.