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Western Wake Partners have other options than running a discharge line through Chatham County

By Sam Cherry
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Citizens of Chatham County, my name is Sam Cherry and I am writing you to ask for you to indulge me just a moment. My hope for you is to see the injustice that large intergovernmental entities can inflict on the common citizen. My desire is for Western Wake Partners (WWP) and the Chatham County Commissioners to respect the law in the discharge of their duties.

Now I know you may think that you do not have a dog in this fight, but you do. As a citizen in the greatest nation on earth you have the inalienable right to due process under the law. The constitution states that you cannot be deprived of life or property without it. Now I think I proved the actions of WWP and its leadership have demonstrated that they have no interest in following the letter of the law in their pursuit to get this project done. This is just one, in the many actions they have taken so far to skirt, jump-over, go around, or ignore the law in this project.

I have never been able to find a public document or resolution by the previous BOC that ceded authority to make decisions concerning property by WWP in Chatham County. In fact, WWP would have you believe that just because the previous Chatham County Board of Commissioners (BOC) didn’t do this they ceded the authority involuntarily. They may not verbally state this, but their actions sure do. As much as I sympathize with their predicament, it is a devil of their own doing.

They clearly stated last night that there were more options to where this discharge line could run but Chatham County was never informed. Also, they could have done more studies to discharge into Harris or applied for an interbasin transfer, but they didn’t. They even tried to run it through Harnett County but they said no thank you. Their desire was to get this project done as quickly as possible and so therefore they created this situation.

I oppose imminent domain in all its forms, but I am willing to abide by the law as it is written. In order for WWP to access my property legally under General Statute 40-A11 they must get an order of condemnation. At this time, they have not. I am willing to meet WWP halfway and begin discussions which could preclude imminent domain and try to reach an amicable settlement. However, I will not tolerate injustice and I will reserve my rights as a citizen in this transaction.

You see I have put my life on the line to protect and defend the constitution. I value what it stands for and understand that to yield the least little freedom that it guarantees is to make a mockery of all its tenants. It is not a perfect document, nothing created by man ever is, but it is brilliant in its effectiveness. To some, I may sound like a zealot or a right wing nut job, but you cannot truly appreciate this document until you visit another country that doesn’t enjoy these freedoms.

I purchased my property after researching the eastern part of Chatham County. I wanted to live in a rural area, away from the entanglements of neighborhoods and the urban sprawl. The people of Chatham are the type of people I want as neighbors and I believe I share the values of many of the citizens I have had the pleasure to meet as a result of this ordeal.

People like Patrick Barnes. I have come to respect Mr. Barnes, because he has lost more land than I will ever own. You may not know it, but he has over 100 acres submerged under Lake Jordan. His family’s ownership in that land dates back to the 1700’s, I believe. So when you see him speak, pay him the respect that someone who has lost land to this process deserves. He does not speak as a partisan democrat or a community organizer, but as an individual who is going through the process again. Whether potential involuntary annexation or imminent domain the effect is the same. The unwanted encroachment on your hard earned property.

As a matter of principal, I ask the Chatham BOC to enjoin with the property owners and seek an injunction until this matter is fully adjudicated under their powers as commissioners. Until they pass a resolution that they will either grant or disapprove this pipeline, they have a duty to protect the property rights of the property owners. I know that they will do this because they are honorable people. I believe that they have been put in an impossible position. Their learning curve has been steep and I do not envy the position they are in. Many of the commissioners ran on a platform of property rights, and they are now being tested. I will respect whatever decision they make and pray that God gives them the wisdom needed to do it.

In conclusion, I may lose my property to imminent domain and that will just be how life is. However, from this point forward I demand that WWP do everything in public and private to the letter of the law and in a transparent manner as it concerns the property owners of Chatham County.

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Western Wake Partners have other options than running a discharge line through Chatham County