by Paul Revere
Pittsboro, NC- The July 20 meeting of the Chatham County board of commissioners was another lesson in disrespect and disdain, and as usual the interesting moments weren’t on the agenda.
Commissioner Diana Hales wants to use the power of her office to force a long-time business out of the county. Just before the end of the meeting Hales asked: “Is there any rationale that would allow the county to disallow ST Wooten to operate? I’m asking”. “Could we send a letter to DOT requesting that the State buy asphalt from sources other than ST Wooten? Umm I’m just asking”. The other commissioners didn’t say anything, but the county manager stated “from the standpoint of staff; we’ve never been asked to interfere with commerce before”.
With county commissioners willing to entertain such an idea, I might look elsewhere if I was considering opening a business in Chatham (on say a megasite near Siler City).
Also during the last ten minutes of the meeting a citizen stood to speak. He was frustrated with the county about the number of times an inspector needed to visit and the number of fees that have to be paid for a building project. In his frustration, he vented about the “liberal left”. Howard, Crawford, and Cross were offended by those comments and argued with him. Howard and Cross were so offended they began packing up and leaving while he was speaking and before the meeting adjourned; showing complete disdain toward the citizen. It’s difficult to explain to those who didn’t see it firsthand but I encourage you to watch the last few minutes of the meeting video. If you do, notice the difference in how those three handled the situation and the classy way Commissioner Petty did. I don’t remember Karen Howard having a problem when her supporters attended and repeatedly called the former commissioners right wing tea baggers and racists.
Finally, during all of this, a prominent member of the democratic party executive committee was sitting in the back of the room with both feet propped up on the back the bench. Chairman Crawford needs to tell his friends that the courthouse is not the property of the democratic party. If we want to maintain that beautiful facility they cannot treat it like their own living room and the furniture like some old coffee table.