by Larry Hicks
Pittsboro, NC – So, it is political season again, with campaign signs and Political Action Committees (PAC) popping up like dandelions. This round, the award goes to “Chatham Forward,” who is organizing against incumbent Commissioner Mike Cross, while supporting incumbent Commissioner Karen Howard. You will see two major issues the PAC, created by Jeffrey Starkweather, will tout regarding Commissioner Cross. 1) That he voted against county-wide zoning, and 2) he votes in alignment with the Republicans more than Democrats. I’ll address the second issue later, but first, county-wide voting.
Bottom line, it was Mike Cross that made the motion in December 2015 to institute R1/R5 county-wide zoning (opposed by the way by Commissioner Diana Hales). This was the vote that counted. The process itself went through various iterations, with a variety of ‘no’ votes. To single out the November 2015 vote is a bit disingenuous, but a pretty typical ploy in shaping the opposing position. Over the past year or so, there were several discussions and votes;
* All commissioners voted in favor of county-wide zoning in December 2014
* Commissioners Crawford, Hales, and Howard, voted against county-wide zoning at the February 2015 Board meeting, when they changed course on engaging citizens. (Commissioner Cross voted against this motion, in that it eliminated community engagement in the process … I guess you could count that as voting with the Republican)
* Commissioner Mike Cross voted against county-wide zoning in November 2015, opposing the vote to ignore the Planning Board majority report on the matter. (The second instance where the Board majority voted to ignore community input, if you are keeping score)
* Commissioner Diana Hales voted against County-wide zoning at the December 2015 Board meeting (the final vote on the motion by Commissioner Cross, the vote that counted)
So, using the logic of the PAC, ALL commissioners, at one time or another, voted against county-wide zoning.
I am sure others will offer their detailed insight in teasing out this issue. But the upshot here is that there is no issue here. It’s a ploy to try to demonize Commissioner Cross, who has always voted in support of the citizens of Chatham County. That is why I am a fan of Commissioner Mike Cross. Again, the final vote, the vote that counted, was on a motion by Commissioner Mike Cross.
Next round, I’ll address the contention that Commissioner Cross voted more with the Republican agenda than with the Democrat majority. Meanwhile, feel free to peruse Commissioner Mike Cross’s Facebook page, www.Cross4Chatham.com, and read up on Mike’s engagement on behalf of the citizens of Chatham County.