Pittsboro Matters doesn’t really matter much any more

by Virginia Penley

Pittsboro, NC – I am mystified.

I clearly stated in a recent opinion piece to the Chatham County Line that I am on the same side of a majority of supporters of Pittsboro Matters regarding values, our community and topics such as affordable housing and managed growth.

I also believe it is wise to have a long term County strategy regarding climate change and I believe that community advocacy organizations can and frequently do play a vital role in the democratic process.

Jeff Starkweather

Jeffrey Starkweather

My concern continues to be with the tone and spin of the communications from the organization as well as a disturbing habit from its leaders to tolerate little dissent and issue press releases and social media communications that are riddled with half truths and innuendo.

I read the opinion piece from its chair published by the Chatham County Line and was flabbergasted how brazen and disjointed it was.

I simply raised the issue regarding the purpose of the non-profit, its failure to inform the community of the severity of its dismissal with prejudice by the court, and the apparent inability of the organization to properly file its paperwork and present adequate proof to the court regarding its legal ability to claim members and thus have legal standing.

These are issues that I believe are reasonable to question when an organization, such as Pittsboro Matters, is a 501 c-3 and is raising money in the community on the basis of a flawed presentation of its advocacy in order to continue funding its legal spats with the Town and Chatham Park.

The reply from its chair was a scattershot of recrimination against me, other members of the community who may have questions, former Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller, the founder of SAS, the Town Board, Chatham Park, other elected officials and staff and for all intents and purposes motherhood and apple pie as well.

The fact that Pittsboro Matters and its chair could once again publish innuendo and flatly state that Chatham Park is looking for a loan from the County proves the point of my piece.

The organization is loose with the facts and does not seem to care who is damaged by its mud slinging.

To wit, I like to attend Town Board and County meetings and I attended the presentation from Chatham Park and its consultants regarding the special assessment district to the Town Board on January 25, 2016.

I fail to understand how the capable and wise people who lead Pittsboro Matters could have concluded that Chatham Park was looking for funding or a loan after mentally processing the presentation from Chatham Park and the ensuing discussing with the Town Board.  Of course readers do not need to rely on my assessment they simply need to read the minutes from the Town meeting that are available online.

In closing, Pittsboro Matters needs to focus on building a better future and working with all appropriate parties instead of making unfounded accusations that apparently intend to sow dissension, fear, loathing and unease in our community.

We are better than this and I would like to see positive movement and a more forthright dialogue in our community that is less politicized and more focused on mutual goals and building a better tomorrow.