After elections Chatham Commissioners going on $43 million spending spree

by Raymond Gastwaite

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Board of Commissioners is holding the annual tax raising meeting on Wednesday this week.

Here are some of the new money requests from County departments:

+ Building inspector: $32,500 (even though Chatham Park is not in the County)
+ Database administrator: $66,000
+ Assistant register of deeds: $51,000
+ Two utility workers: $155,600
+ Watershed specialist: $75,000
+ Receptionist for Co-op: $44,000
+ NC A&T Extension Agent: $15,000
+ Council on Aging: $441,362
+ Court Services Case Manager: $55,000
+ Child Welfare positions x 3: $246,000
+ Emergency Housing: $50,000
+ Telecommunications supervisor: $61,000
+ 8 (eight!) more detention officers: $514,000
+ 4 (four!) more sheriff deputies: $236,000 not including equipment and cars
+ 1 more civilian in sheriffs office: $32,000
+ Domestic Violence coordinator: $141,293
+ HR Technician: $48,000
+ Assistant Event Coordinator: $48,000
+ Backup audio-visual tech at CCACC: $67,600
+ Software engineer: $77,000

That adds up to $2,456,355 in new positions and expenses that never go away, they just continue on year to year.

Do we really need 13 more employees in the Sheriff’s office, along with a case manager, three child welfare positions, and a domestic violence coordinator? Is the county that dangerous?

Along with those requests, the County also wishes to go in more debt for the following:

+ Generator for the jail: $627,739 (didn’t we just build the jail?)
+ Resurfacing the track at the schools: $474,480
+ Emergency Operations Center: $10,000,000
+ Radio system upgrades: $18,909,295 (nineteen million dollars?)
+ Cost over-runs in the school projects: $5,194,844 (buying debt for cost over budget)
+ New School central services building: $11,142,055 (really?)

Wow, that adds up to $46,348,413 in new debt.

See it all for yourself at

I remember during the recent Commissioner elections that our candidates talked about what a good job they were doing holding down government costs and subsequently keeping down taxes in Chatham County. How about paring back a lot of these requests by county staff and by the schools?

Lets see if they remember those words now that elections are over for a couple years. Or, ask them yourselves. Here are the addresses of the Commissioners:

Mike Dasher 
Diana Hales 
Karen Howard 
Jim Crawford 
Walter Petty