I commend The Independent on its Sept. 11-17 issue!
How nice to see so many progressives and friends in print along with the insightful pieces from staff writers and usual contributors.
MARGARET MISCH, CHAPEL HILL
Questions in Chatham
The sucking sound heard in the Triangle on election night was the sound of Chatham county being sucked back into the 20th century. Voters failed to return Gary Phillips, a progressive, forward-thinking commissioner with a solid track record to office and rejected an excellent opportunity to elect David LeGrys comissioner, an individual with the depth of thinking and articulation necessary to evaluate and deal with complex issues.
Negativity ruled the day as my mailbox was stuffed with campaign flyers viciously attacking and distorting the record of Gary Phillips during the last two weeks of the campaign. Three such ads came from Chatham County NOW, a group in Siler City that no one seems to know about. Fourteen "founding members" are listed on the flyers, but one I contacted denies being present at any formative meetings of NOW or contributing financially to the group. He even publicicly stated such by taking an ad in the Chatham Record to deny his involvement with the group. So, who is Chatham County NOW and who funded these flyers? And who funded the push poll that was done in Chatham a month prior to the election? And who bought the Chatham County election? I don't know the answers to these questions, but Tuesday, Sept. 10, was a sad day for me and a lot of progressive thinkers in Chatham County. The developers are now drooling at the prospect of saving Chatham from itself and carving up the county into their own little fiefdoms. I'm bracing myself for the bulldozers to come barreling over the county line. In the meantime, I can be found drowning my sorrows in the bar of one of many strip malls that are sure to sprout along 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro.
JOYCE BAIRD, CHAPEL HILL
My complaint was the one referred to in the postmortem synopsis of our sorry Chatham County Primary ["Ballot Box Blues," Trotline, Sept. 18]. Somewhere between the event and the reporting the story got slightly garbled. The Morganistas didn't start harassing me upon finding out I was going to vote for Phillips (though I was). Rather, the contretemps arose over a "discussion" about property taxes. I, evidently, provoked my interrogator beyond his limited capability for belief when I said that I had no problem with my last tax bill. Gary Phillip's name actually never came up during my trek to the Pittsboro east polling station. During the hearing the Chatham BOE held to settle the affair, the chair of the BOE was most upset and actually very rude to me because (I think) I had "gone outside" the county and had initially taken my complaint to the Institute for Southern Studies. But, as I tried to point out, the local BOE didn't make information about voter complaints readily available at the site, so I took the complaint to the folks recommended by Pete MacDowell, Gary Phillips' representative at the polls that evening.
BOB MCCONNAUGHEY, PITTSBORO
Marcus Williams, a candidate for the state Court of Appeals, was in the process of returning his completed candidate survey to The Independent when we went to press with our endorsements. The address on file at the state Board of Elections for Williams--who lost his Democratic primary bid for the Thomas seat--was incorrect and another survey had been mailed out to him.
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