Chatham County Commissioners start cutting—and two people lose jobs | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chatham County Commissioners start cutting—and two people lose jobs

Posted by on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 4:28 PM

In their first meeting of the year, the Republican-dominated Chatham County Commissioners today cut two positions and eliminated the Pittsboro-to-Chapel Hill bus service that began Aug. 17, 2009.
During a tense and packed meeting, at which Chatham County Fire Marshal Thomas Bender turned citizens away due to fire codes, Human Relations Executive Director Esther Coleman and Sustainable Communities Director Cynthia Van Der Wiele lost their jobs.
By a 3-2 vote along party lines, Chatham County Commissioners eliminated the positions. The Obesity Coordinator position was also cut, but it was vacant.
Democrats Sally Kost and Mike Cross voted against cutting the positions. Republican newcomers Brian Bock, Walter Petty and Pamela Stewart voted for the cuts.
Coleman earned $80,000 annually, Van Der Wiele $96,000.
Supporters of the new commissioners reminded Bock, Petty and Stewart that the three had run their campaigns on cutting “government fat,” and that their voters expected them to do that today.
The cuts are expected to save the county $2 million over the next four years, according to Chatham County Community Relations Director Debra Henzey.
The meeting agenda didn’t specifically say the job cuts would be considered, but they were tucked in Item No. 21, “Cost Containment/Streamlining Discussion.”
The newly elected GOP commissioner, Brian Bock, Walter Petty and Pamela Stewart, eliminated positions quickly, which upset many citizens present who hoped the incoming commissioners would not rush their decisions.
“The commissioners can eliminate a position at any time,” Henzey said. “No one was fired, the commissioners chose to eliminate offices as part of their budget decisions.”
Coleman has been executive director of the Human Relations Commission since 2007. She oversaw the county's diverse communities. Nearly 13 percent of Chatham residents are African-American; 13.3 percent are Latino.
However, pockets of the county have high numbers of minorities. For example, Siler City's population is 50 percent Latino.
“Don't think racism does not still exist in Chatham County,” urged Rita Spina, vice-president of Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities. “Please do not go backward in your thinking."
Loyse Hurley, president of CCEC, said, "The human relations director averts and preempts issues by dealing with discrimination, labor violations, hate bias, and hate crimes before they become problems and expensive lawsuits for the county."
As sustainability director, Van Der Wiele coordinated planning, environmental resources, soil erosion and sedimentation control, central permitting, transportation, green building and affordable housing. Her primary charge was to develop and implement a long-term comprehensive community sustainability plan for Chatham County.
Van Der Wiele was hired in 2009.
The commission also voted 4-1 to eliminate the express bus service between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill for 18 months. When the service started in 2009, Chatham County and Pittsboro matched a state grant with an additional $176,000 each year generated by alcoholic beverage taxes.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

Want to experience the Wild West of the 19th century through an open world action adventure third-person video game?
Rockstar …

by David190 on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

My name is shelly moore i want to talk about something that I am just very excited about; I had …

by Shelly Moore on Drive Through a Protest and Hit Someone? No Worries, State House Says. (News)

Most Recent Comments

Want to experience the Wild West of the 19th century through an open world action adventure third-person video game?
Rockstar …

by David190 on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

My name is shelly moore i want to talk about something that I am just very excited about; I had …

by Shelly Moore on Drive Through a Protest and Hit Someone? No Worries, State House Says. (News)

man, that is so cold and heartless. it is very hard to find an affordable apartment much less find the …

by swabby on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

Hello Dear Loan Seeker,

I am a private, reliable, trustworthy lender; I render loans to companies and individuals at …

by Robert Green on Hog-Farm-Protection Bill Passes Senate (News)

And THIS is why we have the government we do. Money, plain and simple, buys votes. If you give enough …

by Brannon White on Beer and Wine Wholesalers Gave $53K to ABC Committee Members Last Year, Beat Back a Proposal to Raise Breweries’ Self-Distribution Cap (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation