Local News

Chatham Coalition Aims To Enlighten Voters On Growth, Key Issues

Posted July 6, 2004

— Growth is a hot topic in Chatham County and with the upcoming primary election, a concerned citizen's group is taking its message to neighbor's front doors. Some who think the county is growing too fast and say the issue cannot wait until November.

Armed with a stack of fliers, a group called Chatham Coalition is taking politics to the pavement.

Jeffrey Starkweather is one of dozen members going door to door in neighborhoods throughout the county. The coalition is encouraging residents to read up on local candidates and vote in the July 20 primary.

Its goal is to make sure citizens are well represented on some key issues, like smart growth and economic development.

Chatham is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. Some worry that all of the construction could eventually hurt the county's quiet, rural appeal.

This group says it does not mind some growth.

"I would like to see it not turn into north Raleigh, where there is a strip mall on every other intersection and one traffic light after another," coalition member John Hammond said.

Members say they are pleased with the early response to their grassroots campaign.

"I think its great," resident Scott Perry said. "I think that someone needs to look at the growth and management from the perspective of what's best for the community."

"If you want something done, you have to do something about it. Voting is the way that we get things done," said resident Nancy Sweet.

They just hope this project gets people to the polls.

"I think if they care about the future of their county, it's critical," coalition chairman Jeffrey Starkweather said.

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