Decision to close collection centers looks political

Posted 9/23/21

To the Editor:

It does run downhill ... and it appears a bit of the swamp water from Washington, D. C., has run down to Pittsboro.

I’m referring to the recent decision to close seven of …

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Decision to close collection centers looks political

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Posted

To the Editor:

It does run downhill ... and it appears a bit of the swamp water from Washington, D. C., has run down to Pittsboro.

I’m referring to the recent decision to close seven of Chatham’s 12 waste collection centers. After a summer of almost weekly visits requiring me to hoist my trash bags into an eight-foot-high container because the regular compacting bin was full, I agree it was time for the county to drop back and punt. However, the solution appears to be somewhat political.

Three closures materially affect Democrat Commissioner Franklin Gomez Flores’ Dist. 5 constituents (Siler City and southwest Chatham). The sites are Harper’s Crossroads and Bennett, which are squarely in the 5th, and Goldston which is marginally outside the 5th but provides service to many in the district.

Gomez Flores, in an email, commented to me that Moncure, one of the five sites to remain open, was chosen to give “access to those in the southeast.” Is southwest Bennett any different than southeast Moncure? Both communities are in the county’s extremities. I suggested that keeping Bennett or Harper’s Crossroads open would have had minimal effect on the overall plan to the county but major positive impact to residents now forced to transport trash to Bonlee or one of the other four open sites. Fair is fair.

Seeing as how Dist. 5 often leans conservative in the southwest and considering democrat Gomez Flores’ heaviest support comes from the more liberal northern part of his district, it’s fairly obvious what has happened. I think the county, and Gomez-Flores, either by oversight or by association, has played politics with this issue.

I hope residents from Bennett, Harper’s Crossroads, and Goldston raise hell about this slight to their county services.

Philip H. Johnson
Siler City

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