Newly Elected Democratic County Commissioners were sworn in on December 1, 2014.
At their first meeting Commissioner James Crawford was elected Chair and Commissioner Mike Cross as Vice Chair.
Chairman Crawford opening remarks set a positive tone and presented a dynamic vision for the Chatham’s future.
"Thank you one and all for joining us here today.
I am honored and humbled by the position given to me.
Please join me in marking and appreciating the public service of Commissioner Pam Stewart and Commissioner Brian Bock. It is our hope that their significant works on behalf of the citizens of Chatham County will endure and that they will continue to contribute to our civic life.
Chatham has the most promising future of any county in North Carolina. We are blessed by nature with beautiful landscape and productive soils. Our people are talented and industrious. As we grow together, it is our aim to pursue policies that ensure all residents enjoy the prosperity to come and receive just treatment by our institutions.
We are dedicated to open and inclusive government. In our deliberations we seek the counsel and advice of all people. Everyone’s concerns shall have a full hearing in this chamber. No one will be turned away at the door.
I have faith in the proven public leadership of Commissioner Cross, Commissioner Petty, and Commissioner Howard. This board will draw insight from each of them, and I have high expectations for their continued success. I am especially proud to serve with Commissioner Hales. Her capacity for hard work and dedication to informed public policy has been well demonstrated, and I stand ready to assist her in her quest to protect and preserve the water and other natural resources of our county.
As for myself, all I can say is that I am ready to facilitate the many discussions that must take place as we move forward down the road. I will rely heavily upon our county staff for information and incisive reporting of our community’s needs and our government’s obligations. Some of our challenges are known, others are partially known, and still others lay ahead unseen. Our success depends on your skill and expertise.
We will ask for greater cooperation and planning between county institutions and the leaders of our municipalities to diagnose and solve common problems. We will also confer with regional representatives to make equitable decisions and wise plans for central North Carolina.
Together, we citizens of Chatham must develop a guiding vision of government. A comprehensive land use plan is one major task we will perform. Improved safeguards for Jordan Lake have to be implemented. Making adequate provisions for our public schools is not only the key to drawing business-building investors to our county, but also a generational obligation to our children.
The next five years are crucial for the growth of our community. The decisions we make will set the course for the next half-century. Please give us the benefit of your wisdom and grant us patience as we struggle to work through our shared problems. As we progress, let our motto be: ‘None of us is as smart as all of us.’
Let’s get to work. Thank you."
Commissioner James Crawford,