Columns » Letters to the Editor

Re: May Becker

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In response to the article "Orange Commissioners decline to reappoint planning board member over residency questions" (July 27), I, the volunteer described, find several parts of the story need to be corrected (including descriptions related to my residency) in order to accurately describe the occurrences.

I was informed by the County Attorney that he finds I meet qualifications of an Orange County resident (to serve on the county boards) and that he expects I would not hear more about the issue (after he asked some questions, which I openly and completely answered). Then, after a Planning Board meeting in which I voiced dissenting opinions regarding environmental issues, I received unrelated questions regarding personal out-of-state property records, communication that the County Manager would report information about me to other authorities, and the suggestion that I resign or be removed from the boards. None of the issues raised by the County Manager or County Attorney were relevant, and it was confirmed that none of them needed to be addressed. I was also informed by county staff that I am eligible for reappointment and was asked if I would like to be considered for a second term.

When I expressed my concerns to county commissioners, I was told that the topic would not be discussed with me because discussions were held in closed session. I have since been advised that issues related to board membership are to be held openly and that it is improper to have them in closed sessions.

I am concerned that law-abiding members of volunteer boards are treated in an inappropriate, aggressive and insulting way by paid county employees and/or elected officials. I received many comments from others voicing similar concerns and believe it is important—and have been encouraged to—bring forth the concerns and occurrences publicly.

May Becker
Chapel Hill

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