My County is Your County

"Personally I'm really tired of municipal problems being solved by putting them in rural areas," he said. "I would encourage Mayor Chilton to come back with a site in Carrboro." ~ BOCC Member Barry Jacobs, quoted in the News & Observer February 23, 2012

Now I admit to coming late to the party although I have been paying attention to this issue for several years (yeah, years if you can believe it). But it seems to me that Mr. Jacobs, for whom I have great respect for his years of service, missed a crucial point that could alter his perception on this issue.

 It would be wise to recognize that there is a significant rural buffer in SW Orange County because the municipalities there have for years been pushing for density over sprawl and actively supported efforts to maintain a rural buffer. For over two decades the urban governments have conducted policies to prevent sprawl and it has worked. Because of this, Orange Country, unlike some of NC's counties, has a vibrant rural character. What I resent is Mr. Jacobs framing of the issue as Us vs. Them. Mr. Jacobs: WE ARE YOU & YOUR ARE US! We are integrally bound together striving to create a community of justice and economic well-being. Creating the me vs. you appraoch to waste disposal will necessitate a loss by someone, with all the attendant bruises that come with such a battle. Surely, that cannot be a road you intend to take.

Polarity is a contagion. Separating people is bad public policy. Unifying people is leadership and courage.  I encourage Mr. Jacobs to find positions of leadership and courage.

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