Thank your or your editorial, Good Old Boys network alive and well in Surry published 18 March.
Numerous private landowners in the Shoals community feel woefully underserved by our commissioner, Vice Chairman Paul Johnson who denied our request for 30 minutes on the April 7 commissioner agenda with the goal of presenting information regarding two factory poultry farms (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs) which have received the support of the Surry County Commissioners.
These factory farm operations will have a profound impact on our community, our quality of life and directly impact property values of private landowners living near these facilities. Additionally, consequential negative impacts will affect our air and water (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/docs/understanding_cafos_nalboh.pdf), as well as our iconic landmark, Pilot Mountain State Park, which generates millions of dollars for the region through tourism and recreation.
The home page of Surry County (http://www.co.surry.nc.us) seems to place significant value on Pilot Mountain and the County’s river resources as it features a view of the knob and the text highlights the fact that the county houses “four pristine waterways,” including the Yadkin and Ararat Rivers. The two new poultry CAFO projects in Shoals are extremely close to all three of these treasured features.
Commissioner Johnson is unwilling to give time to the constituents he was elected to represent, who are concerned about the future impacts of these CAFOs on the very treasures with which the county was endowed . His actions refute the democratic principles this country was founded upon and governance of this type damages Surry County and its prospects for the future. Many believe in the future promise of Surry County by protecting our quality of life and our communities. I and others will continue to work towards preserving that possibility with or without the support of Commissioner Johnson.
Helen Bushnell Beets