Thursday, July 20, 2006

We Dig This Guy

The last man named Starkweather that we remember anything about went on a killing spree with his girlfriend in Kansas and Nebraska in the 1950s. His namesake today, Jeffrey Starkweather of Chatham County, might as well be a mass murderer, for the way the development-and-paving lobby is reacting to him.

Realtors absolutely HATE him and have named him, like, Public Enemy No. 1 in N.C.

Now, we admire the kind of activism that gets heralded as a threat to civilization itself.

Jeffrey Starkweather is a "loquacious lawyer" from Pittsboro who's recently become executive director of the N.C. Smart Growth Alliance, but the fear he strikes in the guts of big-time real estate developers goes back to May's Democratic primary in Chatham County. Starkweather was behind a political movement that won three Democratic primary races for "slow-growth" county commissioners, one of them ousting the pro-growth chair of the County Commission.


Hence some of Starkweather's nicknames: "a Tasmanian devil," "a brilliant, slightly goofy attorney," "like a dog that's bitten your ankle and won't let go."

Starkweather is known for attending every single meeting of the Chatham County Commission, which, as we well know, is the only way to keep up with those guys. Been there, done that. And the only way to keep citizens REALLY informed about what's happening with local government.

Starkweather wants to take his smart-growth campaign state-wide. Sign us up! Especially since he's attracted the baleful gaze of John Hood of the John Locke Foundation and the Art Pope Republican mossbacks, who are fighting any restrictions on growth as tantamount to godless communism.

(See this coverage of Starkweather in today's N&O. And this backgrounder following the May primary.)

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