For Pinehurst Village Council: Berggren & Drum

Election Day is Tuesday. We have big decisions to make. 

In Pinehurst, there are EIGHT candidates fighting for TWO seats on the village council.  Someone can win four years on the council with 13% (or less) of the vote, so EVERY VOTE really does count this time. 

Four of the eight are running serious enough campaigns that might get them onto the council:  Kevin Drum, Claire Berggren, Bart Boudreaux, and Judy Davis. 

Berggren is the only incumbent on the ballot.  She won as a write-in candidate  against Myles Larsen (who is once again on the village council ballot).

A major player in the race is a PAC called Pinehurst Matters.  Now, everyone who lives here can agree with the statement the group’s name makes.  But the name-calling, dirty politics and wild accusations that have seemingly stemmed from the group’s entry into the race have been troubling. 

Pinehurst Matters, which — incidentally — has ties to candidate Boudreaux, sent out a mailer this week endorsing (*Surprise, Surprise!*) Boudreaux and Lewis.  The letter’s signatories include John Strickland, a former councilman who fought bitterly with his fellow council members while he was on the board and who lost a bitter, rough-and-tumble mayor’s race in 2015.

There have been a lot of positive changes to village government since this current team took over.  No longer is the village full of predatory speed traps.  The police department is operating in a much less adversarial role than in the past.  The planning department is much more fair and reasonable to folks looking to build in the village.  In the past, some village officials would go as far as making up ordinances and regulations on the fly to kill projects.  Swing-set inspections. ordinances banning kids outside after dark, and committee hearings on proposed yard fences are a thing of the past.

Claire Berggren, in my view, needs four more years on the council.  She’s been part of a team that has kept the village in sound financial shape while it has been growing.

Kevin Drum needs to get your second vote.  Drum ran a respectable race the last go-round.  And he’s stayed involved.  He’s boned up on the issues and has even taken up serving on the planning board.

Drum grew up in Pinehurst.  He brings the perspective of a young, working parent to the council dais — that departing councilman Clark Campbell offered.  He’s an entrepreneur with businesses inside the village’s historic district.  So, he’s got more than a passing interest in protecting that area and promoting the village as a whole.

We’ve heard a lot from a really loud, really small group.  It appears that political grudges, and ambitions by certain cliques, are powering all this noise more than some desire to “save” the community.

There has been no real good argument for wholesale change on the village council.


2 thoughts on “For Pinehurst Village Council: Berggren & Drum

  1. I have had two serious concerns regarding care of streets in my area. Took time to write to all Council members, twice, regarding this issue. The only person who responded was Clark Campbell -the rest didn’t bother. Not voting for Claire Berggren – think residents deserve a response to written concerns.

  2. Sent this to the candidates today:
    The Village of Pinehurst: History, Charm and Southern Hospitality
    The Village does an admirable job of living up to that phrase most of the time. I would like to point out a few glaring exceptions, that you, as potential new council members, should be made aware of, and I hope, will work to remedy.
    The Board of Adjustment Appeal
    The appeal is $400 and 12 sets of plans and/or applications. How is this anything but a barrier to prevent appeals? Many towns have zero, or just a nominal cost. I’ve found that most towns also consider appeals a somewhat standard practice, simply an avenue for folks to get out underlying issues, or information specific to their situation that isn’t necessarily covered in a standard permit application. Pinehurst appears to consider an appeal an affront and insult to the Village staff. Folks seeking to appeal should be given every consideration allowed by law, and there should not be onerous roadblocks set up by our own local government.
    The Pinehurst Municipal Code.
    Please spend some time reading the rules and regulations expected of all of us, keeping in mind that Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse! While you work to pass new rules and regulations, think about the fact that your local government has employees whose job it is to try and catch you violating the plethora of rules, and that according to that very same government, there is no appeal if you disagree! In addition, also keep in mind the Village itself fails to live up to its own rules in some cases.
    Rules are written and enforced in a subjective and inconsistent manner. Many folks first introduction to their local government is a notice of code violation. Take the time to read some of these notices. Why can’t a place that calls itself a “Village” have a more friendly relationship with its citizens? Tape a business card to the door, ask a neighbor for a phone number, or just go by the home when someone is likely to be there, all of these could get the issue resolved in a more friendly way. Every code enforcement letter is potentially the beginning of an action to foreclose the property. Given that fact, they should be reserved for serious violations, and treated with some level of formality.
    I believe that part of the problem is the Village policy of acting upon anonymous complaints. This needs to be reevaluated. Far too often petty squabbles between neighbors are exacerbated by the town picking sides. Neighbors should speak to each other, and attempts should be made to resolve problems at the most immediate level. The current policy causes more incivility than you might imagine. Most of the time, folks can and will work things out on their own. Obviously there are occasions where anonymity is required, such as criminal or violent behavior. Those types of situations should be referred to the police.
    Another issue is the pettiness of some of the rules themselves. I’ve heard numerous complaints about the trash can rules and the trailer rules over the years. Have you ever had to go away on a trip the day before trash day? God forbid you find yourself incapacitated, and unable to get to the cans in time, especially if you don’t get along with one of your neighbors. A friend that owns a camper told me that the Village requires him to obtain a permit if he parks the camper in his own driveway to load the groceries prior to a trip. He keeps his camper at a storage facility and only brings it to his home to load and unload. I had to wonder if this requirement is similar to the banning of above ground swimming pools. Remember when certain government officials said they had no idea that above ground swimming pools were banned? Do they know a permit is required to park a camper in one’s own yard for even a brief period of time? This rule appears to be another that is enforced by anonymous neighbor complaints.
    I could go on and on, but I realize you are very busy, especially at the moment!
    I’d like to leave you with this:
    A friend that lived in the Village many years ago said this when I told him I lived in Pinehurst:
    “Why do you want to live somewhere that threatens you with a $500 fine for not mowing the lawn, you could be on the floor dead, but you better keep that lawn mowed and the trash can put away!”
    I thought he was being figurative, and a bit silly in his statement. Take a look at the following notice of violation and you’ll see he was more literal than not. Please call if any of you would like to discuss further.
    Thank you,
    Stan Jackson

    Can’t do an attachment, but it was a code enforcement letter about trash cans written to a couple that had passed away.

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