I have mixed emotions about the Bladen County commissioners’ meeting that I attended Tuesday night.
On one hand, I must compliment the commissioners as a whole for their respectful and cooperative behavior. It was by far better than any other meeting of this board that I have attended. I especially commend Charles Ray Peterson, of whom I have been quite critical. I hope that his improved demeanor is a sign of permanent change.
I was surprised to see the lengthy and impassioned statements of District 3 Commissioners Priest and Trivette, both of whom are usually very quiet and reserved during board meetings. The subject of their unusual ardor was the green tint of the water in White Lake. Although the water has been deemed safe, its unattractive appearance has raised concerns that it might negatively affect the tourist season.
While I recognize the validity of that concern, it does bother me that nobody who lives in the area affected by GenX contamination of the water, air, and soil has heard those two commissioners, who also represent our area, say anything publicly about our “water problem.”
To be fair, Ms. Trivette had offered to meet with me privately to ‘hear my concerns’, an offer I declined as I have made “my concerns” abundantly and publicly clear, and Mr. Priest did speak with me extensively after the meeting ended Tuesday night.
While I am pleased that Chemours officials have agreed to meet with the commissioners to discuss GenX and C8 contamination, I am disappointed that the meetings will be closed to the public. I hope that Chairman Britt will schedule these meetings carefully to avoid the appearance of inappropriate influence by Chemours and will allow the public to submit questions we need answered about the dangers we face.
As I said to Mr. Britt after the meeting, I understand the limitations the commissioners face and ask only that they do their very best to do the right thing for all of us victimized by DuPont/Chemours.