1/28/2019 County Council
I am Paul Butare, the Chairman of a non-profit organization, Friends of Whitehall Park. For the benefit of new Council members, and for Mr. Weaver, who may not be aware of our history here is a brief recap. We formed our organization just 6 months ago due to our perception that there was great public interest in acquiring nearly 10 acres at Whitehall for a public park. Our group established a Change.org petition, circulated a paper petition, established an informational website and a Facebook page. It was gratifying to see signatures grow rapidly…a few hundred to a thousand...to 6000 over a six-week period. Furthermore, our supporters showed their support in person and stretched the room capacity of each County and City meeting held.
And finally, we formed a steering committee with representatives from the City, County, Open Land Trust, Whitehall Development Group and Friends, aiming to provide a forum for communication and cooperation. Thank you for your support and approval for the purchase. We now have the land…
Our supporters are anxiously awaiting our park, and progress seemed to have been made. The cancelation of the Feb 6th County planning meeting was a shock and disappointment.
Further, the filing of a new document on Friday seems to call into question access to the park, and at a minimum, delays the work necessary to get the park in a position to open…
In our hearts we all know that when this temporary disagreement ends, we will have a park; we will have good access to the park. There is no reasonable alternative.
Our supporters and Beaufort County Citizens believe we are all working in earnest to create a park and that we are satisfying our commitments to them.
And a significant delay would be disheartening and
we run the risk of using up the public goodwillwe all have accrued.
We have the responsibility to inform our audience, supporters and donors of a material change in the timing and structure of the park, if that has changed, and would ask that this be clarified as soon as possible.
Friends of Whitehall Park urge a rapid resolution of any remaining issues and a restart of the already good progress that has been made.
Thank you for listening.
The Island News August 2nd
Beaufort County Open Land Trust email
Island news article:
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