Commissioner Candidate Marcus Speaks July 26, 7 pm


Ellen Marcus, running against current Commissioner Nick Picerno for the Moore County Board of Commissioners, is guest speaker at the July meeting of Save Our Sandhills, Southern Pines Civic Club, corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street, July 26, 7:00 PM.  Her talk:  “Plan before You Pave.”

With attitudes toward the environment clearly dividing our country as a whole in today’s technological age, Save Our Sandhills believes that open communication is essential.  We all depend on one world for our sustenance and welfare, and we should understand all points of view.  With this in mind and the fact that no local governmental body has a greater power to determine the fate of our forests, our streams, and our wildlife than the Board of Commissioners, Save Our Sandhills invited Commissioner Picerno to address his environment views at April meeting, and has now invited candidate Ellen Marcus to express her views.

Ellen and husband Jeff live in the Pinedale Community with two young daughters.  She grew up on a small farm in the longleaf pine forest of rural East Texas, where water conservation was a way of life.  In numerous ways her youth in the Texas longleaf pine forest helped prepare her for issues in the North Carolina Sandhills.  Ellen earned a degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and met her husband in 1995 when both were members of Americorps in Big Bend National Park and were studying water quality, ecology and the history of the park’s water sources. She developed an appreciation for the history of North Carolina while working at the NC Museum of History.  She has also worked as the site manager for the Malcolm Blue Farm; done freelance writing for the Pilot, The Fayetteville Observer, and NEXT Magazine; and taught children’s camps and culinary classes.

Marcus will discuss her campaign platform from the standpoint of natural resource-related issues that include the county land use plan update, development ordinances, and the county water and sewer plan.  Ellen believes that Moore County has reached an important crossroads in planning, needing to preserve what makes our area special by pausing to implement good land-use planning before sprawl, strip malls and leap frog developments pave our future.
Planning for conservation of our farmlands and forests, while accommodating appropriate levels of future growth, requires cohesive county policies.  It starts with the land use plan which provides vision for the community.  Zoning and unified development ordinances establish rules guiding any development.  County commissioners are ultimately responsible for decisions, and Ellen would be a new commissioner providing a fresh outlook for Moore County.

Ellen has seen that the land use plan is effective ONLY IF county commissioners choose to implement it.  She has seen the Pine Forest development's lesson in the importance in having zoning ordinances and other policies that back up the land use plan.  If elected, she is passionate about striving for a balance of land use policies that support the vision of the land use plan – those that conserve our natural resources and protect our property rights, yet still accommodate appropriate growth.

The public is invited, questions are welcomed, refreshments will be served.  See you there!

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