The month of March has been a month of disappointment for the citizens of Butner and Granville County who oppose the National Bio-Agro Defense Facility.  Eariler in the month, the Granville Non-Violent Action Team, (GNAT)  presented to the Butner Town Council a petition containing 1049  signatures from residents of Butner and an additional 1670  signatures from residents of Stem and Creedmoor  in opposition to the proposed NBAF.  At that meeting Mayor Lane thanked everyone for their “interest” and said “that the council would study the petitions” and “that they (the council) would revisit the issue at a later date”.

This past Wednesday (March 19th), at the council’s monthly working meeting, in response to the constituents opposition to the NBAF,  Elbert “Spooky” Oakley introduced a motion to withdraw support for the NBAF. The motion was seconded by John Wimbush and the subject was placed on the floor for discussion. Before it could be voted on, Edgar Smoak introduced a substitute motion and was joined by Vickie Cates and Christine Emory.  Linda Jordan our Mayor Pro Tem was out of town and did not attend the meeting.

Council members Cates and Emory,  just so happened to have a prepared speech on hand in support of Smoak’s substitute motion, how convenient of them.  Not only are they appointed politicians, they also appear to be psychic.  But in the end,  Smoak’s substitute motion passed and the motion representing the will of the people (Oakley’s motion) failed. 

At that point in the evening things got a bit loud. Some people started walking out as Mayor Lane tried to call the meeting to order and others were refusing to leave and the police were called.  Several people were actually brought to tears demanding the council come to their senses. Some suggested impeachment, many were stating that the council members who continue to support this lab and ignore “the will of the people” will be voted out of office in the 2009 elections.  The Butner Town Council members were appointed by Governor Easley as part of the incorporation. The council cannot expect the community to support them, while their actions are creating such a bad atmosphere within the town and their decisions will impact our lives in a negative way for years to come. 

In the weeks to come the residents of Butner have a task ahead of them. That task is to get the Town Council to hear our concerns and stop their divisive actions. In the end the whole community has already lost the most important thing a community can have and that is unity.

(Sorry for the picture quality, with all that was going on I was just snapping pics as I could so that I would be able to share what was going on as it happened.)