CAMDEN — Opponents of a large development planned in the South Mills area have objected to the way they say they were treated by county officials at a meeting in November — and one of them recently demanded an apology.
The controversy stems from a public hearing at the November regular meeting of the Camden Board of Commissioners. The board was considering a subdivision plan for large planned development known as South Mills Landing and a number of South Mills residents expressed strong opposition to the project, which commissioners approved at their meeting.
Since then, several of the citizens have complained that then-Commissioner Garry Meiggs, who is no longer on the board, made derogatory remarks about them during the public hearing. The statements apparently were made as asides and not directed at members of the public or intended for the public but nonetheless were picked up by microphones at the meeting.
Addressing commissioners during the Jan. 4 meeting, Taylor Inge said he wanted an apology from them for the way he, his mother and other citizens from the South Mills area were treated at the November board meeting.
He stood and waited for the apology.
When board Chairman Tom White reminded him of the board’s policy not to respond to members of the public who speak during the public comment period, Inge said he understood that but repeated he had come to hear an apology.
White repeated that commissioners would not respond and then told Inge that if he had nothing else to say he should sit down.
Inge again said he had come to hear an apology from commissioners.
White then instructed Sheriff Kevin Jones, who was attending the meeting, to remove Inge if he refused to sit down.
Inge stood at the podium for a few more seconds before sitting down. As he did so, he objected that he had not received the apology he had come to hear.
Mary Cherry Tirak also spoke during the Jan. 4 meeting’s public comment period. Tirak said she, too, was concerned about the way commissioners had spoken about Inge and others at the November meeting.
“That was very rude — very rude,” she said.
Tirak said she has addressed her concerns with Meiggs, the former commissioner. However, she said the other commissioners should not have allowed Meiggs to speak so rudely to citizens of the community.
Responding to questions from The Daily Advance about Inge’s concerns, Commissioner Randy Krainiak said he never heard any of the remarks in question during the November meeting.
“I did not hear what was said at that time and I had nothing to do with what was said,” Krainiak said. “People say things and other people retaliate. I would hope that all parties have given it thought and now wish things were different.”
The Daily Advance was unable to reach Meiggs for comment on this story.