It is still hard to realize that after more than two years of work, with the help of about 450 contributors and volunteers as well as thousands of supporters, that a ticket backed by a citizens’ coalition not only defeated the incumbent Chatham County commissioner majority that is beholden to outsider developer interests, but we pulled it off with a clear and significant margin of victory.

The timely stories of Jennifer Strom in the Independent were pivotal in informing citizens about the gap between what the incumbents were saying and what was really going on. That trust was important to the success of our grassroots effort.

Ms. Strom’s most recent story “Chatham residents stand up to money” (May 10) nicely tied up the loose ends and explained how the players fit together. Ms. Strom made it clear how the sprawl lobby meshed with the incumbents’ campaigns, especially how a local developer’s attorney served as candidate Mary Nettles’ campaign treasurer.

A great thanks to the Independent for telling it like it is in Chatham is clearly in order. We look forward to working together with our new commissioners and the hundreds of citizens who have joined our grassroots movement to fulfill the promise of a new day for Chatham County.

Given the mess in Washington and Raleigh, it is nice to see that grassroots political action can really work locally.

Thanks again to the Independent for publishing Ms. Strom’s accurate and insightful reporting on Chatham County politics.

John Hammond

Secretary, The Chatham Coalition