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County, SOS won’t meet
Lawsuit precludes commissioners from discussing matter
Save Our Shelter members will not be meeting with the Union County commissioners any time soon. At least not until a lawsuit between Shelter From the Storm and the county is resolved.
Union County Administrator Shelley Burgess said she responded to a letter from the group Thursday morning informing them that they would not be able to meet per the county’s legal counsel advice.
“Our legal counsel has instructed the commissioners not to discuss the matter,” she said.
Members of Save Our Shelter, an ad hoc group of community members, hoped to meet with commissioners to discuss their concerns about demolishing the shelter’s advocacy center in order to site a new county courthouse on its footprint.
SOS member Carol Lauritzen said she was a little surprised at the response because they were told at a June 4 meeting that commissioners would discuss the issue with residents.
“I can understand their need for caution,” she said.
Sharon Evoy, another member of the SOS group, said attempts to set a meeting prior to the lawsuit filing went unanswered.
Shelter From the Storm Executive Director Teresa Crouser echoed that sentiment, saying the lack of communication began before the lawsuit was filed.
“I don’t believe the lawsuit has resulted in a breakdown of communication,” she said. “We attempted to communicate and it wasn’t working, and we felt that legal recourse was the only option we had.”
With a meeting between commissioners and SOS off the table for now, SOS members said they will continue working on their goals: to raise public awareness of the issue and to encourage residents to voice their opinions.
The nonpartisan group came together following the commissioners’ March 4 decision to site the new courthouse on the Shelter From the Storm Community Advocacy Center’s footprint. Evoy said she was moved to action after reading a letter to the editor from Mary McCracken at the end of March.
For the full story, see Monday's issue of The Observer