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Chatham commissioners pick new leader for county board

Mike Dasher (left) was selected chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners Monday. Diana Hales (right) was chosen to be vice chairwoman.
Mike Dasher (left) was selected chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners Monday. Diana Hales (right) was chosen to be vice chairwoman.

The Democratic majority on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners chose one of their own to be chairman Monday night.

The full board picked Mike Dasher with a unanimous 5-0 vote. It was the first item of business for the board’s new term.

“Personally, more than anything, it’s humbling,” Dasher said. “Having the confidence of the other commissioners is humbling, and I certainly appreciate it.”

He succeeds Diana Hales. His election was without the drama seen last December when Hales won a 3-2 vote with the same board members.

Hales, who nominated Dasher to be the chairman, was subsequently selected to be vice chairwoman. She was elected to the board in 2014, and said she was glad to retain a leadership role.

Chatham County, with a population of about 71,000, is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. The population is expected to double during the next 30 as Chatham Park is built. The mega-development near Pittsboro will bring a new mix of residential, retail and business to town.

Dasher, who calls himself a progressive Democrat, has been on the board since 2016. He said he did not foresee any major changes in direction for the board.

The commissioners adopted a comprehensive land-use plan and county-wide zoning in 2017. In June, they extended a moratorium for six months on oil and gas exploration in the county. They have until Jan. 31, 2019, to address it again when the moratorium expires.

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Another task for the board in the coming year is to hire a new county manager, Dasher said.

Former County Manager Renee Paschal retired in October. Assistant County Manager Dan LaMontagne has served as the interim county manager since then.

“It’s an exciting time to be a commissioner, certainly an exciting time to be chairman,” Dasher said.

Dasher lives in Moncure. He and his wife, Selbe Bartlett, have their two children.

Dasher owns and operates a small business developing and building residential properties. He served in the AmeriCorps program with Habitat for Humanity, and went on to work with several nonprofit affordable-housing providers in the Triangle area.

Democrats retained their 4-1 majority on the board after Hales and Jim Crawford won their races in November. Walter Petty, the lone Republican on the board, was re-elected without opposition.









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