It was disappointing to note that nobody from county government (except Commissioner Gregg, John Nelson, and Planning Commission member George Brady) showed up last week at the Public Service Commission hearing, perhaps the most important public hearing involving one of the most contentious public policy issues in many years.
Once again, the PSC hearing officer and staff, along with about 100 citizens, did not have a clue as to what the county’s position is on placing industrial wind turbines on county public land near the towns of Mtn. Lake Park and Loch Lynn Heights. Citizens raised concerns about water quality and supply issues due to blasting, public safety and health issues, and environmental degradation.
A reasonable person must wonder why their elected officials hide under their desks and are unable to do what they were elected to do–represent the people. Could there be potential conflicts of interest, too cozy a relationship with the purveyors of corporate greed and their lobbyists, potential legal risk due to misinformation? Or, is it an arrogance of power leading to outright lying–who knows?
Once again, our elected officials ignore with disdain and contempt the people they are sworn to represent, serve, and protect. It’s a sad commentary on the state of what is supposed to be the freest country in the world that the Garrett County commissioners believe that citizens asking questions in a democracy is a burden, and answering them is to be considered a gift from the government.
One has to wonder what Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or Benjamin Franklin, who had just won the Revolutionary War to ensure that freedom and God-given rights were protected, would have felt about Commissioners Gregg, Glotfelty, and Holli-day trying to limit freedom of expression and the right to public information.
Let’s not forget that the Constitution was written to limit our government, not to control the people.
John N. Bambacus
13 March 2008
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