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Re: E-M:/ Romulus deepwells hearing

    It makes all the difference in the world for authorities to explain to people why something unusual or controversial is taking place.  To leave people guessing fosters distrust.
   Why public servants - who derive their authority from the people, are paid by taxes from the people, who are paying them to serve the public good (not special interests) - think they should be secretive or evasive about what they're doing and why their doing it is foolishness.  But it demonstrates to whom they really answer, the monied interests.
   Public servants have no right to refuse to answer questions from the public in a public forum.  Somehow, the higher ups in the DEQ and their boss the Governor feel they can distort, withhold information and generally not be forthright about why they do what they do.  If they believe that development or other commercial interests are a greater public good than enforcing environmental laws, limiting polluting activities, holding polluters responsible or protecting natural areas, then they should be forthright and say so.  But to say with a straight face and an assuring tone that their first concern is protection and stewardship of the environment is an insult.  It's passive-aggressive B.S.
    These cowardly higher ups frequently stick those below them with the task of answering to the people.  These staffers are handcuffed because they risk not only their jobs, but their careers to speak the truth.  So they spew the party line.  And when the big boys do speak, it is not the whole truth.  Probably because they know it might mean they lose their jobs.
    Of course, we the public bear much of the responsibility.  We are often self-righteous.  And worse, we don't respect the idea that people can disagree.  If we truly respected the ideals of democracy, we would let everyone voice their views (without boos, hisses and interuption) and make our decisions from a common base of understanding.
    Now I'll go back to fantasy world....


Kenneth Vermeulen wrote:

 Just to keep things in perspective, you should all be aware that MDEQ had received several death threats shortly after the public hearing was noticed.  In addition, at two previous hearings tires had been slashed in the parking lot.  Once the victim was an 81/2 month pregnant MDEQ staffer.  Given the history of this project and the specific death threats by "peaceful opponents" of the project, I think MDEQ's actions were probably justified. 

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