Letter: Panel needs community representationOn Nov. 15 Red Wing 2020, an advisory committee to Mayor Dennis Egan, is holding a "community forum" on frac sand mining at the Sheldon Theatre.
By: Alan Muller, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
On Nov. 15 Red Wing 2020, an advisory committee to Mayor Dennis Egan, is holding a "community forum" on frac sand mining at the Sheldon Theatre.
All of the presenters are state officials: no community representatives are on the panel. It seems obvious that a "community forum" should include community representatives.
The oil and gas people have huge resources they are bringing to bear to try to impose their will on our city and county. A basic question is whether an adequate regulatory framework is in place to ensure that frac sand mining, should it occur locally, would not harm community health, quality of life, or our economy. Residents, many involved with Save the Bluffs, have studied this concern and concluded that the answer is "no." These insights should be included in the "community" program.
On the other hand, state officials, no matter how technically competent — I know and respect many of the scheduled presenters — are probably not in a position to be candid and objective about the adequacy of state regulatory programs.
I hope Mayor Egan and his advisers will rethink their approach to this forum and add several community representatives to the panel.
Elected officials should treat their constituents as citizens to be empowered, not children to be instructed.