Letter: Mayor's lobbying raises serious concernsIn a recent article in the online publication Politics in Minnesota, it was reported that Mayor Dennis Egan is lobbying on behalf of sand mining interests at the state Capitol, as the executive director of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, a recently formed lobbying group.
By: Evan Brown, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
In a recent article in the online publication Politics in Minnesota, it was reported that Mayor Dennis Egan is lobbying on behalf of sand mining interests at the state Capitol, as the executive director of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, a recently formed lobbying group.
Egan's political job right now is the mayor of Red Wing, where he should be representing the interests of all residents. Though the city has completed a silica sand mining ordinance, both the county and various townships are in the thick of discussing what regulations are appropriate.
The city and the county need to have a shared dialogue on count wide ordinances. Mayor Egan's serving as a lobbyist for a deep-pocketed special interest on a contentious issue that has not been decided in his own county, while serving as mayor of that county's largest city is beyond inappropriate.
I find this ethically challenged. Few issues locally have generated such a public outcry in favor of careful regulation that protects the health and interests all residents, and not just the pocket books of a very few. Citizens from around the city and county have stood in packed, overheated rooms for hours, in order to voice their concerns at the local impacts that they can easily see happening just across the river.
Egan has not given equal time to those voices. The mayor's recent Red Wing 2020 event at the Sheldon was a campaign for the pro-mining.
He is and should be free to be a lobbyist is he so chooses. He just shouldn't do it on such a high profile local issue while serving as mayor. Nor should he use Red Wing 2020 as a dry run of his lobbying efforts.