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Wednesday, 27 April 2011


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Leigh Touchton

I totally agree with Chairman Paulk in this paragraph: "Certain authorities shouldn't be hiding behind us, or other commissions, or anything else." I think it's indicative of a very strange and troubling problem with the VLCIA that they would contact Chairman Paulk and ask the Commission to take responsibility for this community problem.

But I still hold the Lowndes County Commission accountable for voting to rezone the land so the biomass incinerator could be built. Joyce Evans has grandchildren in the area, and she voted along with the 2 other commissioners at the time to rezone the property, and she told me personally that the reason she did so was because Dr. Tom Manning at VSU gave remarks to County Commission that the biomass incinerator was safe. For the gentle readers out there who have not been following this saga, Dr. Manning was routinely trotted out by Brad Lofton (VLCIA Executive Director who abruptly resigned) as a scientist who supported the biomass incinerator. (Dr. Manning is a chemist at VSU).

Leigh Touchton

I don't know what WACE is going to do when the plant is cancelled, but NAACP is already working on the private prison issue, school consolidation, and potential recall of certain VBOE members. I assume WACE is going to start working on getting state laws changed so that solar is given a fair opportunity to compete in the energy marketplace in Georgia. Public officials are telling us that Georgia Power has a monopoly and has gotten Georgia laws passed that prohibit solar from being used in Georgia to the same extent that it is used in Florida and other southern states.

Karen Noll

I am pleased that Ashley Paulk decided to speak publicly about the current events at the Industrial Authority. This is a step in the right direction for us all. His presentation points out at least two important issues for our community. The Industrial Authority has no real guidance about the types of industry that are green, clean or safe for our community. WACE has a role in defining the clean energy/clean industry avenues that this community would like to see brought to our community. That said, we need to look very closely at the hiring process at the IA for the new Executive Director, since this person needs to be able to work with ALL parts of the community as it seeks to bring industry to our community. The Other point I take from this speech is that recently the commission desired to limit citizens speaking about this topic calling WACE's continued effort to bring the various aspects of the biomass project to the public light, a 'waste of tax-payer dollars'. Excuse me, but holding a meeting in that ENORmous building with no agenda, rendering citizens to be heard the ONLY agenda item, is a waste of tax dollars. I would object more loudly except that it happened to be the first exchange of info with our local officials at a meeting to date. I can only hope that CTBH can be a source of transparency in this manner.

Leigh Touchton

I want to publicly thank Chairman Paulk for his comments last night. I know he'll probably take some heat from the other men at VLCIA who were asking him to use the Lowndes County Commission to make the biomass incinerator go away, I presume so they would not have to answer to a certain group of their business associates, but whatever the reason, Chairman Paulk called them on it.

Everyone knows I rarely agree with Chairman Paulk, yet I am truly grateful for what he said publicly, for saying that decisions from local officials need to be made publicly and that citizens deserve answers from their public officials.

Thank you, I am truly grateful that you said that, Chairman Paulk.

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