Last week’s biomass summit was a true disappointment for me...for a lot of reasons.
First of all, chaos reigned, and not much was accomplished. The moderator was, bless his heart, trying to moderate, but did too much preaching and not enough moderating in my humble opinion. A firmer hand was definitely needed.
The panel was disappointing. It was stacked with people in support of the Gretna biomass plant, including an ADAGE official. The only exception was a member of the Gadsden County Concerned Citizens group. It should have been more balanced.
No one got any real answers. Panel members often tap danced around the questions, spewing facts, figures and well-spun doctrine that left us all feeling like we’d had Chinese food...an hour before the meeting. (You’re always hungry again an hour after you eat Chinese.)
The biggest disappointment, I’d have to say, was the fact that none of the Gretna City Commissioners were on the panel. I realize they are not biomass experts, and it was clear that someone thought placing those who are experts on the panel was the way to go. And experts were definitely needed and welcome.
But I feel the city commissioners should have been up there as well. They are making a decision for their constituency. They are speaking for the voting public. And if you’re making a decision of this magnitude, you darn well better be able to justify it to those who voted you into office. Elected officials are accountable to those who voted for them, and they should have been on that stage, looking their neighbors in the eyes, justifying their decision. Not being up there was nothing short of cowardice.
What made me angry about the whole event was the fact that those who were on the panel pointed the finger at those against this proposal, saying they have a clear agenda and won’t hear “the facts” as they declare them to be. Well, duh. Of course they have an agenda.
But I saw the panel doing the same thing. They clearly had an agenda, and it was simply this: Go to this meeting, throw large numbers out there about jobs and paying taxes and see if you can fool the masses.
Well...the masses are not as dumb as some would perceive.
We’re still waiting for some real answers ADAGE...
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