|To the Editor: Fracking issue misrepresented|
|Written by Leatra Harper|
|Wednesday, 13 November 2013 10:56|
Really? Front page top headline of 11/6 Sentinel-Tribune says BG "sacks" fracking issue, like some quarterback was downed in some kind of game? This is just another example of how the ballot initiative was consistently attacked and falsely portrayed to misrepresent the good intent of the Charter Amendment. Instead of congratulating on a job well done, respecting the 1,194 voters who supported it and the hard work of caring citizens, and appreciating the value and quality of the educational programs, the article portrayed the ballot initiative as a criticism of the city's ability to provide the "best possible" drinking water and sewerage treatment. How did this issue get so horribly misrepresented when right along, the Amendment was simply an additional measure needed to protect BG citizens from a new industry coming into the area exempted from important environmental regulations and even zoning restrictions? City officials and the Sentinel-Tribune portrayed this issue falsely, misinterpreting it as an assault on a "pristine" city charter. Not only were voters seriously misled by those in positions of authority, the false threats of job losses or utility rate increases were never justified, nor could they be.
What has happened to the democratic process when the local paper gloats over a loss of a ballot initiative simply intended to protect the people and restore rights and regulations that have been stripped from state and federal laws? When people realize what really happened, they will see that they have been deliberately misled by those more invested in the status quo than being proactive and protective against an imminent threat to the community. Across the country, ballot initiatives have been passed because people are realizing they must take things into their own hands because their government is compromised by corporate monetary influence. I am dismayed that the sincere effort of the people was met by the uncivil and even mean-spirited assault by elected and appointed officials and the Sentinel. The fact that even a few people believed that the Charter Amendment could do damage attests to the ability of those in power to wield unwarranted influence to defeat what may possibly be the most timely and effective way people could protect themselves from a single, highly unregulated, temporary industry known to harm public health and property values for the sake of exporting gas and oil overseas for huge corporate profit at tremendous public expense.
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