|To the Editor: Voters should read amendment, then make up their own minds|
|Written by Sally Medbourn Mott|
|Wednesday, 02 October 2013 09:07|
The Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, and Board of Public Utilities are certainly dancing to the tune of the oil and gas industry. [ST 9/24/2013, p. 5]
All plugs are being pulled to defeat the Bill of Rights Charter Amendment.
Do city officials really think voters believe the BPU’s claims that the Charter Amendment [petition signed by almost 2000 BG Citizens not a “special interest group”] will:
• increase electric rates 86%?
• increase water & sewage rates 35%?
• require water “purer” than EPA standards?
• cite people for driving their cars? mowing lawns? heating homes?
• close down city emergency generators?
• revoke existing EPA air & water discharge permits?
• prohibit city street repairs and ditch cleaning?
• require the ecosystem to be returned to “its previous state”? What? To the Mesozoic Era?
The BPU “doth protest too much, methinks.” Just a little too much overkill here.
What the oil and gas industry and city officials understandably fear is that the Charter Amendment  bans specific new oil and gas processes [including fracking] within city limits,  contains detailed language that closes the oil companies’ usual loopholes, so they can’t keep on sidestepping the law,  has more power than the City Ordinance to get the job done and  allows the public to have a voice in commercial development in the city.
The threats being made by city officials are reminiscent of threats made to the public in 1986. We were told that if we didn’t pass a city income tax increase we would have to pay extra for ambulance trips, garbage collection, street, sidewalk, sewer line repairs. We would have to buy “permissive auto license plates,” no heavy trash pickup, double taxes for working outside BG, etc. Voters rejected the tax increase 2 to 1. The city found, after all, that it had more than enough money.
I agree with Councilman Bob McOmber’s statement [ST, 9/24/2013, p. 4] that voters should “...read the proposed charter amendment and study the issue closely prior to voting on November 5.”
Stop it with the threats and scare tactics.
We don’t need others doing our thinking for us. We will study the Amendment.
Make up our own minds.
Then vote for or against it in November.
Sally Medbourn Mott
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