Viewpoint: Board committee bringing up old mining issues
Flash back to the Aug. 21, 2012 Oneida County Board Meeting. The spectator gallery was full to overflowing. Approving mining in the town of Lynne on County Forest Land was on the agenda. The majority of citizens from the town of Lynne and also from all over the county spoke in opposition to allowing mining.
The board members then had a lengthy and spirited discussion prior to the vote. There was a thorough airing of the pros and cons of the issue. The vote was taken. The result was a majority voted not to pursue mining in the town of Lynne.
In addition, corporation counsel, Brian Desmond, in response to a question from one of the board members stated that the vote amounted to a policy statement that the county would no longer proceed with mining in the county as a goal.
Now, in Jan. 2014, the County’s Planning and Development Committee have on their agenda a backdoor attempt to revive this issue. They hope to change the county zoning ordinances so that mining is allowed in forest areas.
This is an outrage and is the kind of action that makes citizens cynical and distrustful of government and politicians. The citizens spoke, the elected officials voted and the corporation council ruled on the meaning of that vote. Now, we the citizens, get to endure the indignity of having our views ignored, and to add insult to injury we get to pay per diems for the time this committee spends undoing the will of the people.
Contact the members of the Planning and Zoning Committee and their chairman, Scott Holewinski. Ask them to move on to the important work they were elected to do. Stop forcing mining down the throats of Oneida County citizens. We have more than 1,100 beautiful lakes and writing strong shoreland protection ordinances should be their priority.
Jean Roach, Pelican Lake