20090716

16JUL09 Borough Assembly Meeting, public testimony...

...I went to the first half hour or so of tonight's Assembly Meeting that was open to the public at 6 PM. I'd venture to guess that at first there were 30 people in red or blue, and the crowd continued to grow at quarter till. Vehicle after vehicle filled the lot until we went in. Even as the meeting started people in red, blue, and other attire (clearly coming from work) filled the Assembly Chambers. I was in the back, and there was pretty much standing room only and the hall was half full. I suspect there were from 75 to 100 people by 6:05. All of them opposed to Resolution No. 2009-26, the MOU between the Borough and ADEC, paving the way to restrictive regulation of solid fuel heating sources (wood, pellets, and coal; in furnace or stove form).

The first comments went to a local business owner who had invested about $50,000 in heating equipment for his shop and another local resident. When testimony was given, the Assembly was offered the opportunity to ask questions. Only Assembly Woman Tammie Wilson had a question, and she asked the business owner the impact any forceable change of heating would have on his labor force. The business owner definitely would have to cut jobs. Our Assembly played games, or sat with glazed eyes barely acknowledging anything being said. Of particular note, Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker, and Assemblymen Luke Hopkins and Mike Musick, sat bored and seemed to have already determined that they know better than us. Whitaker, if you recall, flew to Denver to endorse Barrack Obama... He know's his career here is over, and as far as all of are concerned, he stopped representing us a long time ago. Musick and Hopkins, are both prior board members of the Northern Environmental Center, and have pretty clear agendas regarding us little folk.

Another little game they played, radio show host, Michael Dukes was lined up as #25 on the citizens to testify list, and was called in third; knowingly. Who ever decided to play these games, did so to try and squelch his testimony knowing full well he had to come from his job at the radio station where he was wrapping up a show with a time slot from 4 PM to 6 PM. Obviously another political maneuver.

After about half an hour, my 15 month old decided it was time to leave, so I collected my three year old and the stuff they'd strewn about and departed. As I was departing, I noticed at least five more people dressed in red coming strait in off of work...

...a rabble?! Sure, its obvious that we normal people look that way to the well dressed, manicured, members of the Assembly sitting across the room from us. There was Dave the miner, there was Michael Dukes the radio personality, there was Rick Sikma the minister, Schaffer Cox the contractor, there was Gloria the retired lady, and many others. Many were wearing what they wore to work all day. Hands dirty with oil under the finger nails and all. Hard working Americans, who have prepared for a long hard winter by harvesting wood, stockpiling coal and pellets. People who took a winters worth of fuel oil money and put it all down on a new furnace or stove that in the long run will save them money so they continue to survive here. People who aren't afraid to get up early in January in -50 and split wood or shovel coal into a furnace. When you work so damn hard to survive, you have every right to be angry, and I dare say, almost up and arms when a select group of suits decides arbitrarily to lay the foundations for banning your means of warming your home in one of the coldest environments on planet earth.

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