From: Lou Anne Roby
On May 1, I attended the information session for the economic impact study in Buffalo County.
I found a number of statistics rather grim while others held great promise for our county. I met people who were angry and some who were overwhelmed by all the data. Personally, I think the study offers a great opportunity for the citizens of Buffalo County to take a good look at where we are going. It is a good idea to look at the long-term outcome of the choices we make. It is essential that we examine exactly how those choices affect the entire community. Sand mining is a part of this examination. It is unwise to make a decision about sand mining while in the feverish pursuit of “untold riches” when a reasoned approach promises a far better outcome.
I know that there are some people who feel that because they pay taxes they are entitled to inflict millions of dollars of damage to area roads. There are those who would like to pretend that freedom means freedom to destroy their neighbors’ quality of life, property value, and health. Many of us were raised to have a conscience and treat our neighbors right. Empty promises should not change that. Nor should a sand outfit be allowed to turn friends into enemies. Unfortunately divided communities are often the result of dealing with sand mining outfits that profit greatly from neighbors fighting with each other.
Some folks are angry at the County Board for their history on these issues. I was pleasantly suprised to see many county board members in attendance - listening, taking notes and commenting.
The Board members that I did not see were Zoning board Chair Tom Taylor, Zoning Board member Steve Weiss and board member Del Twidt. It was not a huge shock. Zoning Board Member Larry Balk, as always, was in attendance to learn more about the issue.
While Mr. Balk has an established history of quietly supporting caution in regard to sand mining, his voice has often been overshadowed by Twidt, Taylor and Weiss.
I do think that the Buffalo County Board bears watching. I also appreciate the fact that many board members seem to be listening to constituents better. I just wish that most of the Zoning Board weren’t so deaf.