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  Wednesday July 23rd, 2014    

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City needs to explain itself (12/09/2012)
From: Daniel WIlson

Conflict has the tendency to show us who we really are. With this Wednesday’s meeting the city of Winona finally showed us their true colors.

The city of Winona has a one-year moratorium on any operations involved with frac sand. The purpose of the moratorium is to slow down the rapid expansion of this industry so the city can learn how to better regulate and protect its citizens and resources from this potentially hazardous industry. But with the port being allowed to ship twice as much frac sand they are accelerating the expansion of this industry. There is a conflict of interest between the city’s two goals. Making more robust industry regulations would result in less money for the city.

The city is mandated to both balance the values of its citizens and examine the real dangers to the city and the surrounding county posed by this industry. Clearly their priority is finding ways to make as much money from this industry as possible. These are real and

conflicting goals. Each time citizens have brought up this conflict of interest they have been dismissed, and most recently threatened with arrest. The city needs to explain itself; how can they deny the clear conflict of interest? Why were the city’s frac sand operations allowed to expand when others were denied permits?

After Wednesday night’s meeting it would seem that the city of Winona has no interest in a dialogue about these topics. When citizens are threatened with arrest after bringing up valid concerns at a open public meeting, what country does that sound like? Kicking citizens out of meetings and calling the police does not sound like a group that is willing to listen to the concerns of its citizens. It sounds like the city would rather ignore us, and listen to the money roll in from the Port. 

 

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