By Anita Stewart
A corporation that wants something in your neighborhood, say a natural resource; such as water, rock, a location, etc., in this case, let’s call it rock. The foreign, multinational company comes in and makes nice with all the business owners. And the county commissioners. Other locally elected officials and establishes a foothold. Creates allies with other local businesses that “support” them. Such as truckers, home builders, local restaurants, etc. They are small scale at their various locations throughout your county.
Going large scale and what is at stake!
But then Cemex decides that they want to expand operations and buy sizable acreage and do this contiguous to residential and wildlife areas and next to a historical WW1 and WW2 cemetery, just part of their long term plans of going large scale. It is proven and based on scientific report after scientific report that their operations including open pit mining and blasting would affect noise levels, traffic levels, property values, wildlife to include flora and fauna, create major health impacts for humans, even affecting delicate procedures done in operating rooms at a nearby hospital.
We are speaking of course about Cemex and their operations in Hernando County, Florida. The day of the deciding vote comes December 9th, 2014 and the hearing room at the County Commissioner’s meeting is packed with residents. AND employees of the mines. Cemex has the lawyers dressed up in suits, 2 rows of them. The citizens have the documents, reports, analysis, stats, all backed up by those experts that have offered to help the property owners for little or no compensation.
In a parallel universe of “we the people” and “First Amendment Rights,” the people in the residential areas that own the homes and contiguous properties should be heard and they should be able to have a say since this concerns their properties, right?
Those that voted these commissioners into office are supposed to be represented by those they elected in a supposedly democratic process, RIGHT?
Through open documents obtained from the Supervisor of Elections, each of the county commissioners had taken money from Cemex to fund their political campaigns.
The residents had three minutes to speak and present reports. Cemex’s suits had 45 minutes towards the end of the presenting and quite a bit of time in the beginning, it might have been close to 2 hours all total for their presentations. Each speaker for the Miners was not held to a time restriction.
What are the facts now? Corporate rule matters, money supersedes justice and integrity and ownership of property does not give one a say so. Corporations can operate within a carte blanche process, so whomever has the money can pay and get what they want. They rule the communities.
It is important to note that this meeting was delayed until this month (December 2014). Convenient since this would be after the elections in November. The current status of the vote by the county commissioners was 4 to 1. This decision making process will be reviewed in Tallahassee and then sent back to the county commissioners for a final vote. The residents under their organization NEIGHBORS AGAINST MINING are reviewing what course of action to take next.
This can happen in any community, including yours.
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