I appreciated Kyle Weaver’s letter critiquing my earlier letter about the processes leading up the permitting approval and operation of the expanded mine. It was well written.
My original letter was far too long so I edited out parts I wrote that largely echo what Kyle Weaver wrote about not blaming public officials for results that residents are unsatisfied with after the residents have ignored their opportunity for participation in local governance (e.g., Farmington Town Board meetings). Here are some of the edited parts:
To sprinkle more blame, we have gotten lazy and expect government to take care of everything and most of us don’t participate at all unless there is something we’re upset about – like the new mining operation, roads, or taxes. About 6 people show up at the monthly Farmington board meeting and topics usually consist of routine business. How would we feel if the only interest in our work is when someone is angry? The board members and Clerk/Treasurer might be more proactive in issuing meeting notices if more people showed an interest. It is hard to participate in government when it is big and far away, but there is no such excuse when it is small and local on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Farmington Town hall and garage.
…even though I and others are irritated with the mine permit process and the Farmington Town Board actions/inaction, they are not a group of demons.
I do however disagree with Weaver on his claim that adequate notice is provided so that the public has a clear idea of what is on the horizon in Township affairs. Almost all of the meetings are not listed in advance in the Sun. The agendas that are posted are vague and in locations where the residents are unlikely to view them:
…notice posted on the gate to the Town garage/hall, Sue’s Bar and the BP station, and the Town of Farmington website is not adequate.
I appreciate the excellent commitment of the Sun newspaper to seeing that many letters are printed along with replies and rejoinders.