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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • What’s happening to ‘participatory democracy?’

  • To the Editor,

    Monthly legislature meetings are venues for voices of the unelected to inform decision makers on important matters. I was not allowed to address the legislature at the Oct. meeting and was stopped before finishing a prepared 3 min address at Monday's meeting.

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  • To the Editor,
    Monthly legislature meetings are venues for voices of the unelected to inform decision makers on important matters. I was not allowed to address the legislature at the Oct. meeting and was stopped before finishing a prepared 3 min address at Monday's meeting.
    My previous denial to speak, moved me to present evidence of D....n Corporate wrong doing through a meeting with the chairman of the Agriculture and Planning Committee. I believe evidence is compelling for why County government should consider intervening with the DEC to deny further expansion of sewage sludge importation into Steuben County.
    The chairman, a representative for two of the most affected of the three towns used by the  D....n Corporation, denied my request for a meeting. His attitude for our concerns was dismissive and ended with the statement “we agree to disagree.” That statement, in the absence of proper evidential review, signals abdication by government for its responsibility to society when claims of health, property value and environmental harm are involved.
    It is well to remember that the  D....n Corporation as well as the fossil fuel Corporations privatize & maximize profits through generous taxpayer handouts yet socialize the cleanup costs from the messes they create when government fails to properly regulate. Voices of people in harms path need to be heard.
    The show of police power to enforce the new rules of the October legislative meeting was impressive. If the DEC were half as eager, as this legislature, in enforcing its safety rule compliance on permitted Corporations, my presence at the legislature might be avoided. Being a connoisseur of irony at a time when many peoples of the world are fighting to establish a democratic voice for themselves, I wondered if it registered with the students and teachers in government, attending the October legislative meeting at which speakers were denied a voice to express their concerns, that participatory democracy is being shut down here in Steuben County?
    Wayne W. Wells
    Cameron Mills, NY
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