April 20, 2011

Dryden is worth defending

Tonight was an amazing meeting - over a hundred people showed up, and over twenty spoke. The Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition presented 1594 signatures on their petition to ban hydrofracking in the Town. The Town passed a resolution calling for work toward a local law that would accomplish that through zoning. The Town also passed a Sound Performance Standards law, and didn't quite introduce a proposal for a moratorium on development in the area being studied for the Varna Master Plan.

I'll have more on all of that - I'm guessing I may have a month worth of stories from that one meeting. For now, since it's almost midnight, I'll settle for cutting and pasting in what I said to the Town Board myself this evening:

I would like to congratulate the board on its generally excellent handling of day-to-day administration and running a government, as well as on its recent steps toward vastly improving broadband availability across the Town.

Unfortunately, while the Town does an excellent job on projects that maintain or improve life in the Town of Dryden, it also often fails at defending against threats that could make such improvements irrelevant.

Powerful forces with unfortunate ideas keep showing up and threatening to change Dryden for the worse. The Board's response to these proposals over the past few years has frequently been tepid, and even at its strongest, delayed. The Board seems continually to hope for the best, naively dreaming that accomodating these powerful people and industries with dire reputations, perhaps trimming around the edges of their bad ideas, will somehow make things better.

Meanwhile, residents and neighborhoods know that they take the loss if things go wrong.

Please take clear and decisive action to keep the worst from happening while you research long-term solutions. Please stop forgetting about the damage these players have already wrought in their past endeavors. Please demonstrate to residents that the Town is on their side, not the side of whoever comes to town with dreams of making piles of money here.

Moving slowly on complex issues like Varna development and hydrofracking may seem like a prudent option, but delays are gambling with our futures. We may not live in a storybook paradise, but Dryden is worth defending. This land, these people, are worth defending.

Thank you.

Update: It's not me (phew!) but there's even a bit of video already available of tonight's meeting.

Posted by simon at April 20, 2011 11:36 PM in , ,
Note on photos