The December 5th P&Z meeting last night was a very exhilarating experience. It is so good to be a part of a community who is not afraid to stand up for itself in the face of this kind of adversity. It was awesome.
As many of you know, there were about 275 chairs set up and it was standing room with most of the standing room filled with people. I estimate there were 300 to 325 people in attendance. The audience was a mix of retired, working people, business owners and younger people. It was a great cross section of our community.
The energy was great and the people who spoke, probably 30 or so although I didn’t keep track, all spoke with precision and passion. They were well read and educated on the issues and presented themselves in a respectful but passionately. No one spoke to support Alliance and if there was anyone in the audience who supported them, they did not make themselves known.
Those who chose not to speak, while at times a bit rambunctious were also passionate in the defense of our community. Alliance and Rose however were rattled and very ill prepared. Alliance could not even make their own presentation but had to have their attorney make, what turned out to be a very ill prepared presentation which did not connect with the audience. Even the “expert” from Orizon Environmental was not well received and left shortly after his presentation.
Our arguments were overwhelming and carried the day on both of the docket items concerning Alliance. When the first vote went in our favor, unanimously, the crowd exploded in applause. At the same time a rattled Loren Barton, VP of Alliance, left the building quickly with a look of consternation. I wonder what their next move will be.
Three interesting things came out of last nights meeting in addition to all of the issues we were all aware of. First, apparently Alliance has not paid their first half taxes despite comments by Thomas Galvin, Alliance’s attorney. Our County Assessor was adamant on this issue and actually verified the fact that they had not paid and they have not taken the necessary steps to combine the parcels which who’ll have legally prevented them from going forward.
Secondly, while ADEQ has announced that they intend on issuing Alliance Metals Air Quality permit however it has not been issued. Why? They haven’t paid their $75,000 fee and it is being held up until it is paid. An interesting turn of events.
Thirdly, and a relatively minor issue but symbolic is that it was brought up that they have not been taking care of the property which is full of tumbleweeds. That never happened with the previous owner. I personally told them in a face to face meeting to clean up their property if they wanted to be good neighbors. On October 25th, I received an email from Rose Law Group and in addition to several items, I was told they had bids out to landscapers. Nothing happened. So much for being a good neighbor.
I want to make sure that everyone understands that we are not done yet. As many of you know, last nights vote was a recommendation to the Supervisors. This item is to appear on the Supervisors Jan 6th meeting. It is scheduled to be in Parker but we are trying to get it scheduled here. We will keep you updated.
We need to do the same thing then that we did last night and make sure the Supervisors know that we are opposed to this smelter in this location.
I will start working on that next week but for now I’m going to take a couple of days off to recharge.
Again, thank you to everyone who helped last night happen, everyone who attended to support their community and to everyone who spoke out. It was a great showing of the spirit of our community.