This statement was posted in the Parker Pioneer online edition today in an attempt to reinforce the need to have the January 6th Supervisor meeting held in Wenden to give everyone an equal opportunity to have their voices heard. An email was sent to all three Supervisors along with this post and also my blog post (on this website) several days ago regarding the complaining Alliance Metals did about locating the P&Z meeting in Wenden rather than Parker.
According to the American Institute of Certified Planners one of the core principles they aspire to, as part of their overall responsibility to the public is this:
“We shall give people the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans and programs that may affect them. Participation should be broad enough to include those who lack formal organization or influence.” (American Planning Association)
In other words, planners, including a Planning and Zoning Commission and other officials who participate in making decisions concerning planning have a responsibility to insure that access to the public, especially those who a decision most impacts, have an opportunity to be part of the decision and be heard without obstacles put in their way.
The move of the P&Z meeting to the Community Center in Wenden was a decision made to allow a maximum number of affected people access to the process. Had the meeting been held in Parker, some or many people would not have been able to attend for a variety of reasons. Additionally, it is appropriate to have had the meeting here since it can affect our community and it is the first time that Alliance has faced the people who profess that they want to be good neighbors to.
Let’s do some math now to reinforce the position. Let’s assume that a caravan of 137 vehicles made the trip to Parker and back. With two people per vehicle that is 274 people. (There were approximately 325 at the meeting in Wenden.) It is 112 miles round trip from Salome to Parker. @ 25 miles per gallon that would take about four and a half gallons, at $3.00 per gallon that would be $13.50 per vehicle. For 137 vehicles that would cost $1,849.50. The same trip taken by the Supervisors to meet in Wenden would be $67.50 assuming that it would take five vehicles to bring everyone to Wenden. So, even from an economic view point it would cost $1,782 more dollars to have the meeting in Parker than in Wenden. Makes sense to me all the way around.
Alliance and Rose Law Group just can’t seem to face the fact that the overwhelming number of people in our community simply do not want the smelter in the proposed location. It is only fair and reasonable to have such a significant meeting in the place where the company wants to build their smelter and where the people who are impacted the most have access to voice their opinion. We hope that the same sense prevails when the Supervisors decide on the location of their January 6thmeeting.