Wednesday, October 12, 2011
(MULTIPLE VIDEOS) LAKE RESIDENTS CONVINCE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES TO CHANGE MIND - SORT OF - ON DRILLING ISSUE NEAR UNIONTOWN SUPERFUND SITE. IS IT NOW "KATY-BAR-THE-DOOR" WITH THE TRUSTEES?
REQUEST FOR A RESOLUTION ON ANTI-DRILLING NEXT TO IEL: DENIED
A group of difference makers?
Such is how the SCPR would define a group of Lake Township residents (pictured above) who went to township hall last night to press Lake trustees (Arnold, Erb and Stoll) to pass a resolution to stop oil and gas well drilling across the road from the Uniontown Industrial Excess Landfill.
The lead person at the meeting wss long time Concerned Citizens for Lake Township member Terry Witsaman. He put the Lake Township trustees on the spot in several ways at this regular meeting of the trustees.
First, he highlighted that Lake/Uniontown area citizens could expect to get no help (in a preventative sense of help) from county or township government on the anti-drillers concern that the Kasich controlled Ohio Department of Natural Resources - ODNR - (referring to the unabashedly pro-drilling Republican Governor John Kasich) will grant a permit for drilling next to the IEL site.
Second, he smoked out Trustee Ellis Erb as having an interest in drilling and therefore implying that he is sitting back and doing nothing to help stop the issuance of the permit across the road from IEL.
As far as the SCPR is concerned, the anti-drilling folks hurt themselves with the trustees and bystanders in the assembled crowd (who were at township hall on other issues) in more or less shouting Erb down as he endeavored to explain his situation. At the end of this blog, The Report has inserted a video of Erb saying to the SCPR what he was "prevented?" by the anti-drilling/fracking crowd from having his say in response to Witsaman.
Third, he elicited an initial response from the trustees that they could/would do nothing to help affected Uniontown citizens because they said Ohio law forbade them from doing so.
Here is a video of the exchange between Witsaman and the trustees (Arnold and Erb; Trustee Stoll uttered nary a word during the entire discussion on the topic).
If the trustees thought that the Chris Borello-led effort was going to sit down and shut up on the "woe is us - we'd like to help, but we can't" maneuver, they had better think again.
And they did!
By the end of the evening the trustees actually passed a resolution to send a letter to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) expressing trustee concern about the proposed drilling of a well proximate to the IEL.
Mind you, it is not exactly what the CCLT and friends wanted, but it was quite an accomplishment given the trustees dug-in attitude at the beginning of the meeting.
Next up for on the "next to the IEL" drilling issue was Citizen Ruth Katzenmayer.
Katzenmayer pointed out to the trustees that what is proposed with the permit before the ODNR is a rehash of a 1989 attempt as reported on September 29, 1989 in the Akron Beacon Journal.
She points out the concerns of the EPA (she left a copy of the ABJ article with the trustees), to wit:
Another excerpt reveals a disturbing statement by an ODNR ('that agency") official (no guarantees):
Here is the video of Citizen Katzenmayer making her case that the trustees move off their intransigence:
The trustees' reaction? "All of you folks contact the EPA and ODNR." (see the video below)
Answer: "We already have."
Trustee Arnold (who is the Lake Board of Trustees president) has to be thinking to himself: "Are these people ever going to go away?"
Answer: Borello et al are never, ever going away.
Arnold then returns to his "there's nothing we can do" argument in response to Uniontown resident Norma Boldt, to wit:
THE TRUSTEES RELENT - PASS A RESOLUTION
While it does not go nearly far enough for the "druthers" of the anti-drillers, Trustee President John Arnold finally gets it and realizes that he has to do something to satisfy these folks.
So out-of-the-blue he seizes the initiative to offer a resolution (which unanimously passes) to send the EPA and ODNR a letter expressing concerns to them about drilling next to the Uniontown dump.
At this point in the dialogue, a second anti-driller group "shout-down" of Erb occurred as he tried once again to explain his situation in terms of any leases he may have with the drillers and the income he may or may not be getting.
Next up was Elizabeth Dixon who The Report sees as taking a leadership role (along with Borello) in fighting drilling and horizontal fracturing wherever it may occur.
In the next video she wants to know how it is that Hartville and Plain Township have passed resolutions banning fracking on village/township owned property and the Lake trustees are not willing to follow suit?
As you will see, she gets emotional to the point of saying that she would be willing to go back to the horse 'n buggy days to get away from the need for oil and natural gas.
If such is her prescription for a cure, she certainly would lose a lot of the solidly 21st century folks who support anti-fracking, no?
Terry and Catherine Ball of Hartville were up next. They moved to the Hartville area for an idyllic life. Now, to hear them tell it, with the onset of well drilling and fracking, the idyllic life is no more.
Moreover, Trustee Arnold responded by implying (the SCPR's interpretation) that the Plain Township trustees (most likely focusing on Trustee Louis Giavasis, a lead anti-fracking Stark County elected official [Trustee Haws voted against the Plain resolutions]) that in passing its resolutions (calling for a moratorium of fracking and banning fracking on township property) was grandstanding on the issue and that he (Arnold) is not about to follow suit.
Here is a video on the Ball/Arnold exchance:
The SCPR in a general sort of way admires the work of Chris Borello.
However, The Report is disappointed with the way her followers shouted down Trustee Ellis Erb twice when he tried to explain his situation and position in the give and take between the anti-drillers/frackers and the trustees.
After the meeting, yours truly sought Erb out to afford him an opportunity to have his say. And here is the video of him having his say:
A FINAL NOTE
The question arises whether or not the anti-drillers/frackers were satisfied with the results of the meeting with Lake trustees on Monday night.
The SCPR was impressed how they forged on until the trustees convinced them that they were being heard in passing the resolution directing that a letter of concern be sent to the EPA and ODNR
The Report doubts that the anti-drillers/frackers can achieve any more with the Lake trustees in terms of additional resolutions.
But you can bet that in a figurative sort of way "they will die trying."
Indication of support for The Report's prediction of a continuing effort was forthcoming from organizing leader Elizabeth Dixon in the following post-meeting interview: