As a resident near the SSC, I was very alarmed when I heard of Magnablend's desire to move there. After hearing this news, I fired up the laptop and started sorting through all the information about Magnablend and the situation at hand. Fast forward to today and I almost feel like some sort of community activist. I, like many of you, have emailed and called numerous people in an effort to preserve the places we call home. I attended the meeting on January 9th at the courthouse and left just absolutely flabbergasted. As I listened to the twenty or so people step up and respectfully voiced concerns that mirrored my own about Magnablend's relocation. I then listened as County Commissioner Bill Dodson spoke. Saying that he has listened to everyone, mentioning the various other chemical plants that operate in his precinct and then go on to say this. "That for everyone standing in here today I want to remind you that there are that many more who are unemployed" and I asked myself. Therefore what? So we, the residents who deliberately chose to live out here for the serenity of the area, are supposed to risk our health and safety, we're supposed to accept the stench of dirty air and a depreciation in property values because a few people are unemployed. Call me heartless, but I think not.
Maybe they're unemployed because of negligence, maybe, just maybe this is their fault. We don't know. There is, to my knowledge, a criminal investigation still ongoing. Whatever the reason for this tragedy, I see no need to make it worse by foolishly asking the people to give up so much for a few extra tax dollars and the reemployment of what is probably going to be 300 people.
Where has common sense gone? Taking everything into consideration, I can't even believe there is a debate to be had here. With the TCEQ violations, the recent fire, the dead fish and the contamination that's been documented as a result, the ongoing investigation, the fact that the old site still has not been cleaned up. Seriously!
It is my humble opinion that we're having this debate because the elected officials who are supposed to be serving our interest have turned their backs on you and I. To instead serve the interest of big business, engaging in the same ole politics as usual that the American people are so sick and tired of. Leaving us with the challenge of stopping this greedy and carelessly irresponsible company from destroying the peace and serenity of another community. I haven't given up hope that we can win this but even if I had, I don't believe that should be viewed as permission to stop fighting. And I'll never forget how the politicians have betrayed their duty to us the citizens and we will surely carry that to the voting booth.
- Roger Hamilton
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