Monday, February 22, 2016

Explosion on Chestnut Ridge Near Disputed Site of Planned Nestle Operation - The Effect of Corruption and Violating the Rights of the People

The Times News reports an explosion at 6:20am Sunday morning, adjacent to or on properties of objectors adjacent to the Gower property where the Nestle water extraction project is proposed.

This is what happens when your government turns its back on the citizens, and allows or worse facilitates corruption to take place.  Citizens are pitted against citizens, while elected leaders sit back and act as though they aren't responsible.  Not all elected leaders, mind you - it only takes two when a board is three people.

Pattern of intimidation
This explosion is likely the latest incident in a pattern of intimidation.  It started with candy being pitched back at charitable people distributing it from a vehicle in a parade.  In the past few months, there have been incidents of tires being flattened and oil drained from car engines.  Nice.  Now there are explosives being directed at people's properties.  And Supervisor Solt sits back and watches like an observer, acting as if she had no hand in creating the situation that is unfolding.  Unfortunately, you reap what you sow.

The Times News reports the explosion as "mysterious".  Not really.  What is next?  Property damage?  Physical harm?  Whoever perpetrated this can level the entire town of Kunkletown, and it won't improve their chances in court.

Why supporters may be nervous
Let's look briefly at who is right and who is wrong in this matter.  The amendment that resulted in the application by Nestle to develop on this property was illegally passed.
  • It was not authorized to be drafted by the Supervisors
  • It was not reviewed by all the planning agencies required (ie CJER and the CJER townships)
  • It was not authorized to be advertised by the Supervisors
  • The advertisement was insufficient to describe its effect to the public*
That last item is the Achilles's Heel.  Some would tell you, hey, the 30-day appeal period passed over a year ago.  That is true - and Nestle certainly was aware, because they signed the lease on the property just as the appeal period expired.  However, the law specifically requires that when a change to a pending ordinance change occurs, that change must be described in sufficient detail for the community to know what its effect will be.  There is an exception to the 30-day rule, which is what those who planned the underhanded adoption of this amendment didn't anticipate.

Therefore, the objectors have the upper hand.  The landowner does not have the right to host the development of this operation, because the amendment that would allow it was illegally passed.  It will take a court to arrive at this finding - but the case appears strong.

Writing is on the wall
It's hard to believe the objectors set off this explosion.  They have the law on their side, and will likely win the court appeal.  The Planning Commission has announced its plans to recommend the Special Exception permit be rejected, which is firmly supported by the facts.  This will be the subject of an article later today or tomorrow.

Predictable result
The entire community is to be a party to discussions of ordinance amendments and land use changes at public meetings - not just one or two residents who hope to benefit from a change.  When your government acts in a manner that allows such an injustice to occur, and then refuses to undo that error, the people will rise.  That is what is happening here.

It is also predictable, according to some in the community, that immature acts of vandalism and intimidation would result from this conflict.  It may get worse before it gets better - brace yourself, Kunkletown.

If this happened on my property
If this happened on my property, I would press Betsy into service.  She's The Decider, as George W Bush used to say.  She doesn't listen well, but she packs one hell of a punch on the business end.  There wouldn't be a repeat incident with the hooligan or hooligans who pulled this crap.

One has to wonder if Nestle knew what it was getting into when it signed on to lease this property.

1 comment:

  1. Another great article, keep up the good work. We really appreciate your efforts.