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December 03, 2016
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Eighty-eight percent is not decisive?

If board members and committee members honestly believe they still don’t have enough information to determine how residents feel about fracking, then they should accept an offer made by resident Al Shoop. He said that he will privately raise the money to pay for a new town-wide survey that will gauge opinions on this one subject. This wouldn’t cost taxpayers a penny, and it would give residents one more opportunity to weigh in on a very important issue. Personally I’ll be happy to contribute to this effort—if the town will agree to abide by the results.

If the town rejects this opportunity to gather more information, then it must accept the information it has in hand. It is impossible to justify a plan that ignores the views of the 97% of the town, and suits just 3% of the stakeholders. If they go forward with their pro-fracking plan, then members of the comprehensive plan committee and town board will have to deal with a question that’s already been asked, but not yet answered: “Are local officials ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of the residents of the town because they hope to personally profit from fracking and ‘mancamps?’”

[Bruce Ferguson is a resident of Callicoon Center, NY, in the Town of Callicoon and a member of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.]