Political representation in the Town of Delaware
The board should rescind its June resolution and institute a process that will allow the full range of issues that are relevant to the health, safety and welfare of the community to be studied. State and federal agencies continue to investigate the obvious environmental concerns. What this town urgently needs is a serious study of the economic impact of gas mining on our community.
It is often said that mining will bring jobs and prosperity to the area. But it is far from clear that this is true. It seems more likely that a very small number of people would benefit from gas mining; many others would be adversely affected through increased taxes and reduced property values, and very few long-terms jobs for local people would be created. Momentous decisions concerning the future of our town should not be based on hunches and wishful thinking.
Two members of the town board have expressed reservations about the process leading up to the June resolution. And the town supervisor, in indicating his support for a commission to look into gas mining, acknowledged a perception in the community of a breakdown in good governance. To restore representative government in the Town of Delaware, the first step must be to toss out that shameful resolution.
[Liam Murphy is a resident of Kenoza Lake, NY in the Town of Delaware. He is a professor of law and philosophy at New York University.]