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Tusten, do the right thing

October 6, 2011

Upon oath of office, our local government promises “to protect the health, safety and welfare of our town.” Section 14 of our draft zoning regulations helps enforce that promise, by limiting specific activities, including high impact industrial uses, that would dramatically impact our town’s rural character and environment.

It was pointed out by a local business owner and candidate for Tusten Town Council at our recent public hearing that there are only five major stakeholders in our town. I wonder what his definition of a stakeholder is? Most individuals within this town may not be owners of big businesses, but every Tusten resident is a stakeholder who deserves to be protected by our town. If you drink the clean water and breath fresh air, you are a stakeholder.

Our town board is considering taking a “neutral” position on gas drilling due to litigation concerns. But at a time when our town is threatened by fracking, we have a right to expect leadership from our leaders. Are we so afraid of being sued that we are willing to give up our rights to govern and safeguard our own community? Do we really want to be neutral about the effects that heavy industrial uses and not put in place proactive zoning measures (which can always be amended as the law is clarified)? Think about it.

The next Zoning Public Hearing will be held on October 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Tusten town hall. If you are concerned about these issues, please show up and let our elected officials know how you feel about the zoning ordinances that address fracking.

Andrea Reynosa
Candidate for town council, Rural Heritage Party
Tusten, NY