GOLIATH TAKES A HIT

DESOTOVOTE In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
The moment of truth, Commissioner Langford has everyone suspended in suspense, and the Mosaic employees in the foreground are at attention, can’t believe what they are hearing, and are beginning to see their worst fears materialize.

 

 

desoto langford In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Commissioner Langford

Commisioner Langford, who was David today, threw the stone so hard that Goliath landed on his backside, surprised, bruised and totally dazed.  Before he could regain his feet, Commissioner Schaefer whacked him again, and he was out for the count.

After a two-day stint and 11 hours of public testimony, the DeSoto County Commissioners, all but one, voted to deny Mighty Mosiac their bid to have 14,000 acres in re-zoned from agriculture to mining.  The lone dissenter was Commissioner Hill.

The long session began Tues. and went until 10:30 or so, and continued Wed., ending near 7 pm.  There was a lot of repetition, and the commissioners were quite patient, although near the end, one or two overly-emotional members of the audience were thrown out by security.

DESOTOMARIAN In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  DESOTOPERCY In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Sierra Club Phosphate Committee members Marian Ryan and Percy Angelo

After public comment was closed, it began to get interesting.  Mosiac was allowed a 30 minute recess to further prepare their rebuttal, during which their lead lawyer spoke and then drew in their list of experts, some from the company and some hired for the occasion.  They touched on issues such as property values, dam building,  land reclamation, health issues and on and on.

DESOTOMOLLY In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida   DESOTODEBBIECULP In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Molly Bowen                                                                    Debbie Culp

All was very slick and feely-goody, and when they were done one wondered how anyone could ever question Mosaic about any issue.  The commissioners asked some good questions, not all of which were answered.  For example, our hero Commissioner Langford asked the Mosaic dam expert what would happen to Horse Creek if a clay settling pond filled with  polluted water were to breach nearby.  The answer only was a long-winded lecture on how well the dams are built and how, since from the time the wheel was invented, we have had almost no problems of spills.

Much was left out in the “Spills”  lecture, also in the “Nothing is affected downstream” lecture, and also the “Productive agriculture on reclaimed land” one.  And probably the “Mining has no health risks” one.

The dozen or so Mosaic team members were practically patting themselves on their backs in victory, but then Commissioner Langford began going down the list of 15 rezoning application amendment factors, and finding that the mine would indeed impact nearly every one, he made a motion to deny.  The chair quickly asked for a second, and was met with silence.  After what seemed an eternity, Commissioner Schaefer gave a second, and the call went smoothly on the board’s right but on the left it struggled.  Finally Commissioner Mansfield gave an “aye” and Commissioner Hill a “no,” and the chair went with the majority.

And it was done.

All in all, a long meeting, but well worth the wait.

Several environmental groups were represented, OSFR by your historian.   Sierra Club member John Ryan was accepted as expert witness and spoke for Sierra Club, and Phosphate Committee member Andy Mele was accepted as an expert witness and spoke for Suncoast Waterkeepers.  Others from that committee who spoke  were Percy Angelo, Marian Ryan and your historian.

DESOTOLAWYERS In: GOLIATH TAKES A HIT | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
The unhappy Mosaic team is not used to losing

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


 

19 Comments

  1. Over 150 personal Testimonies by the citizens of De Soto County at the end of the day the commissioners with the exception of Commissioner Hill voted against Mosaic
    This was a historic Moment in history for the citizens of DeSoto County
    Thank you Commissioners for your vision
    https://youtu.be/qB7ZHWpUK2o

  2. whew, amazing solidarity by DeSoto county commissioners to listen and vote for the people’s interest instead of Mosaic.

    1. It was interesting to listen to commissioner Langford and a awesome decision to deny. Everyone needs to be prepared for what Mosaic will be bringing now, Bert J. Harris, Private Property Protection Act.

        1. Then I hope they will successfully farm their property, as the Land Development Regulations specify.

  3. Joe, there are many Industries that are compatible with the Florida landscape. And there are many that are in Florida that are totally incompatible. Florida doesn’t have the luxury of letting the waste run down the river to the ocean. We all know that in much of Florida the water that we drink and swim in is connected to what is put on the ground therefore choose your industry wisely

  4. Great news! Thank You ALL for being there, and THANK YOU Desoto County and their commissioners for being LEADERS in the effort to save Florida’s water. Hopefully, other counties will follow this LEADERSHIP.

  5. If you look at it from this stand point, all industry must cease operations, not just Mosaic (phosphate). Then, where would the the citizens earn the money that supports the local economy? Is anybody thinking of that? It doesn’t look like it.

    1. Joe, there are many Industries that are compatible with the Florida landscape. And there are many that are in Florida that are totally incompatible. Florida doesn’t have the luxury of letting the waste run down the river to the ocean. We all know that in much of Florida the water that we drink and swim in is connected to what is put on the ground therefore choose your industry wisely

    2. Joe, if you read up a bit on phosphate mining, you will see that, after development, it is the industry most destroying Florida. It depletes water and dries up springs, poisons the air and harms people, destroys rivers, changes entire drainage systems, causes sinkholes, pollutes the aquifer, leaves huge gypstacks which cannot be moved or eradicated, forever changes the land which cannot be restored as before. Citizens will earn ever so much more money by sustainable agriculture on land that is unmined, than on ruined land after the mine company leaves. Phosphate mining benefits mostly the mine owners. Today we use about 20 percent of the processed phosphate as fertilizer, the rest is wasted. New techniques are increasing this number rapidly. That we desperately need phosphate is a lie promoted by those who sell it. We do need phosphate, but it cannot be destroyed, and it can be totally re-used. The world is NOT running out of phosphate.

  6. I can’t thank the DeSoto County commissioners enough for listening to the will of their electorate. A great decision for them, and for anyone in Florida that values our waters. Thank you.

    1. Sorry, I stand corrected, I was present only Wed and not Tuesday, and made an incorrect assumption about what I was told. The post is now changed.

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