Union County Remains Steadfast

 

Union Jan -17 vote
The Enlightened Union County Commissioners do not want a Phosphate Mine in their county.

Union County commissioners did not waver the tiniest bit tonight at the Jan. 17, 2017 meeting when the second reading of Ordinance NO 2016-03 came to a vote, which was unanimously approved.

Union Jan -17wheeler Union Jan -17 pam Union Jan -17phelan
Marihelen Wheeler                     Pam Smith                                  Terry Phelan

At  5:30 the somewhat drawn-out and lengthy process of amending the comprehensive plan for the county land development regulations was explained thoroughly by Scott Koons and his assistant from the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

Union Jan -17 bickmeyer Union Jan -17 mosley Union Jan -17 markle
Walter Bickmeyer                         Carole Mosley                           Whitey Markle

All facets of the county were graphically depicted by land use maps, current mining, growth trends, and environmental maps.  Of special interest were environmental maps showing, critical land and water use identification projects, which includes managed lands,  protected or threatened species, outstanding Florida waters and even impaired rivers and streams.

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Courtney Snyder                             Chris Mericle                             Lew Lelge

At 6 o’clock the regular commissoners meeting began and Chairman Tallman entertained several public comments, all of which were in support of the continuation of the moratorium.  No one spoke in favor of ending the moratorium.

Union Jan -17 trowbridge   Union Jan -17 lake   Union Jan -17stevepiez
Charlie Trowbridge                               John Lake                             Dr. Steve Pieczenik

OSFR was heavily represented with President Pam Smith, Vice-President Terry Phelan, Advisor Marihelen Wheeler, and volunteers Billie Jo Benedict,  Walter Bickmeyer, Jane Blaise, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and your historian, and perhaps some I am forgetting.  Many others were not pictured, among them Becky Parker, Marc Lyon, Jill McGuire, Kate Ellison, Larry Carol Burton, Frieda Casset, and more.

Union Jan -17cornelCounty Attorney Michele L. Lieberman, County Commissioner Chair Ken Cornell, and Environmental Protection Director Chris Bird also attended and Commissioner Cornell express again an offer of assistance or aid in the amendment process.

Union Jan -17 mmj
Merrillee’s expression shows the rare victory that we experience from time to time.

OSFR member and Sierra Club Organizer Merrillee has worked harder than any from Day One of the mine.  Stunned residents  had no idea which way to turn and so they contacted Merrillee, then policy director of OSFR.  She organized and trained them and  identified local leaders in Courtney Snyder, Becky Parker, Michelle Moretti, Marc Lyon, Brenda Thornton, Stasia Rudolph and others.  They have taken up the colors and formed a strong resistance, which does not let up.

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


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