Letter: Mining committee in need of changes by Karl Fate
The folks that have been pushing a mine at Lynne are back at it again. This time they are determined to get the town and taxpayers most directly impacted out of the way before they start talking mining lease.
Currently, metallic mining is only allowed in areas zoned manufacturing/industrial, meaning that nearly every zoned area of the county would have to be re-zoned in order to have a mine. There are very sound, logical and important reasons for this. Requiring a re-zoning is a clear acknowledgement of the profound change in land use that would result from constructing a sulfide mine anywhere in the county. This provision also protects local controls as it allows a town to reject a re-zoning that is not in the town’s best interest. Such a serious change must be treated accordingly with an “obstacle or a hoop” that protects the towns and the folks that live there.
Now Scott Holewinski and Dave Hintz want to remove this requirement. Let’s be clear. This is about zealots on the county board that are scheming to cram a mine down the throats of people who are clearly on record as opposing it. This is an indirect response to the town of Lynne stating that it would not support a re-zoning to allowing a sulfide mine at the Lynne site. It is important to note that this occurred after public concerns had repeatedly been ignored by the Mining Committee and that Mr. Hintz was the chair of that committee. Do we really want a county government that changes zoning designations to advance the personal agendas of individual committee members whenever a town opposes a re-zoning, even when the agenda being pushed isn’t supported by the full board? Our county government should not be operating in this manner, but is entirely predictable because of the appointments that have been made to key natural resource committees.
In a county that is so blessed with and dependent on quality natural resources, why has board chair Ted Cushing made appointments to key natural resource committees that are not in the best interest of those resources? There is not even a semblance of balance on these critical committees. As a result, instead of thoughtful, objective representation, we have an arrogance of power where personal agendas are advanced and public input is ignored. More and more people are making note of this situation and are finding it to be unacceptable. Something is outrageously broken in our county government. Time for some changes.
Karl Fate, Rhinelander