Monday, June 27, 2011
Redistricting was on the agenda this morning. There will be another Public Hearing this Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. in the Commissioners Courtroom.
Those living in the area north of 71 and south of the river - River Crossing, Pope Bend etc - need to pay special attention. No matter which plan is adopted, you will no longer be in Pct. 3. For the next 10 years, you will be in either Pct. 1 or Pct. 4. If you have a preference, you have an opportunity to weigh in at the Hearing on Thursday.
These comments were presented during the citizen’s comment period of the June 27th Commissioners Court session. The material is a rework of the post immediately below. Please note that this was Vivian Dildy’s first appearance since her appointment to the vacated Precinct 4 Commissioners seat. Welcome on board!
The comments that were submitted to the Army Corps in response to the March 25 Public Notice were requested by a FOIA on May 11. They finally arrived last week. Here are some interesting stats about them.
There were a total of 60 comments. Of those, 4 were from official entities - LCRA, TPWD, City of Bastrop and Bastrop County. There were 2 from environmental organizations - Environmental Stewardship and Sierra Club. Of the remaining comments, 52 were from concerned citizens. With a total of 35, Cedar Creek residents posted twice as many as Elgin residents who provided 17. Only 2 comments supported the project and neither of them dealt with issues germane to the permit on which the Army Corps will be ruling.
The first of the two, received April 25, consists of one sentence scribbled at the bottom of a letter that ECO-Merge appears to have sent to its supporters on March 24 in an attempt to generate positive input to the Public Notice. It took a good while to decipher the handwriting which simply says “I strongly support the Ecomerge project”. The signature is pretty illegible but might be D. or Don Hill.
Interestingly, the ECO-Merge call-to-action is dated the day BEFORE the Public Notice was posted on March 25th. Most likely it was blasted to anyone who ever expressed support for the project. Please note that the Army Corps contact addresses are different than those in the Public Notice. Are improperly addressed comments even valid?
The second letter, received May 9 and also improperly addressed, came from Bill Graves, the Superintendent of the Elgin ISD. It’s all about money and how there is ‘no downside in this project’. It’s sad that this ‘educator’ hasn’t done his homework and considered the collateral damage. There is none so blind as he who dreams of a windfall . . .
So it seems that ECO-Merge’s pre-notification plea for support was pretty much of a bust. Is there ANY credible public support for this project? In contrast, submissions from the official entities, environmental organizations and well-informed citizens provided responsive, detailed comments. A selection of the more original and informative submissions have been scanned and posted to the StopCTA website.
The people have spoken loudly and clearly: THIS PROJECT IS A VERY BAD IDEA AND NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW!! But will our voices be heard?
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Here are some interesting factoids about the USACE comments received today.
A total of 60 comments were in the USACE packet.
Of those, 4 were from official entities - LCRA, TPWD, City of Bastrop and Bastrop County. Only 2 environmental organizations were represented - Environmental Stewardship and Sierra Club. StopCTA has previously obtained and posted all these documents.
Of the remaining comments, 52 were from concerned citizens. With a total of 35, Cedar Creek residents posted twice as many as Elgin residents who came in with 17 (including a comment missing from the packet but obtained earlier). Only a few of the more original and informative submissions will be scanned and posted to the site because most of them are very repetitive (often word for word). Look for the new additions in the next day or two.
As anticipated, only 2 comments supported the airport and neither discussed issues germane to the USACE permit. These offerings reveal some of the most interesting factoids.
The first, received April 25th, consists of one sentence scribbled at the bottom of a letter that ECO-Merge appears to have sent to its supporters on March 24 in an attempt to generate positive input to the USACE Public Notice. It took a good while to decipher the handwriting which simply says “I strongly support the Ecomerge project”. The signature is pretty illegible but might be D. or Don Hill.
Interestingly, the ECO-Merge call-to-action letter is dated the day BEFORE the USACE posted the Public Notice on March 25th. Most likely it was blasted to anyone who ever expressed support for the project. As usual, it begins with the hype we’ve come to expect. But please note that the USACE contact addresses are different than those in the Public Notice and it appears that a second page, which would have contained the signature, was not included in the submission.
The second letter received on May 9th, the deadline for comments, comes from Bill Graves, the Superintendent of the Elgin Independent School District. Mr. Graves appears to have imbibed a good dose of Carpenter Koolaid! It’s all about money and how Carpenter is going to save the day! (Maybe he believes in the tooth fairy too.) There is praise and confidence that the developers are addressing ’sound, safety, and infrastructure’ issues in a proactive manner and he sees ‘no downside in the project’. It’s sad that this ‘educator’ hasn’t done his homework. There is none so blind as he who dreams of a windfall . . .
That’s about it for now.
This morning a stack of paper several inches thick arrived via Priority Mail from the USACE. The total number of submissions doesn’t quite tally with what we expected. While there was no indication in the cover letter that what they sent was incomplete, at least one previously obtained comment seems to be missing. Hopefully there will be an explanation for the discrepancies.
From a cursory review, it appears that the most important submissions have already been posted. The majority of the newly obtained comments seem to be quite (and understandably) repetitive so there will be no need to post every one. However, it is likely that after a thorough reading, some containing new and relevant information will be found, scanned and and added to those previously posted.
Please be patient while we slog through the stack.