Friday, October 06, 2006

PDC Landfill Application Expansion Hearings

Today’s “Letter to the Editor” from a Joanne Richardson is the first of a series of letters the radical environmentalists plan to have published in an attempt to defeat me in my race for reelection to the Peoria County Board. I received a call from Republican JoAnne Richardson, widow of Dr. Robert Richardson apologizing that she was not the Richardson that wrote the letter. She indicated that she would be writing a letter endorsing my reelection.

Some of you may not be aware that I wrote approximately 11 blogs on the research I had done on the Application for Expansion of part of the existing landfill owned and operated by the local Royal Coulter family, PDC. You can read these blogs by pulling up my archives starting in the last week of March and most of the month April.

I was one of 7 board members selected to be jurists for the county. (Actually all eighteen County Board members were told to be “jurists” and not base their decisions on community pressures). According to instructions given us by the Sates Attorney’s Office, we were to listen to only the evidence pertaining to the application, not as to whether the landfill should have been in that location in the first place, not where the waste came from, whether or not it could be recycled and not to be swayed by emotions stirred up by the radical environmentalists. We were to then to report our findings to the rest of the County Board, some of who attended none of the 6 days of testimony and cross-examination. Despite the fact that all testimony and cross-examination was posted on the internet many of the board members do not use computers. Four of the 7 of us voted in favor of the expansion based on facts. Of the three no votes, one was from a board member very active in the Sierra Club whose leadership was and is still trying to mislead the community that live toxic was and is being buried in the land that will eventually poison the whole community.

Unfortunately for reasons never explained to my satisfaction, the Siting Committee never had an opportunity to present our findings to the full board. Also the printed documents covering all public information did not become available until after the first vote in which the die was cast. I was of the opinion and still hold that opinion based on my being there that PDC never received a fair trial. PDC has filed a lawsuit against the county and the county has set aside the first $75,000 to defend itself and that is only a initial amount.

My position was backed by the Heartland Partnership, the Economic Development Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Federation. My position was also backed by Mayor Ardis and Bonnie Noble.

This week I received notification of my endorsement by the Progressive Peoria Political Aaction Committee (PAC)

By the way of interest, my opponent is telling people that if she had been on the board she would have voted no. She had an interesting time explaining to the JSEB how she could have made that decision without being involved or never having visited PDC.

If this community wants a person on the county board who makes all her decisions based on what her constituents tell her, so be it. Also pray that she never sits on a jury on which you may be being tried. She is also saying I said we are fortunate to have the landfill in Peoria. She evidently can’t read well either. I suggest she reread the article where I say we are fortunate to have a family owned business operating this landfill for 28 years the last 14 without a citation from the EPA. I stand by that statement.

I listened to my constituents in my district and 12 asked me to vote no. 4 of them changed their mind after I reviewed the testimony with them.

The entire proceedings are still available on www.peoriacounty.org

Thanks for your support. Do not look for yard signs or any signs as I am covering my district door to door and the response is excellent. I do not take money and have told the PAC that and they respect my request. They write “We appreciate your involvment in public service to the community and look forward to working with you after the election.” I, in turn appreciate their support.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merle,
Perhaps you listing to Mayor Ardis and especially Bonnie Noble that is getting you in trouble! Ardis seems to have picked up right were former mayor DR left off. As for Mrs Noble... well her motives are questionable. Can she share the limelight?

Some Guy said...

I have to give it to you, respectfully honest and non-conforming and not taken down by the almighty dollar. Truly, fair and balanced.

Anonymous said...

MERLE; RELAX AND HAVE A NAP, YOU ARE A SHOO-IN; THE PEOPLE YOU HAVE CONTACTED KNOW YOU ARE HONEST AND A HARD WORKER.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment about you listening to Mayor Ardis and Bonnie Noble. I read all the transcripts from the PDC Landfill Expansion Hearings...Royal C. and his sheep from PDC had a fair trial. Get over it.

Merle Widmer said...

As usual the "anonymous" who said I was LISTENING to Ardis and Noble can't read to well and might make a good jounalist for the new owners of the local paper. Read "My position was SUPPORTED by Jim Ardis and Bonnie Noble". Bonnie was dropped in there as a little Widmer humor. I don't discuss any community issues with Mrs. Noble. THE DISCUSSION WOULD BE ALL ONE-SIDED.

You say "get over it". Evidently can't read the JS too well either. You might have noted that PDC has filed what they believe will be a winning appeal and the County has already set aside $93,000 for the county's cost of litigation and PDC deposed all 12 no voters and a small number of the dissenters, three of these leading dissenters failed to return a JS reporter's phone calls. It's never over till it's over. I will never vote to set up a perpetual maintence fund as there is NO PROVEN NEED. That's why PDC didn't offer it in its application. So far the dissenters have have asked for three of the special criteria offered at the request of Peoria County Staff. Why not in the original application? Why, indeed, because PDC and their experts did not believe they were necessary. Yet PDC said OK board, you feel they are necessary, we will give you this criteria. Still the majority of the board said no and now comes the costly litigation to the taxpayer. And guess what? In 2009 the landfill may be closed but IT WILL STILL BE THERE and fifteen years later PDC has the right to stop monitoring the site. You count that as a win to the community??

As to trouble, 95% of the world would be happy to be in the "trouble" I'm in. Quit dreaming and serve your time peacefully.