Wednesday, April 14, 2010
No biomass! Another ally
One irony in the situation is that Councilor Ferrera had originally voted in favor of PRE's receiving their needed zone change permit back in September, 2008. I wasn't inclined to bring that up last night as it seemed ungracious given this new opportunity to win an ally, and I certainly am glad he's changed his mind. A STIS member in the audience did bring it up, however, and Councilor Ferrera said pretty much what I'd expect him (and the other councilors who voted in favor of PRE ) to say: the application met all the requirements to receive a permit, so........the unspoken explanation being that he had no choice, his hands were tied, etc. Somehow that didn't stop former Councilors Pat Markey and Rosemary Mazza-Moriarty from voting against it, and Bruce Stebbins abstained. (I don't understand abstentions.)
STIS recently paid for a tape of the city council meeting where PRE's zone change was approved, but only a couple of people have had a chance to watch it so far. If I had to guess, I'd put the city council decision down to the simple fact that business people have more weight in the eyes of elected officials than regular people do. I've come to know many of the regular people who spoke against the proposal to city council back then, and they were already pretty knowledgeable about biomass-- more than they'd ever thought they'd be. And since then we've learned a lot more.
Given the weight that relationships between people with power carry, the only antidote is for more and more of us to understand, to speak out, and to organize to make sure our voices are heard.