Which Fayette candidates will help environment?

Dennis Chase's picture

Fayette County has some of the most beautiful environmental settings in the area. But that is hardly news to any of you who live here. The current Land Use Plan that the Fayette County Board of Commissioners has in place agrees as there are 13 different sections of that document which, they say at least, are to protect those resources.

Unfortunately, we have a set of commissioners who have one major project started and another under consideration that will ignore almost all of those parts of our Land Use Plan.

When I retired from federal service, about 18 years ago, I was able to become involved in local issues in an active way. My goal was to use my expertise to help protect our resources, educate about just how good we have it and perhaps make some projects a bit less damaging.

Often during those years, I appeared before the Fayette County Commissioners to ask for their consideration for protecting the environment on a variety of issues. I received a wide range of responses from the commissioners and they usually gave at least some consideration for the environmental.

I believe you can tell a lot about the character of a person by understanding how well they take care of the world around us. Lately, most of our commissioners have made it clear they care nothing for our environment, Mr. McCarty and Mr. Brown being the exceptions on the current Board of Commissioners.

We just escaped from those dark years when the “Fateful Five” were in power. Fortunately, the makeup of the commission has begun to change for the better. But beware. Two of that group are trying to be re-elected and a third is coming back at us trying to join them. Please don’t let that happen.

It was during those dark years when those of us trying to help protect our fragile natural resources were met with total disdain by the Fateful Five. Actually very few citizens were ever really heard by the Five as we were ignored to the point where it amounted to betrayal of the public trust.

I have discussed the importance of protecting our environment with Mr. David Barlow and Mr. Randy Ognio. Both have assured me that this important area of our lives will receive their full consideration.

Better yet, both are making Open Government a top priority, a very welcome return to what we once had in this great county. Mr. Steve Brown and Mr. Allen McCarty have already demonstrated a voting record that shows they can and will listen and both care a great deal about our environment.

I have not had an opportunity to discuss these important issues with Mr. Charles Oddo. However, I know full well that Mr. Robert Horgan, being one of the Fateful Five, is not our friend, and cares very little for environmental issues. I believe that Mr. Oddo will make a great addition to the new Fayette County Board of Commissioners.

[Dennis Chase, now retired, was a fish and wildlife biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 26 years. Since retiring, he has worked as a consultant for Fayette County on environmental concerns and as a volunteer with the Line Creek Association of Fayette County, and has published numerous newspaper columns.]