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franklin county times

Letter to the Editor: ‘Good news for all county citizens’

Dear editor,

The withdrawal of Franklin County Land Management’s request to build a mega landfill that would have received solid waste from three states is good news for all county citizens.

The owners of FCLM are to be commended for hearing the pleas of their friends and neighbors in this matter. When you see them on the street or at church, thank them and shake their hands or give them a good ol’ Southern hug. 

We all have differing opinions and views, but we are all part of one county. 

All citizens and government of the county should have learned a lot from this process that will serve them well when issues like this come before us in the future.

We all learned that we tend to be apathetic, and our voter participation in state, local and national elections proves it. We must be active in the political process. Remember: One voter, one voice. We can’t sit at home and talk an issue to death. We have to vote and/or be seen and heard when elections and issues like this landfill come up. 

Unfortunately, our state legislature saw fit to deny the voters the right to vote when it comes to landfills, and instead they gave us a public hearing process. However, even this flawed process left us a way to be heard and a way to speak out when matters like this come before us.

I have been pleasantly surprised that our citizens stood up and supported the “stop the landfill” effort and by the willingness of our citizens to let their voices be heard. I hope we all continue to be active when matters like this come before our county commission. 

A thank you to all the individuals who contributed funds to the process of ensuring that our citizens were aware of this issue and how it might affect the county. Every effort was made to ensure that these funds were wisely and efficiently used.  

We still have a lot of work to do. As a county we have grown up to the point that we can no longer consider ourselves that “poor little county.” This landfill proposal was a wake-up call, telling us that if we don’t move ahead, we will be used by those counties and states around us to facilitate their growth while we damage or lose the assets the we have to offer. 

We will soon be covered with broadband to complement all the other tools the county has for growth. We have to step forward and advertise our assets and take our rightful place in northwest Alabama.  

I think our county commissioners might have learned some things as well. We have to take a long-term look at all issues facing the county – maybe even bring in some outside help to help in developing a strategic plan of how we are to move forward and then educate us, the citizens, regarding the issues facing us. 

Done correctly, our commissioners have a full-time job and can be overwhelmed by the size of the task. It takes courage, and I suspect a lot of prayer, to be more than a rubber stamp for whatever comes before the commission for a vote.  

Finally, during the process of educating ourselves about landfills, we have learned that primarily as a flawed source of revenue for large corporations and county governments, garbage is brought into the state by the truck and trainload from as far away as New York.  Please contact your legislators and let them know that you want this stopped and also that the citizens should be allowed to vote on any proposal to import waste that they did not create.  

Sincerely,

Randy Schultz

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