LOCAL State Govt. Intrusiveness Vs. Local Govt. and RRC
Well we finally see some progress on local Twp. govt. coming together and wouldn’t you know it. Now local state puke breaks it up. So here we go again!
Even head Twp. official sounds discussed:
“He also wrote that the gas extraction company had agreed to all conditions proposed by the township “only to be faced with the specter of having that effort undone by someone with a personal agenda, an ‘outspoken opponent’ of the natural gas industry.”…….. Michael Debbis, chairman Cecil Twp Board.
Local private landowners confront White:
“Even though the meeting had been canceled, White stopped at the township building Thursday night. There, he said, he was confronted by a few leaseholders who blamed him for interfering.”
“A meeting designed to forge a positive, working relationship between Cecil Township and Range Resources was abruptly canceled Thursday because a local lawmaker posted the meeting notice on his Facebook page and announced his plans to attend.
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, who has been at odds with Range Resources for some time, posted information about the workshop meeting online, checking the option to invite others to attend.
But allowing public discussion was contrary to what representatives from Range Resources, who had requested the meeting, believed would be taking place at the 6 p.m. workshop.
In a letter to White, Range’s counsel, attorney David Poole, referred to an Oct. 26 email from township manager Don Gennuso that stated in a workshop setting the public is able to attend but does not get involved in the discussion. He went on to note that based on White’s Facebook posting, it appeared he was attempting “to derail the discussion” by inviting people who do not live in the township to come and speak.
So, shortly after 3 p.m., Jim Cannon, Range’s local government relations manager, emailed Gennuso and said they were declining to appear but hoping to reschedule for another time. Range had previously told Gennuso they preferred that White either not attend or not have a role in the proceeding.
“We predicted his presence and the potential activists from outside Cecil Township that he invited would be a distraction at best and an uncontrollable spectacle at worst,” he wrote. Contacted by telephone, White said he had merely taken the public meeting notice published in the Observer-Reporter and copied it onto his Facebook page as he does for all such meetings of interest to his constituents. He was careful, he said, to note he was not the organizer of the get-together.
White said he believed Range canceled the meeting because the company did not want public comment.
“I don’t know how they can say they want to be sensitive to the people who live here if they won’t even let them talk,” he said.
Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, said a workshop meeting is no different than a board meeting if there is a quorum present.
“All public meetings have to have a designated time for public comment” she said, although officials can place “reasonable” rules on speaking time.
The workshop with Range was announced at Monday’s township supervisor’s meeting. Michael Debbis, chairman of the board, said Thursday he had been looking forward to the meeting so that both sides could iron out their differences.
In his email, Cannon reiterated his hopes to have a discussion with the township and be available to residents with “legitimate questions and concerns regarding our operations.”
He also wrote that the gas extraction company had agreed to all conditions proposed by the township “only to be faced with the specter of having that effort undone by someone with a personal agenda, an ‘outspoken opponent’ of the natural gas industry.”
Local govt. intrusiveness continues, but this time ole Jesse is caught red handed. See Observer-Reporter June 2 article. This is the kind of foolishness that that elected officials in Pa. do, very poor representation.