“The democratic process is window dressing”, Man says of Frac Sand Mining in Glenwood

{first published on WIvoices.org}

Over persistent opposition from citizens, on Monday night the Glenwood City council went into a closed-session meeting with representatives of Texas frac sand company Vista Sand.

Before entering into a private meeting on September 16, people were given an opportunity to address the council. Numerous citizens asked the city council if they had received a request to annex from Vista Sand.  “Absolute silence” was the response, reported local citizen Charlotte Heimer.  “They just sat there.”

Kwik Trip CFO/Glenwood property owner Scott Teigen (left); Texas company Vista Sand's lawyer, Anders Helquist (right).  Glenwood citizens have petitioned to vote on the frac sand mine proposed next to their public school.

Kwik Trip CFO/Glenwood property owner Scott Teigen (left); Texas company Vista Sand’s lawyer, Anders Helquist (right). Glenwood citizens have petitioned to vote on the frac sand mine proposed next to their public school.

Many citizens feel they were left without legal representation at the closed-session meeting.  The Glenwood City council, widely viewed as “disconnected” with the community on sand issues, was represented by Terry Dunst of Bakke Norman in New Richmond.  Vista Sand was represented by Anders Helquist of Weld, Riley Prenn, Ricci, Eau Claire.

“Who is in there speaking for us?” asked one resident angrily.

Citizens asked to leave the closed meeting waited outside the community building discussing their next steps.  Bystanders report that council member Crystal Booth, whose motion for a referendum was tabled by the council, left the closed meeting early in disgust.

Glenwood City council member Crystal Booth made a motion to allow the citizens of Glenwood to vote on sand mining issues.  Left without a second, the referendum fell flat.  September 9, 2013.

Glenwood City council member Crystal Booth made a motion to allow the citizens of Glenwood to vote on sand mining issues. Left without a second, the referendum fell flat. September 9, 2013.

“In my opinion, it’s over,” said local businessman Jim Laskin in a statement to WI Voices.   “The council has made up their minds.  They go through the motions of a democratic process, but it is all window dressing.  They hold our cumulative intelligence in very low regard.”

The majority of registered voters have signed a referendum petition compelling a public vote on frac sand mining issues. However, under Wisconsin law the council has no legal obligation to honor it.

Glenwood business owner, Jim Laskin, standing on the playground of the school next to the proposed mine.  The hills visible in the background are part of the proposed "Vista" silica sand mine 1/2 mile away.

Glenwood business owner, Jim Laskin, standing on the playground of the school next to the proposed mine. The hills visible in the background are part of the proposed “Vista” silica sand mine 1/2 mile away.

“I look at it this way,” Laskin continued, “If they insist on absolute authority, then they will assume absolute responsibility for putting that mine next to our school.”

 

 

———————————————————————–

 

WIvoices.org has been closely following this story:

The Huffington Post report on Glenwood City frac sand

Want More Information? See WIvoices.org’s Reference Document

You make these independent stories possible!
WI Voices is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization; Funds are being raised by the WI Voices Fund committee on behalf of the St. Croix Valley Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity. Your donations are tax exempt.
Please consider a donation today. Thank-you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>