Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Message to our Leaders

We have been told by Mayor England (via an informal comment made following Citizen Comments during the December 14, 2010 City Council Meeting) ~ that there is to be a Tuesday, January 11, 2011 "Workshop" at 4:30 PM on the proposed changes to the Grand Prairie Shale Gas Drilling Ordinance. An Ordinance that seems to allow gas operators an open invitation to do what they wish in our city and the extra territorial jurisdictions. [4:30 PM certainly limits the attendance.]

Statement from the Minutes of the Grand Prairie City Council December 14, 2010 Meeting:

Link (See Page 12 of the 13 Page document.)

"Mayor England stated that a Council workshop is planned for January 11, 2011 to discuss the draft gas drilling ordinance."

So, the question is: Why haven't informed citizens of Grand Prairie been invited to participate in this "Workshop"? As we understand it, this event is only a discussion among City Council members. We are very surprised that citizens will not be allowed any input. Especially since we also understand that the new "Grand Prairie Gas Drilling Ordinance" may be voted on during the Public Hearing to be held only one week later ~ on January 18, 2011. And since this is one of our primary issues ~ that citizens have not been allowed any input into the Shale Gas Drilling Ordinance decisions ~ we are very disappointed with the unfolding events.

We also understand that many of the issues that were proposed during the Environmental Services Public Meeting on August 31, 2010 are not being addressed.

But this is just what we "hear." We wonder if two of our biggest concerns are being addressed:  Shale gas drilling should be part of regular Planning and Zoning Review via SUPs (Specific Use Permits) AND a Gas Drilling Advisory Commission should be appointed (composed of informed citizens).

The Westchester-Grand Prairie Community Alliance compiled a document for consideration by October 1st (as requested). After submitting this document, we have not received any direct communication from the City for our efforts.

Even with the current "6-Month Moratorium," we have no choice but to believe that this Moratorium may have been little more than a publicity stunt.

As of this date, citizens of Grand Prairie have not been "invited" to the table to discuss shale gas drilling in our communities. And we have a lot to share.

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