“it wouldn’t matter” –John Fretti, Mayor of Valdosta

News Talk 105.9 FM posted this: Exclusive Audio: Mayor Fretti on Biomass
“Kay Harris is absolutely wrong, writing emotionally again.”
He’s apparently referring to the VDT editorial I interpreted here.

He goes on to say it wouldn’t matter if the city refused to supply water to the biomass plant. Yet another variant on the popular local favorite: “there’s nothing you can do.”

Technically, no doubt he’s right: they could just sink a well instead. Politically, it would make a world of difference if the plant’s host city said it wouldn’t supply water. Not to mention I suspect the county would have to approve such a well.

At the least, the City of Valdosta could do what Gadsden County, Florida did:

“The county had suspended consideration of the project for six months so residents could further educate themselves about the project.”
Educate, as in with VLCIA actually interacting with its critics, with real debate on the same stage. If biomass proponents continued to refuse to do that, even after their host city asked them to, that would say quite a bit, wouldn’t it?

The mayor also complains that the editor is taking the onus off the county and placing it on the city. Ah, finger-pointing, the sport of local politics!

Is anyone else disappointed that all our local politicians seem to be deferring to hired “experts” or pointing fingers at somebody else? I kind of like Matt Flumerfelt’s point about

“political and personal courage”
That would be a good thing.

The mayor also said:

“If they don’t say they’re against it, they’re for it.”

Seems to me a lot more biomass critics than supporters have shown up at meetings; at this point I suspect critics have even organized more meetings than VLCIA has! So it would make at least as much sense to say if they don’t say they’re for it, they’re against it.

But if you don’t like people making “emotional decisions” (even after the VDT has actually done extensive and laudable investigation into this issue), how about we have a real debate (not a hired panel dog-and-pony show) where the issues actually get discussed? Maybe then we’d even see the alleged scientific and other studies VLCIA keeps saying it has.


1 thought on ““it wouldn’t matter” –John Fretti, Mayor of Valdosta

  1. Leigh Touchton

    There’s plenty that could be done. If Wiregrass seeks to pull 800,000 gallons per day from the aquifer, then they would become the largest user of water in this county. When citizens’ wells run dry, people get understandably angry. The company would have to seek a water permit from EPD and local citizens could fight it.
    City Council should not enter into the agreement to sell water to that plant, they are the crux that can stop it. We need 4 City Council members to refuse to sell gray water to the plant.
    Mr. Fretti has children. I am astonished that he does not see the relationship to the city’s potential course of action and the health of area residents, most especially children and elderly.
    Several communities have successfully blocked water permits from being issued.
    Really Mayor Fretti, you’ll advocate to keep the area you and I live in zoned residential but you won’t advocate to protect all the citizens from this dangerous plant? Really?

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