“I think we can do better than a generator that burns human waste. I think we can do better than a private prison and those are two things that we seem to be excited about as a community.”Dr. Mark George spoke to the Valdosta City Council, 20 Jan 2011:
We’ve previously written about CCA private prisons and AZ immigration law on 21 December 2010:
Considering how many local farmers and others around here use hispanic help without inquiring closely as to where they come from, a CCA prison in Lowndes County would be more than ironic.And in If it’s sunny enough in Buffalo on 16 September 2010:
Spending state tax dollars to lock people up while cutting funding for education that would cost less per person doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.
Is this what we want to be known for?
In response to complaints about proposed polluting industries such as a biomass plant or private prisons, I hear: “We can’t turn down everything!”As I mentioned to the VLCIA board,
Well, if we actively promoted real clean industry such as solar, we’d get more industry we wouldn’t want to turn down.
Meanwhile, places like Austin, Houston, and Dublin, Georgia (with its MAGE SOLAR plant with 350 jobs), Raleigh, North Carolina, and Saginaw, Michigan (where Suniva’s PV manufacturing plant with its 500 jobs went) didn’t stop with tiny plants with 25 jobs and didn’t recruit larger plants through secrecy. Dublin wears green, Saginaw calls itself Solar Valley, and in each case business, academia, government, and the public work in concert.VLCIA is at least interested in expanding the solar array VLCIA it is currently planning. If we went more in that direction and less towards pollution and private prisons, we’d be a more attractive place for industry.
Maybe you could pursue some of these ideas. Maybe you have others that are better. At your last board meeting Norman Bennett told us the problem was disunity in the community. You can work out with the community something worth uniting behind.
We can turn down industry we don’t want, and that will help attract industry we do want.
Video of regular meeting, Valdosta City Council, 20 January 2011, by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.