I got to interview an interesting man last week, an artist from Berlin who made his way back from a stroke to paint once again. He had to learn to use his left hand instead of his right, and his technique now involves a computer, but it is a fantastic story. (If you’re interested, his name is Daniel Roberge, and his show opens tomorrow at St. Kieran Arts Center.) He described getting back to creating art after being told he would struggle to ever sit up again on his own as “getting back into the struggle.” What elegant language.
And the struggle is back in Berlin, full swing. On Tuesday, before an empty chamber, save Bobby Haggart, Jon Edwards got up to speak during the public comments phase of the city council meeting. He talked about what he’d seen at the Laidlaw hearings in Concord, where he said numerous companies already invested in biomass raised concerns about the Laidlaw project.
He got about four minutes, and then Mayor Paul Grenier cut him off. Mayor Grenier smashed the gavel into the block, and he told Mr. Edwards not to lecture the council. Councilor David Poulin said he was interested in what Mr. Edwards had to say, and Mr. Edwards continued.
Maybe two minutes later Mayor Grenier was again pounding the gavel, loud enough to drown out everything else. He asked the city manager to call the police and to have Mr. Edwards thrown out. Mr. Edwards left a moment later.
What a scene. What a debate. I have come back, I feel, to the struggle.
3 thoughts on “Back to the Struggle”
For the record, I don’t need a PPA or a variance; Clean Power/Gestamp does. I have no affiliation with any biomass companies. Never have never will. I do, however, have a desire for what is best for Berlin and Coos County. Berlin and Coos County could use the jobs and tax revenue that a biomass company can bring. It should not be at the expense of other existing biomass companies folding if the end result is to gain both jobs and tax revenue for Coos County. No one should be arguing that. Oddly, the very person appointed Coos County commissioner, is supporting the only company (Laidlaw) that can terminate more jobs and tax revenue within the county he’s under oath to represent.
But check for yourself if you’re a true reporter or one looking to do due diligence. Call the biomass plant manager’s at Whitefield, Ryegate, Bethlehem, Tamworth, Alexandria, New Page and the proposed Clean Power project. They’ll tell you the real story about hundreds of direct jobs that can be effected at the expense of 40 LOUSY Jobs. You see, 40 created jobs can be lousy, if at the expense of hundreds.
Thanks for the comments Jon, Berliner.
Competitors should be concerned, as any new addition to the market threatens their position. Where does competition end and a disruption in the orderly development of the region begin? That’s a tough one, which would likely raise criticism from the opposing side no matter the decision.
What I am more interested in are the rules governing public comments at a Berlin city council meeting and the rights citizens have to voice their opinions versus the right of the chair to silence them. That is the issue I saw flare up at Tuesday night’s meeting, and that’s where my question lies.
Thanks for commenting.
By the way, have you noticed I’m getting serial-spammed? What a pain.
Mayor Grenier, your buddy Eric. What a piece of work.