Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Evolution of Deborah Greene
Deborah Greene won that battle and in the process managed the defeat of county commissioners Sue Sweeting and Pat Wilkie in the fall of 2002, lambasting those two women as "pro-zoning."
Deborah Greene was a formidable opponent, the best organizer and strategist that the local Republicans had -- smart, capable, and effective.
Last night at yet another public hearing before the Watauga County Commission on yet another proposed Maymead asphalt plant, I heard Deborah Greene repent. She said, "I'm ashamed to say today that I opposed the group [Citizens Against Pollution] that fought an asphalt plant at Roby Greene Road because I was afraid that my farm would be zoned. I'm older and wiser today."
"If it takes zoning to stop it [the newest Maymead asphalt plant]," Greene said in closing, "then zone it!"
Goes to show that there really are "second acts" in America. And that Maymead now has another potent force lined up against their power and their greed.
Several speakers at last night's public hearing mentioned ruefully that there had been no public notice nor public hearing when Maymead first decided it would put an asphalt plant on the Doc & Merle Watson Scenic Byway in close proximity to residential development.
It might interest current County Commissioners that, as originally proposed, the High Impact Land Use Ordinance did include public notice and a public hearing for those negatively affected by the location of a polluting industry. That provision was removed by the Republican-dominated County Commission of that day (as Jimmy Hodges might well remember, since he was sitting on the Commission at that time, as a Democrat).
That public notice/public hearing provision should be reinstated now.