At the risk of editorializing, I love it when the people speak and the powers that be listen.
In Fannin County, Texas, a sand mining company had wanted to expand operations by widening two old-school county roads (i.e., narrow, dirt-topped, gravel … the works).
Residents were not so hot on the idea.
Now I have no issue with the business wanting to do its business and I’m not commenting either way on whether the roads should be widened. What I will comment on is that the people spoke and their county government (which had been fairly unmotivated to stop the widening project at first) listened.
So I’m neither happy nor upset that the company pulled its plans on the project. I am ecstatic, however, that concerned people were heard and that the government acted according to the tenor of its constituents, by planning to vote the project down and possibly take the matter to court, if necessary.
I’m also ecstatic that the company’s reason for withdrawing its proposal was because it didn’t want to be a bad neighbor. Which means that it, too, listened.
Journalism can make you cynical, especially when much of what’s reported about government is how elected officials seem to like shoving agendas through, even rewriting the rules to get things passed, instead of following the rules and dealing with the consequences (which would suggest to any rational person that maybe if doing it by the rules means it’s not going to work, you should, you know, reconsider doing it).
But little victories like this one in a small, rural corner of Northeast Texas hearten me. Residents learned, mobilized, and acted. Government took the side of the people, regardless of what some officials might have thought or wanted; and the company chose to be good neighbors instead of rewriting the rules to shove their agenda through.
And isn’t that actually really nice?
You can read and listen to my story at KETR.org, by clicking here. Read, listen, share, and comment!