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December 02, 2005

Rushing off with Porky

If anybody in East Moline noticed Davenport's fine example of citizen inclusion earlier this year, they're ignoring it.

Facing a big to-do over a hurry-up development deal -- the casino hotel -- Davenport accommodated the many interested citizens by using its website to post successive drafts of the proposed agreement. Added to the intelligence of the hearings, I thought. Good number of people demonstrated through questions and comments that they'd read the documents.

East Moline, now facing its own to-do over a hurry-up development deal -- a pork plant -- seems to be doing its best to keep people in the dark. Been that way since Mayor John Thodos claimed several months back he didn't know what was going on, when there was already media stuff on the pork plant story.

Anyway, doing what I can to help E.M. with communicating with citizens in the 21st Century, here's the text of the proposed agreement on the pork plant. Public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the main cafeteria at United Township High School, 1275 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline.

Version handed out to the press on Thursday has blank pages for the four exhibits -- "Legal Description of Subject Property," "Anticipated Construction and Financing Schedule," "Eligible Redevelopment Project Cost Schedule" and "Form of Request for Reimbursement." Maybe they'll be filled in by public hearing time Monday.

The construction work and the 1,000 jobs the plant promises are no light matters -- they tip the scale sharply.

But the other tray isn't empty -- unless you'd like to have a 600,000-square-foot kill plant for a neighbor, then people out Barstow way deserve something more than a rush job.

The agreement says the plant area will be elevated above "577 feet at mean sea level." Folks downstream of the plant on the Rock will know a lot more about what that means than I do, and they deserve something more than a rush job, too.

Throw in traffic, pollution possibilities and whatever, and there's enough to talk seriously about.

Maybe there's not that many people that close. Maybe downstream flooding won't be aggravated much, if any. Maybe in the end, it'll seem the smart thing to ask the people most affected to take one for the team.

Course, they probably don't feel much a part of the team, given the city's obfuscating, rushing ways.

Posted by jcb at December 2, 2005 11:58 PM


Not that the Davenport council cared what anyone said....

Posted by: chris at December 14, 2005 02:59 AM