Had an interesting email exchange yesterday with an apparently influential and well-informed resident from Chickaloon, Alaska regarding Riversdale Resources.
I have read many of your most recent blog entries, starting when Riversdale invested $47 million in your area. (I keep track of Riversdale on the internet and your blog comments popped up.)
Very entertaining and insightful commentary on your blog :)
Although the situation in Crowsnest Pass sounds different than the one in Chickaloon, Alaska; (many residents don't want Riversdale to develop in Chickaloon and it sounds like your town wants them to mine), a line open for communication between our 2 communities might be helpful to both of us, when dealing with Riversdale. Just an idea.
My main thought this morning after reading one of your blogs was that someone in your community should...
(at the request and advice of the writer the rest of this section is to remain private... for now)
Anyway, I would be happy to connect you with all the insider (been there, done that) info you want from folks in this area, if it helps.
Btw, Russell Dann donated money to our corrupt mayor's re-election campaign. Our mayor sounds a lot like your mayor from your description. (keep the public out of it).
Comment: This resident shared with me much in the way of advice and suggestions based on first hand experience as to what our community should be aware of and concerned with when dealing with Riversdale that I know will be very useful when the time comes.
One of the suggestions made was "... you may want to consider starting a citizen advisory committee that would guide and negotiate with Riversdale highlighting what the community wants and what restrictions your community considers important for the different phases of mining that Riversdale will outline. These "Good neighbor agreements" would help represent your community before Riversdale starts paying off folks to make their own inner circle of friends, like your mayor. The advisory committee serves both sides of the community, staying open to discussions and ideas from the pro-coal and anti-coal mine residents..."
"Anyway, the whole idea is to get a voice of the people established (other than your mayor and real estate agents) to guide and negotiate with Riversdale before they pay off too many people to be solely "owned" by them..."
"Whether your community wants a mine or not, it pays to connect ahead of time and be a voice that Riversdale (and your mayor) cannot dismiss throughout all phases of development."
The above quotes are from a further email exchange I had with this person who ended their message to me with the following quote: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." ~Thomas Jefferson
Much more was shared with me which I won't get into right now but needless to say I have been assured of future assistance and resources as they are needed and warranted.
D-Day for the Pass will be February 6th when residents and community leaders meet with the head honchos from Riversdale. With this warning shot coming from Chickaloon it will serve us well to be prepared and ready to ask some tough questions, while holding these people's feet to the fire to ensure we do not get off to a wrong start as is apparently what has happened between the good residents of Chickaloon and Riversdale.
Will be going to this meeting with an open mind but with some serious concerns considering how big money has a way of both corrupting people, and destroying communities and a way of life.
Not ready, despite dire warnings to the contrary, to blame anybody for what has yet not transpired here in our community as it apparently has in Chickaloon, and therefore I encourage others to get involved, attend the meeting and most importantly ask serious hard questions, while looking for commitments and guarantees.
If we are not careful the forced changes we as a community have had to endure these last two years or so, that have both divided and torn us apart while literally destroying our community spirit in the process, will seem as like a picnic for what may yet be jammed down our throats by a shepple of a council, and a dictatorial tyrant as a mayor.
Blame is fear in disguise. It is reduced by asking directly for what you want.