News And Updates
Published By: Sun Herald
By NEIL HUGHES Staff Writer
The divisive phosphate mining issue is set to take center stage with the Charlotte County Commission this afternoon, and supporters and detractors of a proposed settlement with Mosaic Company plan to pack the County Administration Building in Murdock.
Commissioner Tom Moore said he's been bombarded with phone calls and e-mails leading up to today's meeting, which will feature comments from Mosaic Company, county staff, the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority and members of the public.
"This is clearly the most contentious, the most complicated, the messiest vote I've had to see," Moore said Monday.
Most who have contacted him, he said, have been negative toward the proposed settlement.
"Clearly they don't want it," Moore said. "I don't think they've argued terribly well. They don't have an answer. That doesn't make them bad people, but there's not a lot of answer in it. It's just - vote against this."
Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club spokesperson Cris Costello sent an e-mail to local environmentalists Sunday, encouraging them to contact members of the County Commission and urge them to vote "no" on the proposed settlement at today's meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Murdock Administration Center, 18500 Murdock Circle.
"The commissioners should see who is against this and should have to respond to that, and they haven't done so," Costello said Monday evening. "They have not responded to the overwhelming opposition to the settlement agreement."
Moore said he feels both sides of the argument have relied more on emotion than facts. Today, he said, he hopes to concentrate on truths.
"Neither side," Moore said of the debate, "is playing very fairly."