citizens of the Cedar Valley address the proposal for a coal burning power plant

Waterloo, Iowa

City Council meeting

May 7, 2007

 

 

 

c e d a r v a l l e y s p e a k s

Group 3

1. E J Gallagher, 801 Sheridan Road, Waterloo, Iowa

Good evening. Although I know a number of you already, for the record, my name is E J Gallagher. I live at 801 Sheridan Road, Waterloo, Iowa which is in Ward 2 Precinct 6. I’ve been a lifelong resident of Waterloo (with the exception of leaving for about eight years after I graduated from Columbus in ’67, the same year as the Mayor’s brother, Matt. We are having our 40th reunion this year in Waterloo).

I have practiced law across the street for about 32 years and I wanted to speak tonight, not as a paid attorney, not as a representative for any particular group but as a citizen of Waterloo who’s family has lived here for generations and hopefully staying here much longer.
I’ve left my remarks with the clerk, and I would request they be included for part of the record.

I would like to say that my main concerns are: What do we value? Do we value money? or do we value people and their health? Economic value is very easy to say.
You can get dollars and put how many jobs… I don’t know how many people are going to live and pay taxes in Waterloo whether they are building the plant or working there.
We heard about various things to dress the place up with a Greenbelt type of facility to hide it in trees.

I just don’t think that this is the type of thing that this community should get for the quality of life we want to live. Sort of like the Master Card Ad. (A good quality of life: priceless).

A number of years ago, we had a situation with the waste management proposal south of town. The citizens of this community stood up and put it aside.
I think we have as much danger for what’s going to get into the air, and also into the water with mercury. I think that’s going to be a concern.

We heard about trains…I had the opportunity to take some leaves the other night to the disposal site. I had to wait 20 minutes for a train there. I realize these people were working hard and were paid for what they did, but I’ve been in the law business a number of years and I know if you hire an expert, you going to hire them because they tell you what you want to hear. I think we need to have some independent research. I agree very strongly with what the courier said. We heard lots about the elephant.
That’s the name of a book. Don’t think of an Elephant. I think the other elephant we need to think about is the white elephant if the EPA regulations change. I think they will change.

I don’t think we should rush to judgment by the City Council. That’s happened too often. We have an international issue where that’s happened. I would strongly urge you to vote no at this time and support the vast number of people that aren’t being paid here.
As Churchill said, “We’ll fight them on the beach, we’ll fight them on the shore, we’ll fight them on the land”, and we’re going to continue to do that. Thank you.