The pity party for outgoing Red Wing mayor continues, with one letter writer urging Tea Party intervention on the part of the sand industry since too many citizens at public meetings have been objecting to Egan's lobbying job. Enough with the we the people--it's time to respect authority!
In another, We should be ashamed, mining professional John Litsenberger notes that with the pending April 1 resignation as mayor by Dennis Egan, the City of Red Wing will lose a front row seat for insider intelligence from the industrial sand industry:
I dare say Red Wing lost a strong ally with the resignation of Mayor Dennis Egan. From my perspective, we would have had an inside track on what was occurring within the ranks of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council and having the mayor there to report back would have been very advantageous. That window of opportunity is gone now.
Egan's critics should feel bad:
All Red Wing citizens should be ashamed of the way we've treated our duly elected mayor — those that raised the cry of "conflict of interest" and called for his removal/resignation and those of us who failed to come to Egan's support.
Because having Egan bring the industry's perspective to the City isn't a conflict! It's an opportunity!
Author John Litsenberger introduces himself:
As a local citizen who's been quite involved in the issue of silica sand mining, I would like to add some comments to several of the letters that appeared in the Wednesday Feb. 27 edition of the Red Wing Republican Eagle.
Litsenberger's involvement goes back 40 years, he shared with Red Wing Republican Eagle readers back in July 2011:
I have over 40 years of underground mining experience and have worked in the frac sand industry, so I do know what mining companies are capable of achieving. I also know that an uninformed public is one that deals with hysteria rather than facts.
Who are you going to believe? His "facts" or your lying eyes as you as you look across the river at Wisconsin?
The only way to get a sound view of mining, Litsenberger suggested, was to ask a mining company for answers:
My advice to the area’s citizens is to learn about the frac sand industry, talk to Windsor Permian and listen to their ideas and goals, but become informed and be prepared to present this company with your list of how you expect them to operate in your neighborhood.
Trust us. We're experts.
Goodhue County's moratorium on new silica sand operations was put in place in 2011 and was originally set to expire Sept. 6, 2012. The county board voted to extend it, and it will now expire on Sept. 6, 2013.
Meanwhile, over at the Rochester Post Bulletin, editor Jay Furst asks in Red Wing paper doubles-down on Egan defense:
So, again, the lynching metaphor -- a "lynch mob" got Egan. Way inappropriate, in my book, whether you agree that Egan was treated fairly or not.
In the end, even the "former publishers" acknowledge he put himself and the city in a tough spot by taking the top job with a mining industry trade group, at a time when Red Wing and Goodhue County residents are deeply concerned about frac sand mining.
So, why the extraordinary defense and the comparisons to "lynching"?
Photo: Who are you going to believe about the wonderfulness of silica sand mining? An engineer or your lying eyes when you look at this picture of a mine in Wisconsin? Industrial sand mining lobbyist Dennis Egan figured out he needed his new job like he needed a hole in the ground, so he's quitting as mayor.
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