Almanac

Viewpoint - June 2, 2010

Letter: Redwood City clipped comments on Saltworks

Having attended thousands of public meetings over three decades of environmental advocacy, I was shocked at the Redwood City Council's behavior in limiting public comment regarding Cargill's plan to build a city of 30,000 people on restorable Baylands.

By restricting speakers to just one minute each, cutting off a resident who brought in a short video, and intimidating into silence numerous others who would have spoken up, the mayor stifled public participation on a key step in the city's review of this controversial project.

It's bad enough that the council has rejected the region's opinion, which has been expressed most recently in a powerful editorial by the Mercury News. But I can't believe they would so restrict their own constituents when there was clearly plenty of time. Their entire meeting was over in less than two hours.

It's clearly uncomfortable for the council to hear from people who oppose moving in lockstep with the developer, step by step, towards approval of a project that should never be built. But this is their job. Hard as it is, they should at least give the appearance of listening.

Lennie Roberts, legislative advocate, Committee for Green Foothills

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