Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Moving the RegNeg meetings

Here's an opinion from a resident.

The announcement regarding the moving of the negotiated rulemaking committee meetings farther away from the people it most affects is most disturbing to me. Local citizens, especially those from Hatteras Village and Ocracoke, must travel many additional miles to learn about possible decisions that may adversely affect their livelihood. This will add between 11/2 - 2 hours driving time from the previously scheduled meeting place: this will require those from Ocracoke village to travel 3 or more hours, if they catch the ferry just right. This is happening at a time of $4 dollar a gallon gasoline costs.

The currently designated meeting place and the decision to prohibit video taping violates the requirement that all such meetings be publicly accessible and allow public participation. There are no officially recorded minutes. Those summaries that are written are approved several months after they take place.

An extremely unjust plan that appears to be extremely economically damaging to the residents of the eight small villages is being developed. I urge you to reconsider this move. NO one has been threatened. There has been no property damage. Those who have attended the meetings have conducted themselves properly, even though they have lost money and jobs this summer because of the Consent Decree.

As evidenced by the submissions at the September meeting the public, residents and merchants who were asked to work with the NPS are not only being shut out of the proceedings but are not being informed of the decision making proposals or the related discussions. It appears there is strong support for even greater limitations on the beach and greater lose of freedom on a publicly owned National Park.

I urge you to reconsider this move.

Barbara Ackley