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There is no justice in Houston County

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Dr. Bryan Van Gorp

By Dr. Bryan Van Gorp

Planning and Zoning Director - Bob Scanlan, Environmental Services Director – Rick Frank, Planning Commission Chair – Dan Griffin, and Houston County Commissioners – Judy Storlie, Teresa Walter, and Steve Schuldt have denied the citizens of Houston County due process. Each of them have been informed verbally and in writing on several occasions of six different permit violations on the Erickson mine. They have refused to allow us to present our evidence and when we filed an appeal to the Board of Adjustment several weeks before the vote on the permit, they acted as though it had never happened. They returned the appeal only after the vote so no action could be taken by us. They also falsely claimed that our appeal was invalid because a board had made the decision. Only Bob Scanlon and Rick Frank were involved in the cover-up of Erickson’s permit violations.

All decisions made about this permit were based on false statements by Bob Scanlan. The decisions are invalid if they are not based on all known evidence at the time. He repeatedly told each decision making body there were no permit violations; we have solid evidence that he knew about proving this to be a false statement. If we could have a chance to prove these violations the permit would have to be revoked. Instead it was renewed without an adequate investigation of the facts.

Violation #1 - Erickson attempted to mine frac sand without a valid permit to do so. That was decided by Judge Walter in court to be a fact.

Violation #2 – Erickson broke the county moratorium, there is a record of my call to the Sheriff’s office and the county then passed a stop work order base on that violation.

Violation #3 – Erickson cut down trees that were a screen along Highway 16 that his permit specifically said were not allowed to be cut, we have eye witnesses but Bob Scanlan says that does not constitute evidence.

Violation #4 – Erickson dug test wells without a permit; we have an eye witness account and videotape testimony of the company that dug the wells.

Violation #5 – Erickson encroached on Rosemary Iverson’s property within the 50 foot setback and caused erosion, we have pictures and a tape measure.

Violation #6 – the previous owner buried construction debris at the mine site, if Erickson inherits the permit he inherits the violation, the evidence can be uncovered with a little digging.

All we are asking is a chance to present our case, why are they afraid to let that happen? They will likely try to say some or all of this is not true. I say let the appeal be heard and let the Board of Adjustment decide what is true. This is about the governance of Houston County. If we lose we will have to live with it but we should have a right to present our evidence.

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