To the Editor:
I am writing to express my dismay with regards to the Agricultural Land Commissions decision to allow Cawston Cold Storage to proceed with its development. The entire process was highly political, but not democratic. The final decision was made after a private presentation to the ALC in which CCS was allowed to present their entire case, with no representation given to the opposition. The number of opposed citizens almost equals the number of acres possessed by CCS growers, which is huge, and we were neither informed or invited. This was just the final chapter in a string of actions by both CCS and the ALC in which transparency and democratic process were actively avoided because they threatened a favorable outcome for them.
This is a microcosm for the larger global problems facing our time, and a case of conflicting world visions. A few wealthy land owning families should not be the main decision makers in this valley, with the rest of us expected to work for them on wages that allow us neither to buy land nor start businesses, or have political say. I believe in several years the investors in CCS’s storage facility will be looking for new ways to expand their wealth, and will be keen to buy more farm land and convert it to industrial use. They no doubt prefer owning local factories over shaky stocks.
The problem with this is they have shown disregard and even contempt for the quality of life, opinions, and future visions, of the immediate neighbors to their projects. They have also shown disregard for the opinion of the majority, as they believe we are not positioned to influence decision making. Next time we will be ready, as this issue has allowed many to see more clearly the personalities involved.
Willis Brown, Cawston