This letter was recently published in the SilverBelt, Copper Country News – and here.
In last weeks’ letters to the editor, Jerry McCreary once again showed how stone deaf and disingenuous he can be when it comes to presenting the facts as he would like you to believe them.
He says in his letter, “…we have not with held any facts about the project.” Did he forget? Or intentionally mis-represent the facts? He conveniently avoids The Fact that at the very beginning of this whole debate, Ted Lake, who writes for the SilverBelt, did an excellent piece on how the EDC held a closed door meeting in which the press was not invited and Councilman Terry Wheeler was told he “wasn’t welcome.” (That piece is posted here EDC under Fire.
Or that reporters with the local radio station Gila 101.9FM were not allowed to a luncheon with two state law makers and representatives of the medium security prison complex.
McCreary also seems to forget that the “debates” published in the SilverBelt, between Bob Zache, representing the EDC, and Jim Moss representing Citizens Opposed showed clearly that Zache was parroting the words of the private prison industry. The “study” which Zache quoted by the Reason Foundation which showed positive results from private prisons was a bit self serving. The Reason Foundation, it turns out, was established in 2004 and is funded by the private prison industry. Other independent sources are not so kind in reporting on the supposed value of private prisons citing more problems and unintended consequences for communities which host such an enterprise.
The “open book, full disclosure” about the benefits of this project which McCreary and others often refer to comes directly from a 3 page “Talking Points” memo from the Emerald Companies. Globe’s Mayor and several Councilmen and McCreary have not wavered from these points.
This is not debate, or leadership, or measured differences of opinion. This is stone deaf arrogance to force something on the people of this community who have been speaking out against it since it was first discovered last June.
So, here we are.
Because our leaders won’t listen, we have taken the democratic option available to citizens in this country to force the City, our elected leaders who should be listening to the voters, but aren’t – to put it to a vote on the next regularly scheduled election.
And then McCreary has the audacity to ask you not to allow that vote!
Lest anyone make the mistake of thinking this is just a few rabble rousers, just consider that those opposed to this idea gathered over 900 signatures of registered Globe voters in ten days to put the issue to the voters. That is not just ‘rabble rousers.’ And it is not, as has been suggested, just the Mosses who have been instrumental in so many ways of giving local citizens the clout they need to make leaders listen. You don’t get the signatures of 900+ citizens without the substance to generate that kind of response!
The Globe citizens who have signed the ballot initiatives cross all political boundaries and include Republicans, Democrats and Independents. They represent a wide range of social and economic backgrounds and concerns. But they are united in wanting a voice in whether a private prison comes to Globe. And thanks to the hard work of many volunteers in this community and a democratic society where these things are made possible – the Citizen’s Ballot Initiative will go forward.
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.