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Failure of leadership led to Cortland incident

Published: Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 3:01 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

So much for the safety of our children. So much for leadership. So much for science.  

Years ago, myself and a few dozen private citizens fought against locating Cortland Elementary School next to our massive landfill.  We were assured it was safe.  We also fought against the gargantuan expansion of that landfill.  We were assured that would be safe. Both projects were approved.

And now we have noxious gases sickening our children.  But at least we have an expanded courthouse. Money talks, and big money talks loudest to pandering egotistical politicians.  

The fix was in from the start. The land for the school was cheap because it located next to a landfill. DeKalb County was hungry for revenue. And the politicians did not care.  Same old story.

I remember an eminent chemistry professor testifying for free. I remember his wise words. It is dangerous to have a school located next to a massive landfill, he said.  You are risking the health of children, he admonished. Nobody listened. The members of our eminent county board, they know who they are, ignored his advice. They ignored the scientist. And now we have sick kids.

When you ignore danger, you incur legal liability for the consequences of your deliberate ignorance. Time will tell what this will cost us. And Waste Management, our “good” neighbor, blames it on the wind changing direction. You have to love this corporation. But you have to love your local government leaders even more. Sleep well.

Clay Campbell


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