Gordon Letter

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 28, 2009

Eureka/Goodhope Community Association responds to questions raised by Tuesday letter

To the editor:

Lamar Johnson, in his letter to the editor in the Tuesday, August 25th edition of The Panolian, failed to remind your readers that he is the owner of the property on Eureka Road where Memphis Stone and Gravel’s proposed mine would be located.  He too has a vested interest in the outcome of the board of supervisors’ “non-decision.”  Moreover, his letter was misleading.

As far as the board’s non-decision goes, their tie vote should have never happened.  Panola County has a land commission with guidelines that it must follow, and the commissioners were correct in voting against the proposed mine.  If the county’s own board of supervisors will not allow the land commission to do its job and back its decisions, then we don’t need a land commission.  We can just let everyone in the county do whatever they want with their land with blatant disregard for their neighbors.

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Everyone on the board of supervisors should have supported the land commission’s decision by voting against the proposed mine.

As far as the “leading opponents” that Mr. Johnson mentions, while District 4 Supervisor Kelly Morris voted against the proposed mine, he has not attended a single meeting of the Eureka/Goodhope Community Association, as we opponents of the mine call ourselves.  Mr. Morris and Ms. Avant voted properly to uphold the land commission’s decision.

PeeWee Johnson is the President of our association.  He may have had his property tested for gravel and other minerals. However, anyone who truly knows PeeWee and Martha Lynn Johnson know that they take great pride in the fact that their property has remained unchanged for generations.

Martha Lynn doesn’t even want trees cut from the portion of their property that borders Baker Road.  The idea that they might allow a mine on their property boggles the mind.  

I’m not sure why Mr. Johnson felt the need to impugn the character of Lana Douglas, other than the fact that she voted against the mine at the June meeting of the land commission. He failed to mention the names of the other land commissioners who overwhelmingly turned down Memphis Stone and Gravel.

As far as Mr. Johnson’s question about who will foot the bill when the board of supervisors’ “non-decision” is taken to court, taxpayers have not footed the bill yet, other than paying the salaries of the land commission and the board of supervisors who heard the appeal from Memphis Stone and Gravel.

Memphis Stone and Gravel has presumably paid its attorney, and the dedicated people of the Eureka/Goodhope Community Association have paid our attorney, Mr. John Lamar.  Taxpayers will have to pay the court costs when Memphis Stone and Gravel appeals yet again to the circuit court, but our association is not responsible for filing that appeal.

Our community association is made up of a group of concerned citizens who are passionate about this cause. This proposed mine simply has no place in a growing residential neighborhood. The Eureka and Goodhope neighborhoods make up the fastest growing area of Panola County.

The Panolian’s article on page A10 of the same issue concerning a $30 million award to a teenager injured in 2006 by a gravel truck contracted to Memphis Stone and Gravel should underscore our concerns about the movement of gravel along Goodhope Road.  

/s/Berri Baker Gordon

Secretary, Eureka/Goodhope Community Association