Parks are our land

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The article on the county council meeting on Sept. 10 proves the point that we don't have a drilling problem, we have a democracy problem ("Allegheny County Council Debates Parks Drilling," Sept. 11). This was very evident during the airport leasing. I wonder if the public actually understands the bad deal we got on the airport lease. Thank you, Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko for introducing the bill for a three-year moratorium on drilling in county parks.

Ms. Danko said, "It is clear to me, based on his own statements, that the county executive is negotiating -- no one on council has been party to those discussions." County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has spearheaded the plans to drill at Deer Lakes Park, says he'll veto her bill if passed by council. This is proof of the contamination of our democratic process. It is not up to the county executive to have secret negotiations. Nor do I believe it's legal.

They are wheeling and dealing our property away without even giving thought to the people who have been without water for more than three years in Butler, Washington and Greene counties and many more across the state. Or the families who are sick with strange rashes and respiratory problems that weren't there before drilling started. Or the ex-workers now coming forward with statements about health impacts the industry is neglecting to address.

I think it reasonable for the council members to stop and do some due diligence before leasing our land. I thought the oath of a politician was to "serve and protect" not "rule and neglect." I commend and thank them for integrity and courage to protect the citizens.

BRIGET SHIELDS
Squirrel Hill


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