Wednesday, June 25, 2008
What's the Army afraid of?
If you want a good example of how the Army will treat the concerns of Middletown during the contruction of the proposed Army Reserve Training Center, and for the fifty years it will occupy the site (after which they will abandon it as a brown site, unsuitable for building up to Army standards) read the blog by Fishmuscle over at the Middletown Eye.
At an "explicitly private" meeting with the Westfield Residents Association executive board, the Army continued it's practice of pretending to listen, nodding with affected concern, and refusing to consider any alternative to their plan. The Army Corps' Diane McCartin, who at the last public meeting stated that she would not have any more public meetings on the topic, apparently relented and, in a bow toward friendly neighborhood relations, and some pushing from town officials, no doubt, decided to hold this "secret" informational meeting. McCartin was obviously promoted to her postion because she is smart, and able to project a friendly warmth, while maintaining a steely refusal to alter marching orders.
The vaunted Army Corps of Engineers (infamous these days for their levee-building skills), detailed their plans for residents, with their heels firmly planted.
So what conclusions can we draw from the meeting? The Army will only interact with the general public when it is part of their standard operating procedures and required by their regulations. They will not alter their plans for the concerns of residents or city and state officials. Nothing will be done in the way of public good, in the way of environmental or economic concern or in the way of good development. It will be done the army way, sir.
As for the private meeting, little did the Army know they had a blogger in their midst.