Our View: Public hearings – more than just lip service?It seems a whole lot of people lately are discovering what the public hearing process is all about.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
It seems a whole lot of people lately are discovering what the public hearing process is all about.
During the city of Cloquet’s high-profile and extended debate over the industrial landfill proposal last fall, some people who feared their small, semi-rural neighborhood might be affected in a negative way found a voice they never realized they had. And even though the measure passed in spite of the misgivings of many, their input bolstered discussion of a moratorium on future landfills, which subsequently passed.
Another large segment of people from Cloquet – though many of them from a different neighborhood this time – showed up in droves earlier this year for the public hearing over a local funeral home’s proposal to add a bio-cremation process. And once again, their voices, concerns and opinions were heard loudly and clearly, both pro and con. This time, the favorable vote by the planning commission was overturned at the council level.
Next Tuesday, a public hearing will be held to consider a site plan that could pave the way for a Walgreen’s store to locate where Southgate Bowl now stands along Cloquet’s Doddridge Avenue. The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Cloquet City Hall.
Anyone interested in learning what the site plan is, or who has strong feelings or concerns regarding the plan’s benefits or detriments, is encouraged to attend and exert their voice on things that matter to this community. Whether you have reservations over how the site plan proposes to handle the volume of traffic flow onto Doddridge Avenue, or whether you heartily endorse the use of that property for a high-profile new business, you are welcome to speak up.
Your planning commissioners, city councilors and government officials are listening.