Perry County dumps vote on landfill, for now

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Perry County Commission failed to approve Tuesday the county Solid Waste Plan during its regular meeting. A key feature of the solid waste plan is a landfill located near Uniontown.

A public hearing was held Jan. 5 in Uniontown where the commission heard almost unanimous opposition to the landfill. The commission had planned a meeting the next morning to likely approve the plan, but commission chairman Johnny Flowers said the plan would be voted on at the next regular meeting.

County attorney and state senator Hank Sanders told the commission that the court reporter had E-mailed him a transcript of the public hearing, but the commission had not seen a written transcript.

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Commissioner Ronald Miller said Tuesday that the commission would wait until they can review the transcript and other letters in response to the proposed plan before they would vote. The next commission meeting will be held Jan. 27.

Several opponents to the landfill attended Tuesday’s commission meeting in the courthouse annex.

The commission holds an hour of public comment before their 9 a.m. regular meeting. Mary Schaeffer and Vinnie Royster, two opponents of the landfill, took the opportunity to address the commission.

Schaeffer questioned if the county school system really needed $10,500 the commission had awarded recently to fix its computer system. Money was taken away from other budget line items to help the school system.

Commissioner Albert Turner Jr. did not take kindly to her criticism. “Everybody’s lying except for you,” Turner said. “…No one has to question his integrity,” he said of county school superintendent John Heard.

Chairman Flowers tried to be the peacemaker. “I’ve learned to respect everyone,” he said. “We need each other.”

Royster, who has had a run in with Turner at a previous commission meeting, said Turner needed “anger management.” Although “you may not like the questions we ask,” the commission should listen to the public, Royster said. Schaeffer was concerned about the “constant badgering” of critics by Turner, and both Royster and Schaeffer did not like his pronouncements on his local AM radio show.

Flowers said he could not muzzle Turner.