Despite Strongarm Tactics, County Commissioners Stay the Course!

At the Commissioner’s Court meeting on February 23, 2015, moments before voting on whether to approve a resolution that would formally reject Caldwell County’s support of the 130 Environmental Park, Commissioner Madrigal directed a rhetorical question at Green Group Holdings by asking if threatening to sue was any way to pursue a possible business relationship. Green Group representatives sitting in the back of the room must have struggled to process his comment realizing their strongarm tactics had failed. Their fears were confirmed immediately thereafter when the commissioners voted to pass the resolution 4‑1 making it distinctly clear that Caldwell County does NOT want their dump.

In Kathi Bliss’ February 26th article in the Lockhart Post Register, she expressed her opinion that by approving the resolution, our commissioners had “jumped the gun” and shut the door to any possible financial benefit the county might have received from the proposed landfill. And without fail, the Host Agreement was mentioned. I find it curious that the dump proponents’ rhetoric always seems to come back to the Host Agreement… so Bliss’ mention of it was no surprise.

In 2013 when David Green first offered the Host Agreement to our county, he adamantly stated that the Host Agreement would only be left on the table for a short time and then taken away so the county needed to act quickly. Sound familiar? This tactic is used in sales: “Hurry! Buy now while supplies last!” Unfortunately for Green Group, this tactic has not worked with our commissioners so here we are more than a year later and the Host Agreement is still right where Mr. Green left it… on the table.

Why has Green Group left it on the table? Could it be because they just want to hand us free money? Or is it so that Ernest Kauffman can sleep at night knowing he dealt generously with Caldwell County? I hardly think so. The truth is that a signed Host Agreement would signify to all that regardless of the devastating impact this dump would have on our county, Caldwell County blindly supports it. A signed Host Agreement would also bind the county to the landfill no matter how destructive it would be to our community – putting our environment, economy, health and safety of residents – and our very future – at risk forever.

Interestingly, we can discern a lot from the name “host” agreement. Webster’s defines “host” as: “A living animal (Caldwell County) in which a parasite (Green Group) lives.” And we know eventually parasites will suck the very life out of its host. The similarity is obvious. But here’s the question: Why have other local businesses not demanded a host agreement – just Green Group?

I commend our county commissioners for bravely standing up for what they knew was the morally right thing to do. And together we must continue to fight alongside our county commissioners until the threats these money-hungry, Georgia carpetbaggers pose to our county are extinguished once and for all.

Leslie Holder

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