Sunday, November 18, 2007


I am an American history teacher and have spent the last 17 years of my career trying to get kids to understand not only the values upon which this country was built but also understand the basic ideas behind what the founders called "a republic of virtue."

I am afraid that in the modern era, the founders would have difficulty recognizing this country as the values upon which they created the structure for this federal system have slowly eroded away over the last several decades.

And the current issue with Meyer Material Company regarding the building of a gravel pit echoes this erosion.

Although the founders established safeguards to prevent mob rule, the structure they created was to reflect, at all levels, the will of the people. This would be especially true at the local level. The local level was the level that Jefferson thought was most important because it was there where people would have the greatest voice in determining their political lives.

However, this does not seem to hold true anymore as those entities with more resources---money, legal representation, etc---have taken that voice away from where it truly belongs.

And that is a problem.

Meyer has far more resources than anyone in the village. They have money. They have a cadre of lawyers that we can never hope to match.

But they also lack the virtue upon which this country was built. They are not out to create something for the "general good," which is the cornerstone of republican virtue, but for their own profit.

In this never ending quest for profit, the will of the people is disregarded and bulldozed: the ultimate violation of the republic of virtue. Profit becomes the virtue over everything else. And profit then trumps quality of life, property values and basic self determination for the citizens. The decision making is taken from the voice of the people and replaced by the voice of profit. Corporations have hijacked the democratic voice of the people. And they do it through money, bribery and threats.

Meyer bought the land over ten years ago knowing the zoning laws in regard to that land. And those zoning laws and the Chally Farm Agreement reflected the will of the people--the idea that the Chally Farm land should never be used for mining purposes. Indeed, it is that very agreement which prohibited mining on the land that persuaded many of us in Fox Trails to purchase property near the land in question in the first place. Maybe that is because many of us believed that the law was supreme, that the village was in the business of not only protecting the residents but also adhering to the basic principle that the government represents us, the people.

And now Meyer wants the village to go against the will of the people and they will use whatever it takes to do so---because for them, the profit is more important than ethics. Profit is more important than virtue.

And profit is more important than the people.

All that we ask is for you to recognize this for what it is: an attempt by Meyer to increase profits at the expense of the people of Cary.

You will need to make a decision: Do you represent the people of Cary or do you represent the interests of a multi-billion dollar international corporation--a corporation that has no ties to this village other than the fact that they own some land they wish to strip of its resources?

You know where we stand.

And we hope you will stand with us.