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Democracy at work

October 6, 2011

Something special happens when neighbors with differing views listen and learn together.

That is what happened on September 24, when more than 70 citizens gathered in the town hall in Jeffersonville, NY. The Town of Callicoon Democratic Club had invited William Kappel, United States Geological Survey hydrologist, to give a scientific presentation on hydro-fracking, the process itself and comment on municipal control of shale gas extraction. The speaker, an expert in his field, presented much data in laymen’s terms and addressed countless questions and individual concerns.

In the audience were many of my neighbors, farmers, business and professional people whose opinions on this issue are well known. The meeting was remarkably civil. It was a genuine example of democracy working as it should. The next step would be for all citizens to register to vote (if they have not done so already) and be sure to go to the polls on Tuesday, November 8 to vote as they wish. And with so many new faces on ballots across the county it is sure to be a lively election—another example of democracy at work.

Sonja Hedlund
Callicoon Center, NY