Going to Morrison meetings is always fun for me. I don’t ever really know what I am going to be walking into. I don’t know if people will greet me or scowl at me for something I have previously written. I don’t know if it will be a quick and boring meeting, or if someone will get thrown out. You usually just never really know what you are going to be walking into. On Monday, I did know what I was walking into. I knew a lot of people were going to tell the board that they do not want the steel company to move to Morrison and I knew the board was going to vote to do it anyway.
The second and final vote to rezone the land from agricultural to industrial was approved at the meeting on Monday despite multiple people voicing their concerns and opposition to it. I don’t really know why the board even let the people speak if they weren’t going to listen to their concerns. Their minds have been made up since the first vote back in December.
They sat in multiple meetings listening to residents tell them how much they do not want this steel company and still voted to approve it. I think it would have saved a lot of people’s time and energy if, in the beginning, they simply said, "hey this is happening and nothing you say will change our minds."
A lawyer even told them what they were doing was against the Morrison zoning regulations and they still voted to approve this. However, I will admit that there were a few people at this last meeting who were for the company, so not exactly everyone was against it. The majority of people I heard speak were against it though.
I don’t have a dog in the Morrison fight. I just go out there to cover meetings and that’s about it. This steel company won’t affect me at all, but I don’t like how this whole thing was handled. I found out about this situation because someone came in and told me about it. If they didn’t tell me, I might have never heard about it.
I also believe a lot of residents in Morrison didn’t know that this company was coming. From what I understand, the land was purchased by the company before the rezoning even happened. I don’t know why the Morrison board wants this company to come to W. Maple Street so badly. I understand the need for jobs, but surely this company could have moved in somewhere else.
I don’t think people should be yelling and being disrespectful to each other, but respect goes both ways. I am honestly disappointed that this passed. It makes me feel like the people’s voices and concerns don’t matter. What was the point of all the public comment if it didn’t matter anyway? I am disappointed for the people I have met throughout this process who say they wouldn’t have moved to Morrison if they knew they would live next to a steel company. I feel sorry for those who live right next to it and who will have to endure whatever sounds and traffic come out of it.
They said they wanted this in Morrison for the jobs, but I don’t know if 40 jobs was worth all this hassle and discourse in the community.
Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at (931) 473-2191.