In county government, paychecks, profits and campaign contributions trump lives in Wedgewood

How can county staff look in a mirror knowing that their inaction, their failure to enforce laws regulating pits and landfills hurt and possibly killed the residents of Wedgewood?

How can certain commissioners defend that the profits of a few are more important than the lives of that community?

Those are the two questions that continue to roll around in my head.

Political ambition, wealth and job security versus the lives and health of African-Americans living in that neighborhood.

No one gave a shit about these people. Why should Rick Outzen?

The smart decision for any politician is to go with the pit and landfill owners, become their friends and advocates. The people of Wedgewood can’t write $500 checks. The pit owners can do it multiple times.

Screw the people of Wedgewood. This is about economic development, about keeping construction costs down and profits high.

Who cares if a few black people die?

I do, and that is the problem.

The county let these people in the Wedgewood be sacrificed so that the county staff could keep their paychecks, commissioners could dole out favors and the construction industry could continue to prosper.

No one at the county was willing to fight for these people. No one spoke up for them. A special kind of cowardice. Staff just followed orders….

Who is more important in the county complex?

Billy Campbell or Wanda Shakir whose mother died of pancreatic cancer.

Cody Rawson or Charles Sapp whose wife and daughter are constantly having headaches.

Scott Miller or World War II and Korean War veteran Willie Lawrence who battles sinus and respiratory problems.

Waste Management or LaFanette Soles, a 12-year survivor of breast cancer and has had triple-bypass surgery. Recently she was diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

The county commission passed a law in 2005 to deal with the pits and landfills. Staff, elected officials and the pit owners chose to ignore it. And people have suffered and died.

For nine years, the proper laws were on the books to regulate the pits and landfills and no one did.


The public deserves an answer.