BRADENTON -- Although it was just under a dozen citizens who showed up at the Thursday BOCC land use meeting to protest the operational permit Mosaic Mining was there to renew, those who questioned the permitting turned out to to be too much for Mosaic's team, county commissioners and staff to handle, at least in terms to getting complete answers to their well-intentioned questions. Nevertheless, the billion dollar phosphate giant once again managed to leave with everything they came to get.
Shortly after Manatee County Attorney Micky Palmer warned commissioners of possibly having to be defended from any interaction members might have had with the accused in the sanctuary animal cruelty case, Bill Clague, the assistant county attorney, followed up with the first of his before-now-and after warnings to commissioners, of a sure to come lawsuit were they not to permit Mosaic.
Clague advised commissioners to not rethink any decisions that have already been made, and warned them of ramifications.
Listing to Mosaic's presentation, you might for a moment have thought all is well; shallow questions, facile answers. Sometimes Mosaic's reponses weren't even remotely related to the question, yet commissioners would respond as if they were satisfactory without redirecting. The board oscillated back and forth from apologizing to citizens for their tied hands to cheerleading Mosaic for their pseudo-custodianship.
To listen only, one might visualize commissioners, one at a time, rolling up their sleeves to show the cuff marks that are keeping them bound, helpless and afraid to take any action that might rain on Mosaic's parade.
The procedure took more than three hours, but added up to no more than three up, three down, game over. Mosaic's permits were all approved and they will continue to mine phosphate at their Manatee County sites, business as usual.
Much of the testimony at Thursday's meeting seemed questionable, and luckily, MGA-TV has recorded it all. Many of the claims and decisions made require further clarity and legal scrutiny. Stay tuned, as we intend to provide our readers with additional understanding, if possible, and display more of the in adept citizen comments from the meeting.