Way Down Past The Chattahoochee River

We scare people downstream from us. For good reasons. This from the Jacksonville (Florida) Times-Union today about the makeup of the current Georgia DNR board.

Environmentalists became particularly worried last month when the Senate rejected Gov. Sonny Perdue’s reappointment of Sally Bethea, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and one of their main allies on the Board of Natural Resources.

That move followed the ouster of two members of the panel whom Perdue did not reappoint because a 2005 round of congressional redistricting left them in the same district as another board member, the governor’s office said. Thirteen of the board’s 18 members are appointed according to their congressional districts.

“The board is just way out of balance,” charged Gordon Rogers, executive director of Satilla Riverkeeper. “And it’s been systematic.”

Rogers said the removal of the other board members, Ralph Callaway and Sara Clark, “was our Christmas present. Sally was our Earth Day present.”

But Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, who heads the committee that stripped Bethea’s name from a list of Perdue appointees, denies that Bethea was sacked because of her environmental credentials. Williams said the upper chamber was merely trying to follow a requirement of the state’s ethics laws barring lobbyists with an interest before a board or commission from serving on those bodies.

What I hear, at least two of the current Sonny-appointees to various and sundry state boards were lobbying quite vigorously, thank you very much, during the 2007 session. And if they weren’t registered, as was Sally Bethea, then maybe someone oughta notify the Ethics Commission, eh? Are there others who media, other than bloggers, should be sniffing-out too? Beats me. Ask Celine the Intern!

10 comments

  1. Cotton Boll says:

    Sally is known to be a hate-filled, enviro nut. Her non-confirmation is one of the best moves the Senate made this session! There are plenty of environmental minded folks serving on that board, like plantation owner Cader Cox, foresters Earl Barrs and Phyllis Johnson, as well as Jim Tysinger and Loyce Turner…others too. Quit whining….Georgia’s envornment is getting better all the time thanks to efforts of these folks and Governor Perdue.

  2. SpaceyG says:

    Sally is anything but. Hate-filled? That’s a horrible, horrible thing to say about anyone, especially someone I know only as a delightful, committed, interesting, outspoken, extremely dedicated, educated, “articulate” (she’s not black, so I can say that, right?) spokesperson for what she, and many others, believe in and work so hard to protect and preserve.

    I’m just commenting on what I’m reading in media. Besides, we are all “media” now.

  3. SpaceyG says:

    Least it’s not that country-kitsch one about “I’m gonna hire a wine-o to decorate our home.” Hate when that one gets there and won’t leave.

  4. Cotton Boll says:

    SpaceyG – you are in the minority. I guess she will have even more time to spend charming you while she stirs her witches brew. (That kind of sounds like a country song – run with it if you like.)

    At any rate, the DNR board has great environmental minds that are helping make Georgia a place LOTS of folks want to start businesses amd raise families. Sleep well.

  5. Icarus says:

    Spacey,

    I know that you’re new to the front page and all, but you’re going to wear out your welcome really fast if you keep bringing facts in here to support your arguments.

  6. Cotton Boll says:

    Here’s “mine.” Straight from a Savannah paper:

    Where the Senate argument gains strength in Ms. Bethea’s case,
    however, is that the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers have sued the
    Department of Natural Resources over issues such as setback variances the group felt were improperly granted to developers impacting state waterways.

    The UCR has also found itself opposing the state by fighting a 116
    million-gallon per day water withdrawal permit for a Georgia Power Company
    coal-fired plant in Heard County (the state
    sided with the power company), and a lower court approval of Atlanta drinking water
    withdrawals from Lake Lanier – a move
    challenged by Alabama and Florida on the
    basis of depleted Chattahoochee River
    water levels.

    Such legal actions have placed Ms. Bethea in the
    untenable position of being on both sides of a lawsuit. While she as a
    citizen has the right to turn to the courts for redress, serving on the DNR
    board is a privilege that rightly was withdrawn in light of the court cases.

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