Friday, February 28, 2014

Rex, Dick Help our Neighbors and We'll Help You!

So Rex Tillerson, who is Exxon Mobil's CEO has an issue with a water tower built near his home in Denton County...
"It can’t have been what Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson expected when he joined a lawsuit to try and stop a big water tower from being built near his Denton County horse ranch.
"But that was before a report in Friday’s Wall Street Journal took the small-town dispute around the globe and spawned outrage over perceived hypocrisy.
"“Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson Sues to Block Water Tower That Might Supply Fracking Operations,” cried the Huffington Post online news site. “Exxon Mobil CEO: No fracking near my backyard,” reported USA Today.
"A congressman even jumped in. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., issued a news release saying Tillerson was “trying to prevent a hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ tower from being constructed near his Texas home.” (Whatever a fracking tower is.)
"Tillerson is part of a lawsuit filed against a water company by several property owners, including former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who live near the tower site in Bartonville, a community between Flower Mound and Argyle.
"But its argument is quite a bit more nuanced than most of the Internet headlines, which zero in on one sentence in the lawsuit which warns that water could be sold for drilling operations and lead to heavy truck traffic. The suit’s main contention is that the tower will be an eyesore and hurt the value of the million-dollar properties around it.
"Michael Whitten, a Denton attorney who represents Tillerson, Armey and the other landowners, said Monday that he wishes he’d been more careful drafting the language in the suit.
"“This is not an anti-fracking lawsuit,” Whitten said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”"
Now I don't have any problem with Tillerson or former Congressman Dick Armey not wanting an unsightly water tower near their properties. People tend to develop neighborhoods so that they can be free of such eyesores. And I think Michael Whitten doth protest too much when it comes to explaining that this is an anti-fracking lawsuit. I doubt if they want fracking going on near their domiciles either.
But I do wish Armey and Tillerson would be equally as concerned with the poor people who have to put up with unsightly properties near their homes. Things like...
  • Metal recycling facilities
  • Payday and auto title loan shops
  • Rendering plants
  • Multiple fast food joints
  • Vacant, run down buildings
  • Unsightly tire shops
  • Neglected apartment buildings
  • Unkempt, unmowed vacant lots
  • Vacant school buildings
  • Graffiti
  • Liquor stores
  • Billboards that advertise liquor
  • Vacant gas stations
  • Visible powerlines
  • Active railroad tracks
  • Highways, complete with traffic noise

I'm sure I could come up with a few more if I tried. It is interesting, although Tillerson, Armey and others are being portrayed as hypocrites, the fact is they are doing the work of citizens who have means. Their complaints are about a water tower in plain sight of their private property. Our neighbors don't have lawyers and lobbyists to plead their cases. They either put up with these issues in silence (with the 'consolation' that these are 'businesses' provide 'jobs') or they get blamed for conditions for properties they don't own. Our neighbors rely on organizations like CitySquare, or community organizers to fight the conditions that keep poor communities poor. 
Tell you what Rex and Dick, we can get a few neighbors to come help you with your problems if you'll help them with theirs...

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