What Is The Real Reason Range Resources Canceled The Cecil Public Workshop
It seems that Range Resources has something to hide. They canceled a Workshop that was scheduled for last night at Cecil township at the last minute. The reason given was, Jesse White announced it on his FaceBook page.
Rep. Jesse White “D” District 46, did announce the workshop as he does for all “Public Meetings in his district. After he did so he received an e-mail form Range Resources informing him, he and others that would come to the meeting because of his posting on FaceBook would be a distraction at the meeting.
[All block-quotes are from Mr. White’s FaceBook page unless, there is a link to another source.]
I just received an emailed letter from Range Resources’ Senior VP and Chief Counsel admonishing me for posting information on Facebook about tonight’s public workshop with Range Resources and Cecil Township, even though it’s a public meeting advertised in the newspaper. By automatically inviting people Facebook determined to be in the area of the meeting location, Range’s lawyer accused me of attempting to ‘sidetrack’ the meeting, even though I made no editorial comment or request for any advocacy of any kind.
It is pointed out that Range did not answer an email that Mr. White sent inquiring more information on the meeting/workshop. So Mr. White re-posted the information that was posted in the newspaper.
Because Range would not return my direct email from yesterday asking for details about the meeting, I just re-posted what was in the newspaper like I do with many events in my district. I did my best to approach this public meeting in a mature way with an open mind, and I was threatened with legal action as a result. So if you were one of the people I informed about the meeting with Range at 6:00 PM tonight at the Cecil Township Building located at 3599 Millers Run Road, I apologize for attempting to keep you informed.
As he does, Jesse White keeps his constituents informed on what is happening in the district. If you would like to read the other postings on this situation they can be found at Rep. Jesse White
An article today in the Washington Observer Reporter (Washington Pa,) Jim Cannon Range Resources local Government Relations Manager emailed Cecil township manage Don Gennuso advising him that Range declines to attend the meeting that night.
So, shortly after 3 p.m., Jim Cannon, Range’s local government relations manager, emailed Gennuso and said they were declining to appear but hoping to reschedule for another time. Range had previously told Gennuso they preferred that White either not attend or not have a role in the proceeding.
Range Resource was holding a public meeting, however they did not want public participation which goes against the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, So What we are seeing is an instance where the industry thinks they are above the law here in Pennsylvania.
In the article in the Observer Reporter Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association states;
“All public meetings have to have a designated time for public comment” she said, although officials can place “reasonable” rules on speaking time.
Wow that is what the Pa. Sunshine Act also says.
The Sunshine Act applies to all citizens including nonresidents of a municipality. Meetings must be open to the general public and information made available to anyone in attendance. However, public comments may be limited to residents or taxpayers of the municipality or authority.
Also anyone can object to anything that is being discussed as long as it is relative to the topic.
Section 710.1 Public participation
(c) Objection. Any person has the right to raise an objection at any time to a perceived violation of this chapter at any meeting of a board or council of a political subdivision or an authority created by a political subdivision.
Oh and by the way I have done a lot of searching and can not find a rule that allows the board to stop any person from attending a public meeting. They remove a person that is unruly. They can stop a person from attending an Executive Section, but that is it.
So what is Range Resources really afraid of? Could it be they were going to try and work a backroom deal with the Township, on lets say Act 13. Now I have no proof of any kind and it has never been suggested to me. There are a million things that it could be like the DEP cover up of water test. Could it be they just don’t want well informed questions ask? No matter what it is, the way they are trying to do it is against state law.