To the editor:

The Mobile City Council formed a Citizens Ad Hoc Committee last year to study the issue of new above ground petroleum storage tanks and their delivery systems on the west side of the river. A consensus was reached and agreed to by every participant. The final recommendations were minimal, proven, safe, proactive guidelines to aid our city in moving forward. They should be treated with respect and converted into strong ordinances that the council can enact.

The Mobile City Council tasked the Mobile Planning Commission with converting the ad hoc tank farm committee recommendations into zoning ordinances. It is the only way to decide if and where these massive projects belong in our city. It is the only way to protect our citizens, the river, the bay and even the Gulf of Mexico and all of the businesses that currently thrive in those environments.

This process and the outcome were hijacked by Mayor Stimpson July 17, when he removed six members of the planning commission including two of the three sub-committee members working on converting the ad hoc tank farm committee recommendations into local ordinances. The members he did not fire all voted for or work for Blue Creek Coal.

Five new appointees all have some connection to city projects, real estate and commercial or industrial development and two work for him. There is not one voice for strong environmental protections, or for any of the other sectors of our existing economy.

Our mayor, who campaigned with the slogan “One Mobile,” has signaled his intention to turn Mobile into a petroleum transfer and storage hub – citizen safety, the bay and all who care for those things be damned. Mayor Stimpson has decided that there is one voice for “One Mobile”… his.

Thayer Dodd