OpEd: It’s Time to Unify

By Richard Skaggs, President of the Oso Town Council

Watching a new neighbor move in next door is always a source of concern.

Maybe you’ll become best buddies. Maybe you’ll just be polite to each other. Or maybe you’ll end up in an ugly “neighbor war.”

The question is: how do you avoid hostilities, especially when the other guy is bigger and meaner than you?

That is the question the West Antelope Valley now faces. New neighbors in the form of renewable energy companies are about to move into our community, and we’re already fighting among ourselves.

A single household cannot deal with a jerk of a neighbor by itself. It takes the entire community to impose their already-established community values and ground rules on the new neighbors. And the more unified the community, the better the new neighbor must behave. This is just obvious on its face.

Here in the West Antelope Valley, we’re on the verge of uniting some of our bickering rural town councils into one big strong community. We have to. First Solar alone has U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conditional loan commitments of $680 million dollars for its AV Solar Ranch One project near 170th Street. There are 32 other big renewable energy companies with moving vans packed and ready to go, and each one is bigger and meaner than the last.Oso Town Council has taken the first step by extending its hand to Fairmont and the other rural town councils. We must unite as one or we’ll be bulldozed.

Oso is willing to compromise with its neighboring councils. Our goal is to stand firm and unified in negotiations with this wave of powerful newcomers.

This is part of the July 29, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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