Dear Editor,

Sucker punched? Cedar County elected leaders have been lied to, led to believe what they were told. Ha. Well, don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us at some point in time.

SB 391 passed with the signature of Gov. Mike Parsons. Our leaders in Cedar County thought Parsons was a good ole boy, could be trusted, he’s “one of us!” I’m of the mind Cedar County has taken the same stance. No new business, no new industries, no new tax base.

I quote Andy Stanley, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Listening is a powerful skill a leader can master, but it requires humility. It’s past time to admit, you have not been listening.

Not long ago a few leaders got together and wrote a new CAFO ordinance for Cedar County, which covered polluting rivers and streams. Really? Who's to blame for the pollution already in our rivers and streams now? Done behind the backs of many.  

The first meeting in Stockton, a few choice farmers and ranchers were invited. At the second meeting in El Dorado Springs, the ones left out showed up. They were told the CAFO discussions are on hold for further discussions. The CAFO passed the next week. What kind of representation is that?  

People of Cedar County need to wake up and take notice, you have been told stories about what’s in your best interest by people who think they have the knowledge and understanding to best serve you. I’d like to know your thoughts as the pig CAFO moves next door to you. No pig CAFO near you? Well, go ask someone who has a chicken farm next to them.

Now let’s review, as your elected leaders don’t seem to have much of a clue. Tax bases are shrinking. People will be paying more taxes for less services, i.e. roads, bridges, etc. The smaller chicken farms are growing without many checks or bounds. The chicken farms don’t do much business here as feed and other resources are shipped in on large trucks, which bring us to the all-time favorite subject of the commissioners, gravel roads.

What’s that you say? Blacktop roads are going to be in need of service due to heavy traffic? Well heck, we can talk about that, as we raise your taxes to pay for them. Anyone, who half-paid attention should have known the American Farm Bureau Federation sold out the small-time farmers and ranchers years ago (1993) to China and big business. Your governor and elected leaders have done the same. https://www.thenation.com/article/whose-side-american-farm-bureau/ 

Why did our leaders not stand up or say something back then? Did they not know? It’s their business to know, right? Several years ago, I tried discussing cleaning up Cedar County with no help from county commissioners past or present. It was a small start before CAFOs were an issue. It had nothing to do with ranchers and farmers as they tried to tell me. Now CAFOs are a big issue not only affecting farmers and ranchers, we all are now affected.

A commissioner who lives in Stockton has the nerve to complain about city rules and regulations, really? That’s real leadership for you. I say to the people of Cedar County and the state of Missouri, you have been sold a bill of goods and now the chickens and pigs are literally coming home. Ever wonder why Washington, D.C. is a mess? Good stewardship starts at home. I’m not from here, but I’m here now.

Dave Dambrosio

Stockton

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