Beebe citizens organize
The citizens opposed to the Granite Museum plan to use an existing building in one of the industrial areas of Beebe met on Monday evening to organize their next step.
With around two dozen people present in a frigid chapel on the Bible Camp grounds, the organisers, Michel Duclos and Martin Dubois, told the assembly that they had started a petition opposing the reopening of the shop where the equipment is to be installed.
This newspaper is not familiar with all of the granite industry machinery, but the one chosen for the time being is the smallest in a line made in Italy by MEC. We doubt very much that it can work full-time. It looks more suited for a small shop that would like to recycle its waste than a production machine able to work, with a single operator, for a full day.
Having said this, the public relations disaster that the Museum has created is taking on a life of its own. Direct neighbours are almost admitting that there were no shops in their own backyard and that their property values will disintegrate overnight, a lot having bought nice houses at about a fifth of what it would cost elsewhere. Strange and unheard legalese seems to be the norm; somehow the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change will provide a history of the shop if asked properly under an access to information request. Since the granite industry is a big producer of tombstones, most of the requests will be provided after those who asked for the information are 6 feet under. It would not be funny if not for the fact that the present minister, David Heurtel, is a former vice-president of Just for Laughs.
On the other side of the equation is the Mayor/ President who is not exactly telling the whole story to the French media. Legally, there is jurisprudence backing him: he can be president of anything he wants. But since not one of the journalists asked him about his presidency as mayor of an officially convened town meeting, all the while answering questions from the audience, he has escaped all questions about his behaviour, since nobody asked him.
Meanwhile the citizens are organising a committee, circulating a petition and are hoping that the project never goes forward in their backyard.
The organisers at last Monday’s meeting explaining their approach to the two dozen people assembled.