I would like to thank the North East Township Supervisors, Gus Neff, Dennis Culver and Vernon Frye, and their entire staff as well as all who attended the Township meeting on Monday night. The meeting was lively and at times emotional. I wish the students from the Middle and High School had been present. They would have seen what democracy is and can be.

Democracy has been described as many things by many people. Winston Churchill said: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all others that have been tried.”

On Monday night people cared, people listened and people questioned. As a community we demonstrated the meaning of democracy. Those in attendance saw a wonderful example of how the North East community made up of citizens and our elected officials could speak to the outside world.

It was a night of action and emotion but mostly it was a night of sharing. The community came together and talked. We shared our needs, wants, fears and yes our failures.  It was not a night of clichés and empty words. It was a night filled with communication. We talked about North East Township’s responsibility and obligation to influence the quality of life for every person in North East. By words and actions the Supervisors and each resident affirmed our rights to peace, quiet, solitude, association, health and safety.  One supervisor summed it up when he said: “We care about you.”  Words spoken were heated and at times personal but always filled with love and caring for what is best for North East.

I believe common ground was found Monday night. As Dr. Mack said: ”We need time to collect the information and data to guarantee the health, safety and welfare of each member of our town.”  Now is the time for an immediate moratorium on Hydraulic Water Fracturing. Do not open our land, our water, our air and the lives of our children to the unproven safety of this new drilling process where water laced with hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals is pumped into our ground. Time will give us the opportunity to find the answers we deserve.

Helen Keller was born into a world of silence and darkness where answers could not be seen or heard. She sought and found the answers that made her life shine with a brilliance known by few others.  She once spoke these words: “Alone we can do little, but, together we can do much.”

Joe Barber, MD

North East

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