REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Dithering and drilling

Making the right decision is good. Making it for the right reason is better. Sandusky City Commission
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

Making the right decision is good.

Making it for the right reason is better.

Sandusky City Commission voted to drill holes in the ground to see what's up with the coal tar that's lain under the shoreline for decades near the site of the old coal-gas plant, instead of creating a committee.

From the discussion at Tuesday night's public session, commissioners were at least as concerned the decision would be taken out of their hands as they were about what effects the coal tar would have on the environment and the land's suitability for development. Certainly the major voting bloc on commisssion -- ex officio Mayor Craig Stahl and the foursome who generally vote with him -- listen to whoever last swung the biggest club. Tuesday, that was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Checking wind direction is not leadership.

We on the editorial board aren't coal tar experts, and we don't know what the best method of dealing with the coal tar is -- building a containment wall or leaving it alone -- but it makes sense to us drilling will give us more information than doing nothing.

Next up, of course, will be what to do about the information. Maybe fixing the problem will require no more than the wall originally proposed by the city's consultant. If so, good.

However, given the pressures already brought to bear on the commissioners -- or at least Stahl and his voting bloc -- we hope they find the courage to do the difficult thing, if that's what the numbers dictate.