The Pend Oreille County Planning Commission at its January 8, 2019, public meeting violated our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech when the Chair restrained some members of the public from using the word “smelter.”
Not only was the 1st Amendment violated but also the WA State Growth Management Act and SEPA.
This was a formal Public Comment Hearing concerning the Amendments to the POC Comprehensive Plan. The Chair would not allow the word “smelter” to be used during our Public Comments. This was not the first meeting the Chair restrained the public from using the word, “smelter.”
There were three attorneys at the meeting, including the County’s attorney, plus Commissioner Mike Manus.
The attached document puts the Planning Commission on legal notice about limiting the Freedom of Speech at an open Public Comment Hearing.
The proposed Newport silicon metals smelter is always the “invisible” elephant in the room.