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I wish this were a positive letter, because I value seeing positivity in this community. Regrettably, it is not. My belief in the good of humanity was fractured by the decisions of the Carver County Land Management Board on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Nearly 100 community members testified either verbally or with their physical presence against the request by Mueller and Sons to expand a current mining operation located at the Lundquist mine off of County Road 40 near East Union.

To be fair, this mining operation brings necessary resources to support the infrastructure of our surrounding communities. At the same exact time, it is at the expense of the livelihood (financial, physical and overall well-being) of Carver County residents. Residents that live, work, and go to school within a three-mile radius will experience direct consequences from this expansion.

As my husband and I, along with others, testified Nov. 19, I watched the seemingly deadpan faces of the board. I had a sick sixth sense feeling that our testimonies were falling on deaf ears. Tragically, that sense was proved right. They voted in favor of the expansion, despite over 100 people from this community who are opposed.

Aren’t elected officials supposed to represent a government that is by the people and for the people? I did not witness that.

Moreover, the applicant’s representative spoke repeatedly about "the properties" directly adjacent that would be affected and even used the term "overnight residents" at one point.

Let this be heard: We are not "properties." We are people. I am a human being. My husband, Adam, is a human being. My children Aiden, Benjamin, Jordan and Britta are all human beings. Don’t you dare dehumanize my family and I at the expense of your agenda!

Let me finish with this: they spoke on some level for the “greater good of the community” in so many words. I understand that the few may have to sacrifice for the greater good at times.

I think I can be pretty confident in saying my family and I know about sacrifice. As a nearly 22-year member of the Army Reserves and a veteran of two deployments to the Middle East, and someone who has lost fellow brothers and sisters in arms, don’t you dare talk to me like I do not know or understand sacrifice. Frankly, I volunteered to serve and sacrifice for my country. But, this community? This community and my family did not volunteer to sacrifice our livelihood in this manner for this cause.

With all of this said, I think there is a better way to provide for the infrastructure of our community.

Why couldn’t we talk about this? Why were we not invited into this conversation before the 11th hour? Hear this now — this is not over. This is not finished!

Jolaina Falkenstein

Carver

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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