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Doyle Childers, take notice2005-10-23 21:07:33mambo

The Neosho Humane Society people cried and said what a good corporate citizen that MoArk was when Scott Watson, Newton County Prosecuting Attorney, presented them with MoArk's check for $100,000. How did MoArk come to be this good corporate citizen? Why, it was only with enforcement of the Missouri State animal cruelty law and threat of conviction. Now, MoArk, the egg division of Land O'Lakes, has a tax deduction rather than a criminal record and the Neosho Humane Society gets their long-awaited new facility. But let's not forget that the good citizen and hero in this scenario is Rick Bussey, the Neosho area resident who shot the video evidence that prompted MoArk to be this good actor. MDNR Director Doyle Childers might take notice and learn about the most effective way to move a mega corporation toward good citizenship. Childers has repeatedly said the MDNR would not be strong on enforcement but big on helping companies comply with state and federal law. MDNR’s help in the past has emboldened MoArk/Land O’Lakes to do just about what ever it wanted to do including building and operating facilities, such as waste water lagoons, without MNDR review or permits. I think it's painfully obvious Doyle’s strategy falls flat in comparison to the response that Scott Watson, Newton County Prosecuting Attorney, got out of a company with the threat of a $3000.00 fine and conviction. Obviously MoArk/Land O' Lakes ponied up approximately 33 1/3 times the fine and then some, only because of solid evidence and a solid case for conviction. So, did Scott Watson drop the ball on this and not hold out for more? The Neosho Humane Society raised only $18,000 in the last four years for capital improvements. The humane society board members say that for the new facility they will need an operating budget of $70,000 a year. Maybe, MoArk/Land O' Lakes will provide an excuse to contribute to the operating budget for the next 5 years as well.--Mark Adams, SWMCALME; Neosho, MO