Coal Plant Controversy Continues

Opponents rallied in front of Tallahassee's City Hall Monday morning.

Call him the lone soldier in a heated debate, but Tallahassee Commissioner Allan Katz is ready for a fight.

“The language looks like a poll question: how can we make this ugly pig look a lot prettier?” he says.

In Katz's mind, the pig is a proposed coal plant, and the language a proposed referendum slated to go before voters this fall.

Mark Mustian, Tallahassee City Commissioner, says, “No matter what the ballot language we pick, somebody will be unhappy with it.”

Those somebodies could be found rallying outside City Hall Monday. They call themselves "give us a choice," a political action committee, and they represent a cross-section of the community, even the youngest generation.

Kasi Salmon, a concerned citizen, says, “If I exercise I get asthma, if I go outside I get asthma, if you make a coal power plant it will be harder for me to get exercise.”

From asthma patients to health professionals, many are trying to stop the coal plant referendum in its tracks, while the city holds its ground, saying it will only take part if the project would move forward with or without Tallahassee.

The commission wants the plant as clean as possible, and it wants to increase renewable resources.

While the city moves forward, Katz turns on the heat hoping his message will slow the process and create an open debate.

The "give us a choice group" isn't the only one opposed to coal plant. Madison County already voted against the plant and Monday asked the Tallahassee Commission to adopt a simpler wording for the referendum item.