(ORANGE BEACH, Ala.) – Oil spill claims were the hot topic at the first Coastal Recovery Commission meeting Monday night. Hundreds packed the Orange Beach Community Center to talk about oil spill recovery.
In a meeting to lay out a five-year plan on moving forward on beach cleanup, the economy and more – money got most of the attention.
Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon, outspoken since the start of this disaster, took special time to take aim at Claims Czar Kenneth Feinberg. Before a packed house, he described a recent meeting with Feinberg as worse than a trip to the dentist.
“He doesn’t give you anything, he never commits to anything. He doesn’t understand what we’re going through,” said Kennon.
What they’re going through, they say, are stained beaches, health problems and still unpaid claims.
Established by executive order from Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, the Coastal Recovery Commission is what speakers say will be a hard copy plan for the future, to get what they’re owed.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to be able to get our delegation in Washington, that we can get some deadlines so that we can conclude success or failure,” said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.
The Coastal Recovery Commission plans to submit a report to both the Gov. Riley and the Gov.r-elect Robert Bentley by December.
There are more meetings planned for this week. One will be held Tuesday at the Bayou la Batre Community Center. The other will be held Wednesday at the Five Rivers Center in Spanish Fort on the Causeway. Both start at 5:30 p.m.