On June 26, two of our county commissioners fired the shot heard round the world. I assure you that within 24 hours every large wind farm conglomerate in the world got the news that the biased, hand-picked zoning committee had accomplished their mission. They all now know that Ellis County has a board and commissioners that have set up some of the most liberal zoning rules in the nation.
Since they all need the veil of protection offered by zoning, they are always in search of a county that has no desire to be stewards of the land. They need to find commissioners that put together committees that make up rules that literally protect the wind farms only. They need to find commissioners that are so greedy that they do not care who they hurt or destroy.
I saw several women in tears after the meeting. It bothered me the rest of the night, but I am sure the five people on the board that voted “yes” lost little sleep. The two committee members who wanted to see a responsible vote were shot down at every angle. The whole affair had the looks of an old-fashioned kangaroo court. The vote was to bring in the wind farm into the populated area west of Hays. I have never in my 57 years seen an issue that has created such hate and hurt among good families on both sides. It was not a time to appoint a biased committee, which is just what the irresponsible commissioners did.
Now, we will all be forced to live with wind farm rules that are so vague and minute, they will do little to protect the citizens of our county. Now that the fox is in the chicken coup, we will see dozens of applications to bring in wind farms. Because these huge conglomerates are worried they may lose the monster tax breaks if Congress votes them out, they will be in a mad rush to get things going in our county. Within five years we may not have one scenic location left in Ellis County. When they have destroyed all the high hills, they will just make the towers a 100 feet higher and continue to march across our county.
It is now a real possibility that no one in the entire county will escape having them in their front and back yards. The entire county will be one big blinking light at night. There will be high-voltage lines strung out across every mile of this county. You see, the way the commissioners set this up, every square mile of this county is eligible. It is not the first or second project that worries me as much as the fact that these commissioners have set this up to allow the entire county to be destroyed.
I again assure you we will be swamped with new applications, because the word is out. Ellis County has commissioners who will allow wind farms to do anything in the name of the almighty dollar. The word is out that Ellis County only has 1-1/2 pages of rules regarding wind farms. The word is out that our county has sold itself to the devil. We have got to get a fair committee that will at least try to protect the beautiful rural community we have all enjoyed for years. Wind farms are a great thing and we have plenty of room for them in Ellis County, but like anything, they need to be controlled.
I realize that only about 10 percent of the county voters even care about this issue, but all voters should be ashamed of what we witnessed last Wednesday night. The wind farms will in all probability be gone in 30 years, but the hatred among families spawned by our current commissioners will go on for generations. Of course, our current commissioners can still change all of this by voting no and bringing in a fair and impartial board, but everyone knows the vote will be 2-1 to OK the permit, and this time the people have little to no recourse.
1584 Smoky Hill River Road
July 3, 2008
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