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Wind session failed to follow proper protocol

It appears the vice chairman of the Ogle County Board appointed the chairman of the planning and zoning committee, and publicly stated candidate for the next county board chairman, Lyle Hopkins, doesn’t appear to understand the Open Meetings Act or possibly desires to ensure a personal, not-so-hidden agenda.

On June 28 during the Wind Energy Conversion System subcommittee hearing, Hopkins abruptly stopped a motion from going any further, stating there was not a second. On July 12, at the following WECS subcommittee meeting, Hopkins explained his actions by saying the motion that was made wasn’t addressed properly on the agenda and feared exposure to legal action for failure to meet accepted meeting protocol.

On Sept. 15, the following appeared on the agenda for the planning and zoning meeting: “11. Discussion of WECS subcommittee performance report and possible action.”

After brief discussion, Hopkins surprised his committee by stating, “We have representatives here from wind development companies to give a presentation and answer some of our questions.”

It was quite apparent this surprise presentation was solely arranged by Hopkins with the intentions of discrediting the WECS subcommittee decisions and to prevent informed members of the WECS subcommittee and local citizens from questioning the hour-long PowerPoint presentation.

During the session set aside for public comment, Hopkins stated that only the citizens who didn’t previously speak before the WECS subcommittee would be allowed to speak during this time. Failure to provide a complete agenda or selectively limiting speakers is undemocratic and unethical.

After handpicking the subcommittee, these two actions by Hopkins made it obvious his personal goal is to discredit the long hours of meetings and research done by the subcommittee.

Is this what we want from the chairman of the Ogle County Board?