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Salutes former wind panelist for his integrity

Thank you, SVN, for publicizing Mark Wagner’s resignation from the Lee County Wind Energy Ad Hoc Committee as a front-page headline article on Feb. 22 titled “Wind industry rival leaves panel.”

This committee’s outrageous story most certainly deserves front-page coverage. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only such committee in Lee County’s history that was directed (read “forced”) to prohibit public comment at its meetings and whose members are also forbidden from voting to democratically choose specific ad hoc recommendations.

This toothless ad hoc committee was undemocratically contrived by the Lee County Board’s chairman and vice chairman. They designed it to abjectly fail its assigned mission by front-loading the committee with seven members whose undeniable public records and/or blatant conflicts of interest unequivocally render them incapable of advocating citizen protective changes to Lee County’s 11-year-old wind ordinances.

Wagner’s willingness to serve on this sham of a committee for as long as he did was indeed a profile in courage. It takes integrity, mental toughness and disciplined perseverance for one minority member to withstand the mindset of a stacked majority.

Mark stood strong against the seven preprogrammed, greatly biased members; and he exposed, for the public record, how impotent and technologically deficient Lee County’s wind ordinances have become. He did so by systematically dismantling the nonsensical arguments the other seven put forth, which categorically deny that wind ordinance changes are needed.

His clear, erudite presentations also exposed the heavily biased pro-wind farm agenda our county chairman and vice chairman have unconditionally embraced, thus underscoring those officials’ total lack of concern for the future harm their wind company loyalties likely will cause rural residents.

We thank you, Mark Wagner, for standing up for the rights of Lee County citizens and for challenging those county executives who prefer autocracy to democracy.

Jim Timble, Franklin Grove,