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Conflicts of interest

What are we teaching our children? Driving around in the county, I have noticed several “Vote no” signs on the recall. The majority of them are placed in the farm fields and homes of individuals who have signed wind turbine leases.

As a resident of Ogden Township and an individual who has attended the monthly Ogden meetings, I have seen very few of these individuals with the “Vote no” signs at our meetings. A vote of “no” would essentially endorse deception and misstatements by elected officials in order to benefit themselves financially. Is this the lesson we want to teach to our children? That it is okay to be untruthful, especially after you have gained public trust?

Jim Goetz and Phyllis Gentz stated in their letter to numerous Ogden residents that they have never voted on wind issues. That statement is absolutely false. I have personally observed them vote upon at least four wind-related issues in an attempt to influence the outcome.

Mr. Goetz and Mrs. Gentz have signed contracts with wind developers that provide financial compensation for siting turbines on their land. Both admitted these conflicts of interest in December and stated that they would not vote on wind issues. By February, they “changed their minds” and openly stated their intent to continue voting on wind-related issues that would help line their pockets with cash. This is illegal, unethical and just plain WRONG. Dick Beagle, Riga’s treasurer, recognized this was wrong and abstained from any wind issue vote, but Jim Goetz and Phyllis Gentz refuse to do this.

Mr. Goetz and Mrs. Gentz are being recalled because of their conflict of interest only. Is it okay to lie as long as you are benefiting financially from it? The answer is quite clear – no, it is not okay. As a parent, I have tried to instill in my children that lying is wrong. It doesn’t matter whether you are for or against the wind turbines. If you believe it is okay to be dishonest and to vote when you have a conflict of interest, then by all means vote “no.” However, if you believe in honesty and expect elected officials to be ethical in their township duties, then I urge you to VOTE YES on Aug. 2 to recall Jim Goetz and Phyllis Gentz.

Diana Mead
Ogden Township