Cascade officials were more than happy to talk publicly about their two wind turbines last summer, when the 120-foot generators made the village the first in the state to power its wastewater treatment plant solely by wind.
But one resident says village government was too quiet in the months leading up to construction, alleging in a lawsuit that the seven-member board violated state open meetings law by repeatedly discussing the $500,000 expenditure using vague agenda items that gave residents no warning or chance for input.
Susan Lodl, 60, of Cascade, filed the lawsuit in November 2010, and her effort garnered some judicial backing last month when Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Terence Bourke ruled there was enough evidence to proceed toward trial on the core allegations.
Lodl said she didn’t set out to sue the village that has been her home since 1974, but she was left with no recourse when the board responded to her initial objections with indifference and even hostility.
“A number of us started going to meetings, and we were treated quite rudely. A friend of mine was even called names,” she said. “I even told them at one of the board meetings, ‘Your agenda and your minutes do not coincide.’ And they just kept doing their thing. … They just blew me off as a disgruntled village resident.”
So Lodl decided to take a stand.
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