The Kokomo Tribune reported that the Howard County Commissioners approved the amended Economic Development Agreement (EDA) with E.ON at their Sept. 3 meeting. Two critical facts were subverted in the Kokomo Tribune headline story, published on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
First, the Tribune story began by saying that “With no public comment, the Howard County Commissioners approved … a revised economic development agreement …” The critical fact here is that the Howard County Commissioners did not allow public comment (even though it was requested by three people at the meeting) before the commissioners voted to approve this EDA. This alteration of this event is disappointing in that it implies the public at the meeting had no objections to the amended EDA. This was definitely not the case by the clear majority present at this commissioners meeting.
Secondly, this Tribune story effectively reverses my testimony at this meeting. The story states I told the commissioners they “… did a good job …” with the amended EDA. My testimony to the commissioners was steeped in sarcasm. Yes, I sarcastically congratulated the commissioners on getting an increased setback, lowered noise requirement by 5 decibels, received consideration for red-light shields and an additional $500,000 from E.ON. However, my testimony ended with my stating that E.ON got exactly what it wanted. E.ON got the commissioners’ continued support to build phases II and III of the Wildcat Wind Farm over the objections of the citizens present in the meeting room (and implied those not present in the meeting room in Howard County who have objected as well).
It’s certainly a shame that our local newspaper alters the events of such a critical meeting, which will certainly go down in the annals of Howard County history as the key point in which our commissioners capitulated to the money offered by the E.ON wind farm, over the objections of most certainly a majority of the citizens.
Colin Brett McNeill
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