The current political battle in Boone County is not about the merits of wind energy. It is about whether or not we are going to have a County Board that believes that protecting the health, safety and property rights of its citizens is more important than generating revenue from a particular developer.
It is clear, from the testimony before our county’s Zoning Board, that industrial wind turbines threaten the health, safety and property of anyone living near them. There is a growing body of evidence, worldwide, that vibrations, air pressure disruptions, and sub-sonic, infra-noise radiating from the spinning blades causes sleep deprivation, headaches, nausea, memory loss, learning disabilities and more.
The best way to avoid these problems, the experts say, is to site wind turbines a mile or two away from residential areas. No one knows the truth of this better than the foreign industrial wind corporation that wants to start erecting wind turbines in the county. They require property owners they pay to “host” an industrial wind turbine to sign a contract containing confidentiality and estoppel clauses prohibiting them from ever revealing, or taking legal action to stop, the health and safety problems caused by the performance of their wind turbines.
Boone County’s current ordinance allows developers to install wind turbines dangerously close to residences – not two miles away. Or one mile. Or even half a mile. Just 1,000 feet. On top of that, the ordinance denies a property owner the right to build a primary structure on his or her own property if it will be within 1,000 feet of a wind turbine on a neighbor’s property.
An alternative ordinance to increase the distance and to give back to people control of their own property was introduced this year. It was opposed by the foreign industrial wind developer and did not pass. Half of the board members voted against it – a few of them took the opportunity of their vote to openly and loudly disparage other board members and members of the public who disagreed with them.
These board members, besides lacking civility, either ignored the evidence presented to them about the dangers of wind turbines or they believe that unsubstantiated promises of increased tax revenue override their responsibility for the health and property rights of the citizens.
County governments in Illinois were established under the State Constitution “to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people.” When county officials lose site of that primary charge, as some have in Boone County, it is time to vote them out of office and vote in candidates committed to solving the county’s challenges without harming its citizens and their property. That is what we need to do in Boone County.
Boone County needs, now more than ever, County Board members with a sense of decency, worthy work records, keen business sense, and wisdom who can restore civility to County Board proceedings. They should understand that their first job is to protect the general welfare of the people who live in Boone County, not to do the bidding of a foreign industrial wind developer that would threaten the health of Boone county residents, particularly rural families living in neighborhoods targeted for wind turbines.
There is no decent or moral reason why anyone should give up their rights to life, liberty and property in order to provide county government with a questionable “financial quick fix” or to solve the energy problems of the world. Ask your candidates for Boone County Board where they stand on this issue. See you at the polls.
David Cleverdon, Kinnikinnick Farm, Caledonia
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