Livingston County Board Chairman Marty Fannin admitted to a “brain fart” last week when he mistakenly voted against a proposed wind farm.
His vote would have made a difference. The board split 12-12 on the project, which would consist of 136 wind turbines in southern Livingston County’s Pleasant Ridge Township.
Earlier this month, the zoning board rejected the wind farm application, but the county board gets the final say. When the issue came up at last week’s meeting, a county board member moved to deny the petition. So a “yes” vote meant rejection of the wind farm, not support of it. That turned out to be confusing.
Fannin, a wind farm proponent, voted yes, thinking that he was backing the project.
“At least six times, I tried to explain what their vote meant,” he said in an interview on Pontiac radio station WJEZ a day after the vote. “I had a brain fart. There is no excuse. As many times as I said it, I didn’t listen to what I was saying. I let myself down, my friends down. It was hard to look at my family in the face last night.”
Fannin, R-Pontiac, said he lacked the courage at the meeting to admit he made a mistake.
“I was frustrated with myself and embarrassed that I didn’t pay attention to what I was saying,” he told the station. “My vote would have ended this. I screwed up. By admitting this, I will catch a lot of heck. It’s eating me up.”
He said in the interview that he wanted to hold a special meeting for another vote on the wind farm, preferably before he left for vacation next week. It would take the signatures of eight members to get a special meeting.
This week, though, officials said the re-vote would happen at the county board’s next monthly meeting, which is July 16.
Livingston County already has 175 turbines. The recent proposal was by Chicago-based Invenergy. At the zoning board’s hearings, residents opposed the project, saying it would create unbearable noise and reduce nearby property values. The zoning board voted unanimously against the project.
The decision followed exhaustive testimony in nearly three dozen hearings over eight months.
The Times couldn’t reach Fannin for comment.
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