There’s an old saying: “But for the mountains . . . there would be no valleys.” Which is true; such is the value of contrast. Well, so too with human behavior. At times – such as the May 11, Hartsville Town Hall Meeting – the conduct of barbarous hoards can especially highlight the dignified amongst them. In this case, those dignified few were the board members, who held steadfast to the town’s wind law and its protective setbacks. In doing so, they cast themselves in high relief. Bless them for it. Opposed to the law and looking to have it overturned were pro-turbine folk, who constituted a feverish throng.
Outfitted in green wind-power t-shirts, compliments of the wind corporation, they sought their pound of flesh, smelling personal profit on the horizon and were jacked to the nines in anticipation. Town board member, Jim Perry, presuming their might be violence, wisely arranged for a sheriff’s deputy to be present. Had he not done so, there would have likely have been physical violence, as the turbin-ites did not get their way and were frothing mad – aggressively following each board member to their respective cars, spitting expletives. It was ugly.
What I witnessed was a study in behavior motivated by personal greed on one hand, and behavior which extends from the holding of an ideal, on the other. It’s the mixing of oil and water, and never the twain shall meet. Yes, it’s the right of anyone to want what they want. But what can one say about people who would, for a few dollars, invite the destruction of those ancient and most beautiful northern Appalachian mountains? And make no mistake about it, putting over fifty 600’ – that’s two vertical football fields – industrial sized, white and spinning turbines in this rural setting would most definitely destroy the natural character of the whole area, lower its property values, degrade the quality of its residents’ life, and yes make many people physically ill – that is a medical fact. The turbinites would do this with absolutely no regard for the majority of Hartsville residents who want to preserve the sanctity of its mountains, its beautiful lake views and its calming silence. I know what to say about such people, but for the sake of decorum, I’ll keep it to myself. As for the Town Board, I respect each one of them – we all should. I have no doubt they are in it for the right reasons.
Running a town, no matter how small, is no easy matter. The inherent issues of doing so are nearly the same as that of running larger entities – it’s just an issue of scale. So town folk better take care as to whom they elect. They better know whether or not the candidates are in it for the right reasons. Such was the case with this last Hartsville election, which stands as a cautionary tale, where two candidates (Ronnie Amedon and Mike Palmer) were both elected, and both have subsequently stepped down. In my humble opinion, they were not in it for the right reasons. All indications suggest they were merely in it to usher in wind turbines. They were seemingly one issue candidates, and mercifully didn’t last.
It was nice to see former supervisor, Mike Muhlheisen, at the helm, once again, having filled in for the aforementioned Palmer. The resulting intellectual jump, northward, was both palpably obvious, and appreciated, and his detailed grasp of the intrinsic issues, comforting. He’s the right man for the job.
I know Jim Perry more than I do the other board members and have nothing but respect and genuine affection for the man. To say I trust him, is an understatement. Both Tom Dobell and David McEvoy have my trust and respect, as well, though I don’t know them as well. It’s obvious how I feel about Mike Muhleisen – he should once again be our supervisor.