I ask that you stay with me, as I realize that some may find the mention of Broadway shows and the controversial history of politics a bit too, well, political.
And yes, for the sake of clarification, I will admit that this feature strays from the traditional forum. But, life so often strays from the traditional, that I think therein lies the connection.
Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda rose to fame when his Broadway musical “Hamilton” hit stages in 2015. Miranda spent years researching American founding fathers and adversaries Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr so that he could bring public awareness to their historical rivalry. There are critics of the play and those who applaud it, and though the script may present bias in favor of Hamilton, the play’s content presents audiences with a message: the truth is sometimes blinding and easily manipulated by heresy, rumors and disinterest
1804 was a very long time ago, yet in many ways, the politics of a fledgling America are strikingly akin to the politics of a 2018 America. The lyrics in the song, “My Shot,” showcase a platform detailing why it is essential for the public to “rise up” and become informed.
Cass County has been my home for more than three decades. My husband and I are raising our children here, are involved in organizations here, do our shopping here, attend events here and are proud to call it our home. Truthfully, we know Cass County is not perfect, yet we choose to live here because of the small-town opportunities and experiences that this community affords our family. And there are many reasons to celebrate our community. Realtor.com recently listed Logansport as a top 10 small town in which to settle nationwide. Logansport is also currently in contention for being named an American Main Street community and we have applauded the opening of several new businesses within the past year. We choose to live here to make our corner of the world matter, to make a difference for future generations and to create a community that will prosper into the future.
Obviously, my children’s future looks different than the future of my childhood, but I write today out of concern for our community and its divisive discussion regarding wind turbines. I have friends on both sides of the wind turbine debate, and though I do not favor bringing turbines to Cass County, it does not mean that I am uninformed, disinterested or selfish, any more than those who are in favor of the turbines are uninformed, disinterested or selfish. I have read articles, headlines, archives and agendas regarding turbines. I have had conversations with friends who view the issue differently, which promotes proactive awareness. I feel as though it is now time for me to rise up and address some concerns that have emerged in the wake of the wind turbine debate.
I rise out of concern that our elected officials are being blinded by the glamour of a merely promised glory for our community. I rise not because I believe that the turbines may become an eyesore, or because I am envious of those who will receive income from the turbines. I rise out of an awareness that neighbors are being pitted against one another and the friendliness that once afforded our neighborhoods has been severed with contempt and disregard. I rise because my absence at public hearings and commissioner meetings does not equate my disinterest or blind acceptance of an issue that has been discussed behind closed doors. I rise because I fear that our community leaders do not respect the citizens of this community enough to openly discuss the wind turbine ordinance that was amended without public awareness in May of 2016. I rise because choices regarding turbines were made before most members of the community were aware that wind turbines were on the agenda, as so few of us knew to look to the classifieds to find notices of amendments to county ordinances. I rise because this is a choice that does affect every member of this community, not just those who are in the proposed “grid” or “footprint,” and because the choices made by a few people with political power are altering the futures of my own children and my community’s children.
Political power is not the same as political prowess, and I rise because transparency, open-discussion and allegiance to community members is essential for a community to thrive. Though mutual and constant agreement is not mandatory, a general regard for humanity and civility dictates prosperity, and for this, I rise, and I challenge each of you to do the same and become informed in the name of our community.
Jessica (Pasel) Kranz is a resident of Logansport.
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