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Commissioners out of control on wind

If you are not following the wind turbine saga and how your Seneca County commissioners are handling it, then you should be. Many thousands of county residents have come together in opposition to the wind projects after seeing the meager income to county and schools (18 cents per day for each of us) and learning of the negative experiences that other Midwest areas have had with the monster turbines and their ill effects of all kinds. The trustees of the majority of the townships that are in the footprint of the projects have expressed their intent to intervene against them. All evidence points to the fact that a substantial majority of Seneca County residents are opposed with more joining in every day. Rural roads are like gardens of yellow anti-wind turbine signs.

Yet for some reason that even they cannot clearly explain, commissioners Shayne Thomas and Holly Stacy have taken it upon themselves to do everything in their power to force these wind projects into the county over any and all objections. Their most recent tactics border on the absurd. After taking action that prevents the county prosecutor from providing representation, Thomas has forced the townships to retain their own attorneys, causing them to spend large amounts of money to oppose the projects as their constituents requested. If that is not bad enough, now he and Stacy (over Commissioner Mike Kerschner’s adamant objections) have hired the same law firm used by the wind companies at a cost of $480 an hour to fight against the township’s position and the wishes of the majority of county residents, and for an outcome that in every way benefits the wind companies. This is absolutely absurd! Why are they so blindly supportive of wind companies and so deaf to so many residents of this county?

These two commissioners have driven a wedge into this community that is pitting neighbor against neighbor, family against family, and now they are using our money to hire hard-nosed attorneys to pound the wedge even deeper. The actions of these two commissioners on this issue are beyond explanation. The words inept, unprofessional, unsophisticated or even downright sinister come to mind, but without knowing their motives, it is difficult to know which words really apply. They could not have handled the wind issue any more in favor of the wind companies if their lives depended on it. They misled the county for months and thereby shut down all meaningful conversation on the issue by telling everyone there was “nothing we can do.” When they were proven wrong on that they then changed their position to there is “nothing we will do,” especially when it comes to letting any voice in the county influence their intended outcome of shoehorning 143 wind turbines 600-feet tall into our county.

There can be no doubt that every single aspect of the wind issue that has been touched by Stacy and Thomas has been either fumbled by ineptness or played against us all with ulterior motives. Even opportunities to allow the county to benefit with millions of dollars more from the projects have been summarily ignored or refused repeatedly. The county would be in a better position today if their chairs on the board had been empty. We may or may not have turbines, but at least we would not have a community torn at the seams and a mounting legal bill to go with it.

If ever this county has had worse leadership, one is hard pressed to know when. Some think the courthouse issue was mishandled in years past. But next to what is going on now, that was miniscule by comparison. These two commissioners must be brought to heel. At this point, their actions are totally irrational and serve only as a desperate attempt to protect their own egos.

Jim Feasel,

rural Tiffin