During the Nov. 9, 2020, Sidney Township Board meeting at Sidney Park, Albert Jongewaard told residents Apex Clean Energy had been working in Montcalm County for two years.
If Apex is offering an amazing, favorable project for the residents of our county, where were their flyers in 2018, 2019 and 2020? Where were their radio interviews and newspaper ads then? Why didn’t they introduce themselves publicly to everyone, so we could all learn about Apex and their extraordinary wind turbines?
They did not launch their Facebook page until Nov. 10, which was the day after Sidney Township residents publicly opposed Apex’s presence here. The Montcalm County Citizens United Facebook page was active before Apex’s. Think about that for a minute.
Who is ultimately responsible for the mess we are in now? Ask yourself this question: Would our townships be in this turmoil if Apex had never come here? Would we be pitted against each other if Apex had been upfront with all of us from day one, throughout this process, and even today? Shouldn’t we put the responsibility where it belongs?
Is it OK to be angry and upset? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? But, it is not healthy to plant ourselves in a big mud puddle of outrage. Is it necessary to expose wrongdoing and harm done? Yes, but demeaning personal attacks are unacceptable, destructive, and truly counterproductive. When I look around, I see a trail of victims, including residents, public officials, and yes, at least some leased landowners. Apex’s wind turbines have already intruded on our lives and damaged our community. Montcalm County has always been a peaceful place to live, work and enjoy leisure time. Yet, with no earthmovers in sight, this idyllic homeland has already been forcibly torn up.
We get to decide what is best for all of us. We do. Not Apex. And, “we” means all of us. The question now is, can we stop blaming and bashing each other long enough to work together, long enough to clean up this uninvited mess? Can we climb out of the mire and find positive solutions?
Let’s get to work. Aren’t we worth it?
Grand Rapids and Nevins Lake, Sidney Township
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