July 26, 2021
Letters, Michigan

Conflict of interest concerns and wind

PUBLIC FORUM: Conflict of interest concerns and wind | Letter to the Editor | Daily News | July 24, 2021 | thedailynews.cc

The topic of concern; Winfield Township officials. Below is the Winfield Township ethical standards:

“All elected and appointed officials, employees and volunteers shall fulfill their duties with the utmost attention to serving the best interests of the township citizens, and no official, employee or volunteer shall participate in a decision or transaction on behalf of the township that would result in a direct financial benefit to the township official, employee, or volunteer.

“Any official, employee or volunteer who believes that he or she may be place in a potential conflict of interest shall immediately notify the township board and any subsequent action shall be in conformance with state law.

“No employee shall accept employment that conflicts with performing his or her township duties. No officer or employee shall accept any gift or consideration from a person or company providing goods or services to the township, or who is soliciting township business.”

After reading this in the Winfield Township Administrative Policies and Procedures, should the multiple leased members of this township committee continue on with discussion of their wind ordinance? We know that the Planning Commission chairman is part of the steering committee and has leased to Apex Clean Energy.

Another concern is that this township has chosen Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes as the law firm to help write the solar and wind ordinance. On Saturday, July 17, at the solar public hearing ran by Anthony B. Warren, a lawyer from this firm, a young woman stood up to defend wind energy.

“I live in Isabella County, my home is surrounded by wind turbines,” she said. “Birds are not falling from the sky, and the turbines are like fans in the background.”

She quickly claimed that she was not employed by Apex. However this young lady is the wife of Anthony B. Warren, and after some research their residence is a mere 8,800 feet from the closest wind turbine. Now, if we could get this kind of setback in Montcalm County I am sure all would be extremely happy with this. At this setback, they may appear nothing more than a fan.

However, yet again comes the issue of ethics. How can a township full of conflicted officials, employing a lawyer who is also obviously conflicted, write an ordinance that will represent the citizens of Winfield?

Jamie Snyder

Cato Township

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/07/26/conflict-of-interest-concerns-and-wind/