June 16, 2024

LETTER: Show me

Marcia Allen

Adams County

Thank you to the many citizens of Adams County who attended the zoning commission meeting Tuesday evening this past week. Your attendance was noticed and appreciated. Whichever side of the issue (Invenergy being welcomed to Adams County) you are on, wherever you live in the county or own land in the county, your voice as a citizen should be valued and heard.

I listened politely as the Invenergy representative, a Chicago-based wind company salesman, presented his unchallenged sales pitch to the zoning commission of Adams County, with multiple documents presented from Attorney David Levy (a special attorney hired by our board of supervisors to facilitate the process of ordinances being handled legally) given to zoning commission.

There were several things about the evening that concerned me:

  • The salesman and the out-of-county, out-of-state attorney were allowed to speak, unchallenged and unquestioned by the citizens of Adams County.
  • Citizens of Adams County are not allowed to speak until after the actual ordinance draft will have been formulated.
  • When the Invenergy salesman faltered, he was immediately bolstered by Attorney Levy. I listened to David Levy’s self-introduction as he claimed to be balanced, but his every deed and word supported the salesman and the wind company.
  • The documents presented to the zoning commission did not include any documents from many of our closest neighbors: Ringgold County, Taylor County, Page County, Union County, Mills County, Clark County. There would be an Invenergy salesman-serving agenda in that omission. Our neighbors are studying, taking their time, investigating, questioning, enacting moratoriums, doing due diligence for all their citizens.
  • When any of us go on the hunt to buy a vehicle, we get the sales pitch. You check the VIN numbers and learn what you can about that vehicle’s history. You kick the tires and take it for a test drive. You do your due diligence and investigate before you jump at that sale. I contend that this is exactly that. Adams County citizens have been given the sales pitch by the salesman, supported by David Levy, without the opportunity to question the salesman or thoroughly investigating what he called facts.
  • Adams County citizens are being told they will be heard at the next meeting and the formulated ordinances can be changed and amended. I contend that fairness and common-sense dictates that citizens should have been heard prior to any ordinances whatsoever, as they were in our neighboring counties.
  • The zoning commission is being led down a predetermined path by Invenergy, assisted by David Levy. He talks balance, balance, balance. His background. behavior and deeds speak otherwise. You don’t need to take my word for it. You can do what I did and look him up.
  • Be you pro-turbines in Adams County or cautious-turbines, be you respect my property rights or I want the money and I don’t care if I have to use your property to get it, as a freedom-loving American citizen, there should be issues about voices being silenced that concern you. Silencing citizens and hearing the pitch first is reprehensible, is not fair, is stacking the deck and no one should like that.
  • Formulating the ordinances prior to hearing citizens should concern all honest, fair citizens. That particular shoe may be on your foot someday, and you’d like the support of all your fellow citizens, without regard for personal biases or political party affiliation.
  • The model used by the salesman for his sales pitch was not Adams County. When that same sales pitch was used at the board of supervisors meeting (no questions were allowed by citizens there either), the salesman said it was Chickasaw County. He took that out of this pitch, leaving some people misunderstanding and believing that it was Adams County. Nope. Not Adams County. It was a pre-done sales pitch model of another county. It did not show our land, our homes, our anything whatsoever.
  • The salesman stated Invenergy conducts studies: avian study, Native American study, endangered species study, eagle study, noise study, shadow flicker study, soil study, wind study, cultural use study. Multiple studies. Try to access their multiple studies. Good luck with that. If you’re able to access, please share the studies. I’d love to see them. Seriously? We are supposed to take Invenergy at their word without our own due diligence? Show me. I’m a farmer’s daughter; I expect to see it, not just hear about it.

Finally, you should come to the next zoning commission meeting, tentatively scheduled to be held 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16, at the Corning Community Building. If you want to speak, come organized. You will be allowed three minutes. Know what you want to say. As I understand it, you will sign a sheet saying you want to speak and everyone that declares they want to speak will be able to do so.

Unfortunately, the draft ordinances will be already done. No citizens have been allowed to speak. This is it. You will be told the ordinances can be amended. To that I’m saying, show me. I don’t trust. I keep thinking, our neighboring counties mostly listened to their citizens first. Adams County, so far we citizens are the hind teat.

Come. Be heard. Get off work early. Chore late. It’s awful timing for harvest. Is that intentional? I wonder. You should, too. Stop that combine early, and come.

You are important. Fill the room. If the black chairs are used up, I know where the closet of red/orange chairs can be found. This 71 year old, white-haired lady will be happy to start hauling chairs.