Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 19, 2013

June 19, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Let residents voteon wind farm issue

As the wind farms, with all the controversy around them, approach the Greentown area, it makes one wonder what brought them here to begin with? With the number of people who live in the country, and with some of the best farmland in the world, why put wind farms here?

It is a good idea to harness the wind and make its power work for us, because it is almost always blowing (especially in Washington, D.C.). But this area is a poor location. Why not put them out on the Western plains and deserts or mountains, where the wind really blows and there are relatively few people to be affected by them.

If there are wind farms already out there, build more. A lot of turbines could be placed in those areas.

It has been said that a landowner cannot be stopped by other landowners from using his land however he wants. That would be true, as long as the landowner doesn’t use his land in an extreme and excessive way.

Putting up 350-foot towers with moving parts and red blinking lights across the road from other landowners would seem to be an extreme and excessive use of the landowner’s property. Such usage would seem to logically affect the other landowners in an extreme and excessive way, unavoidably altering their pursuit and realization of what is accepted and acknowledged as a normal life.

No landowner should be required to defend and possibly relinquish what they perceive as an acceptable standard of quality for their lives, when that quality is jeopardized by the other landowner’s deliberately extreme and excessive use of land that brought about the challenge in the first place.

I believe certain issues should be decided by the people directly, and the wind farm issue is one of them. It should be taken out of the hands of a few — the zoning and appeals boards, the plan commissions, the county commissioners, and any court where the issue might wind up. The people affected by the wind farms should be allowed to vote directly.

The above mentioned officials and boards should prepare and mail ballots to all of the residents around the wind farm proposals, with the opportunity to mail their vote back to be counted by an independent third party. Also, provision could be made for residents to drop by and cast a vote at a designated location, or an online site could be set up for them to vote that way.

If the majority of the people vote in favor of the windmills, then by all means let the projects move forward. If they vote against them, then let the projects be “gone with the wind”. The people’s will and desire on this issue will have been expressed and realized by the votes that they cast, and what they want done about it will prevail.

Either way, they should be allowed to decide how they are going to live, and not leave their fate in the hands of a few officials or a court.

At least not this time.

Jeff Hatton