Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 7, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Nov. 7, 2013

Red flags raised at commission hearing

I would like to bring to light some of the things I witnessed at the Tipton County Plan Commission hearing on Oct. 16.

Member Carroll Cohee made a motion very quickly after the public hearing portion of the meeting ended. This motion was in support of a document that was presented at the beginning of the public hearing by two wind proponents who were sitting in the front row.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Cohee made a comment that “he didn’t care what the people of the Tipton County thought.” I will let Mr. Cohee’s comment speak for itself.

More importantly, I saw our most recent appointed member, Jeff Wessel completely unprepared for the meeting. However, it soon became exceedingly apparent as the meeting progressed as to why he need not be prepared.

It was easily observed that Mr. Wessel was taking direction from the same two wind proponents as Mr. Cohee on how he was to vote on each motion that was raised. One of those proponents is on the board that hired Mr. Wessel. Might that be a conflict of interest?

The fact that Mr. Wessel has only been in Tipton about a month, but has already formed an opinion on wind as well as Mr. Cohee’s motion, should at least merit some review.

Lastly, as people from the Wildcat Wind Farm spoke of the problems they were having, I watched Andy Melka and the woman from the CAC laugh and joke during their testimony. They both should be ashamed of themselves and their behavior. Is this the kind of company we want doing business in our county? Do we really believe their behavior will change if more wind turbines go up in Tipton County?

I know most, if not everyone who attended the meeting that night walked away confused at the motions, as well as how the votes took place.

We were unable to hear or see the plan commission members. The members should be seated on the stage as it has been with other meetings before in that building. I think most Windfall residents came away feeling that they just got thrown under the bus again and that more wind turbines are coming their way.

Those on the Plan Commission who voted for the complete ban of turbines are thus far the only ones clearly listening to the majority. The rest of the members need to be asked why they do not think an outright ban of these turbines is a good idea. Many of our neighboring counties have done so to protect the health and rights of their citizens. Tipton County should also.

Sarah Allison, Tipton


See, hear, and be counted at meeting

 When I take the time to go to a meeting I want to see who is talking, and hear what they are saying without having to stand up and move around the room until I can see or hear them. Any teenager is smart enough to rent a sound system for their agenda.

The first Planning Commission Meeting was held at Tipton High School – which we pay for with our taxes. I could see everyone and hear without moving about the auditorium.

The last two meetings were held at the 4-H building, which does have a stage; however, it was unused.

This allowed some members of the planning commission to take their voting instructions a lot easier since they were at eye level with the “leaders of the community.” Much easier to see the nod, wink or grin on someone’s face.

Since the planning commission was at ground level, it kept them from facing the crowd of people that took the time to come and be counted and also for some to be heard.

Why not have your meetings at the Tipton High School where we all can see, hear, and be counted?

Serena Melton, Sharpsville


Big step in the right direction

I am so thankful our Tipton County commissioners are taking their time to read the new, amended, changed, and very confusing WECS ordinance before voting. This, so far, has been a big step in the right direction.

One of the things in this ordinance, the complaint process, needs to have “teeth” so that when problems arise, the wind companies have to fix a problem. The people with the complaints have to file and pay $150.00 to do so. Then an arbitrator will hear the complaint. But what happens then? It has been obvious that wind companies (E.ON specifically) have no intent of “fixing” anything.

Thank you for not moving on the new ordinance, and making sure you are protecting the citizens of this county. This has been a very trying process, and has pretty much destroyed relationships in our county.

I still do not understand why we would want to do business with E.ON or any other wind company. I honestly don’t see any other business having such a negative impact on a community like this has. Please protect the people who you represent. If that means a ban, then so be it. If that is the best route, then go that route.

Remember, everyone in this county will vote for a commissioner during elections. Then you will know who the majority really are.

Ann Smith, Sharpsville