Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 25, 2013

Oct. 25, 2013: Letters to the editor

New members help decide county’s fate

At the Oct. 16 Tipton County Plan Commission public hearing on industrial wind turbines, I presented the percentages of people attending meetings voicing opinions on the wind issue. In each case, including the 75 percent that night, the majority has consistently spoken against the placement of turbines in our county.

I consider it contempt of the democratic system that a majority of the eight men on the plan commission could not vote with the majority of the citizens.

New member Carroll Cohee made a motion to adopt an ordinance that was presented to the board that evening by the proponents. Unbelievably, there were two other members who supported Mr. Cohee’s effort to rush something through that the public knew nothing about.

New member Harry Diamond made an eight-minute proposal that neither the public nor the board members had any knowledge of prior to the meeting, and therefore was out of order.

Newest member Jeff Wessel, who does not live in the county and has been employed as the county ag extension educator for one month, voted for the motion submitted by the turbine proponents. One of the presenters of that proposal is on the county extension board that hired Mr. Wessel.

A motion was made by member Jim Ashley for the complete ban of the Commercial WECS, setting the limitations as proposed by Marshall County, Ind. This resulted in a 4-4 tie.

Mr. Ashley then motioned to accept the amendments that were made available for inspection to the public prior to the meeting, but in his motion he also created a new zoning classification and designated the geographical area where that zone would be. This passed 5 to 3. However, there cannot be a change to the zone map without the public first being made aware of where that change is going to be, and the landowners in that area properly notified. Mr. Ashley’s error went unnoticed by the plan director and all other members. The motion was not consistent with how the Indiana Code outlines the process for amending the zone map.

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