‘Disgraceful’ Article Miscasts Volunteers Who Devised Plan


‘Disgraceful’ Article Miscasts

Volunteers Who Devised Plan

To the Editor:

I read with disbelief the factual errors, insinuations and conclusions put forth in this past week’s edition concerning the Town of Richfield’s governance. I have only been on the Town Board two years, hardly enough time to “take over” anything as implied.

A fundamental rule of democracy is the voters get to decide who best represents them. I ran openly advocating for a Comprehensive Plan and the corresponding update to our land-use law to support it.

Everyone would know I opposed the industrial wind project.

I support people who support the goals of putting the town and village in a strong position to economically expand using the principals of Smart Growth which allow us to expand our economic base while maintaining the character of our community, all in an environmentally sensitive way.

This is exactly what our award-winning Joint Comprehensive Plan promotes.

The Comprehensive Plan was created by a group of volunteers with professional guidance. There was no selection process for this committee. If you wanted on the committee, you were allowed on, hardly a takeover.

It’s true many people now involved gained a new appreciation of why they needed to get involved after our Planning Board, led by Don Urtz, voted to approve the Monticello Hills industrial wind project. Our current law should have protected us and didn’t.

The industrial wind permit approval happened over the objections of a majority of the residents who would actually live among the machines. Over 200 people signed a petition specifically stating they objected to the project because of the negative effects it could bring – an important fact ignored by most of the Planning Board.

Most of the Planning Board at the time also ignored landowner agreements between some of the project neighbors and the wind developer which contained specific easements for the negative effects the wind project could inflict.

These negative effects are specifically named in the current ordinance as the reason why the permit should have been denied. When people realized their health, safety, value of their property, and the “right to quiet enjoyment of their property” were not being protected, they got motivated.

Many voted and some took positions as they became available. While true, many residents currently serving on the various boards recognize the issues which come with industrial wind, this has not been a sudden, hidden agenda.

It is a disrespectful insinuation that these individuals are only participating to stop wind. They are independent, intelligent, hardworking people who want to see Richfield prosper and recognize the current ordinance hinders that goal instead of fostering it.

Using industrial wind to frame the updated ordinance is disgraceful.

Town Board member
Town of Richfield

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