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A warning shot for wind farm foes

At long last we’ve found an issue on which we can agree with firebrand county commissioner Dianne Novak. It’s high time to impose a moratorium on wind farms — not on developing them, as she proposes, but on allowing the issue to hold the county hostage.

She and others in the increasingly radical minority intent on blocking environmentally conscious, economically advantageous development within the county need to stop beating a dead horse before it’s too late — if we haven’t already reached that point.

Last week’s incident in which overly impassioned wind farm protester Amy Stutzman allegedly fired a gun in the vicinity of wind farm surveyors while arguing with them is merely the latest in a series of warning signs that it’s time for county residents more even-tempered than she and Novak to step in and demand an end to continual sniping — literally or figuratively.

Ironically, Novak, Stutzman, and other leaders of the anti-wind-farm movement have done more to damage their cause than to support it.

In the criminal justice system, everyone is innocent unless proved guilty. In the court of public opinion, however, Marion County already has been tried and convicted — once again — as being intent on erecting roadblocks to economic development and on stoking passions to the extent that they lead to gun-toting, redneck violence.

Our image has become so tarnished by perpetual haggling and violent emotions of wind farm opponents that the only people eager to do business in the county are blood-sucking lawyers, who see the opportunity to siphon off not only the savings of enflamed wind farm opponents but also the potential economic windfall owed to taxpayers.

Enough is enough. It’s time for average citizens to begin turning their backs on the antics of the overly emotional few who, having failed to defeat wind farms when they had their chance, now want to drag the county through endless lawsuits and political bickering rather than demonstrate true civic leadership and move on.

When any simmering dispute begins showing signs of boiling over into violence, it’s time for responsible leaders to stop stoking the fire — and for responsible voters to warn them that any admiration for sticking to their guns shouldn’t be taken too literally.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Dec. 12, 2019

 

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