Former Vermilion County (IL) Board Member Speaks Against Wind Turbines in Warren County (IN) –
WARREN COUNTY, IN. (ECWd) –
Last night, former Vermilion County Board Member, Rick Knight, presented information to the Warren County decision makers at the Orion Wind Energy application special use permit hearing held at the Seeger Fine Arts Center.
Rick Knight served on the Vermilion County Board and was also a member of the Vermilion County Board Executive Committee while wind farm supporter Gary Weinard was chairman. Knight also supported the next chairman, Mike Marron, who currently has his farm land leased to InvEnergy.
During Knight’s tenure, the InvEnergy wind turbines were constructed and began causing sleep deprivation and other noise disturbances for Vermilion County residents. The InvEnergy turbines are GE 1.6-100 turbines which are 495 feet to the tip of the highest blade. Since then, InvEnergy has sold 90% of the California Ridge (CalRidge) wind farm to TerraForm Power, a subsidiary of now-bankrupt SunEdison.
Rick Knight pleaded in front of the Warren County Board as an attempt to help his two daughters who live in or near the proposed Orion Wind project area. He described the difficulties and citizen participation comments from wind turbine victims while he was on the Vermilion County Board, which at that time fell on deaf ears. We are glad to see he now realizes the health concerns related to Wind Farms and their proximity to residents. Yet another example of how citizen engagement is educating elected officials.
We are working on obtaining the video from this hearing.
InvEnergy’s Wind Farm Joins “WALL OF SHAME” –
InvEnergy’s wind farm joins “WALL OF SHAME”
(InvEnergy owes Champaign County $480,298 in unpaid taxes.)
Recently, we shed a spotlight on three parcels of land in Champaign County which have unpaid taxes in the California Ridge Wind Farm developed and partially owned by INVENERGY which is 90% owned by TerraForm Power, which is 100% owned by now-bankrupt SunEdison.
Today, another news article surfaced which gained our attention and can be read HERE.
It turns out that our previous announcement that InvEnergy/TerraForm Power owed $37,393 in late tax payments was only the tip of the iceburg. Todays article is more like the whole iceburg. We were informed that the News-Gazette published numerous tax ID numbers within the classified page “legal notices” section. A large bulk of the parcels are occupied by California Ridge Wind Energy.
Champaign County Treasurer Dan Welch says, at this point, the county has collected 98.5% of this year’s property taxes. Most of the rest will be paid by bidders buying the debt at the tax sale October 21.
The county is still trying to collect $3 – $4 million dollars worth of property taxes.
InvEnergy/TerraForm power’s wind farm (California Ridge Wind Energy LLC) owes the MOST OUTSTANDING PROPERTY TAX BILL IN ALL OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY IN THE AMOUNT OF $480,298
If the news posting is correct, it means that California Wind Energy LLC is delinquent $480,298.
For some, it feels like a “wall of shame.” “Unfortunately, I think a lot of people see it that way, but from a tax collector standpoint, we see it as a notification.”
If paying your property taxes is the law of this land, then InvEnergy or TerraForm Power are indeed lawbreakers. Why should communities allow lawbreakers to build new projects within the borders? When InvEnergy or another energy company comes knocking on your door for their new project, remember to check to see that they have a handle on paying the taxes for all of their existing projects.
Wow! What should we do with these “non-paying bums?”
Is a “bum” the proper term to use when referencing InvEnergy/TerraForm Power/SunEdison?
The definition of a “bum” is as follows:
As a noun: 1. A tramp; a vagrant. 2. A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others. 3. An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person: Thebattercalledthepitcher a bum. 4. One who spends a lot of time doing a particular recreational activity: a beachbum; a skibum. v.bummed, bum·ming, bums v.intr. 1. To live by begging and scavenging from place to place. Often used with around. 2. To pass time idly; loaf. Often used with around. v.tr. 1. To acquire by begging; cadge. See Synonyms at cadge. 2. Slang To depress, dishearten, or dismay. Often used with out. adj. 1. Inferior; worthless: gave me bumadvice;did a bumjob of fixingthecar. 2. Disabled; malfunctioning: a bumshoulder. 3. Unfavorable or unfair: got a bumdeal on my finalgradeforthecourse. 4. Unpleasant; lousy: had a bumtime at theparty. Idiom: on the bum 1. Living as a vagrant or tramp. 2. Out of order; broken.
InvEnergy has failed to pay for the property taxes, which is a broken promise from the days when their spokesmen came to the Champaign County Board boasting and bragging how they were going to be great community partners and good neighbors and would be more than happy to pay all these new taxes and boost the budget of the county.
We are unsure if anyone wants to risk purchasing the unpaid taxes even though the rate of return if the taxes are eventually paid will be approximately 16% interest on the amount owed. It would be a lot of money for a few entities to cover, but where there is big risk, there could be big reward. TerraForm Power stock price is about 25% of what it was on
APRIL 24, 2015: TerraForm Power stock price = $41.68 Oct 11, 2015: TerraForm Power stock price = $13.43 It appears, since TerraForm is only worth 32.2% of it’s value compared to 18 months ago, it seems to be a sinking ship. “HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.”
Based on InvEnergy’s/TerraForm Power’s past performance, it is our opinion that no community should ever negotiate with non-paying bums. If InvEnergy was our free-loading cousin living in our apartment above the garage, we’d “kick the bum out!”
Fact: “InvEnergy’s CalRidge Wind Farm did a bum job paying their taxes on time this year.” Fact: “InvEnergy bummed out more than a few of the Champaign County taxpayers.” Fact: “InvEnergy’s/TerraForm Power’s California Ridge management people must have been bumming around instead of writing and sending these checks on time.” Fact: “98.5% of Champaign County property taxes have been collected” Fact: “2.5% of Champaign County property taxes have not been collected” Fact: “InvEnergy/TerraForm Power owes the highest amount of any unpaid tax debt in Champaign County” Fact: “InvEnergy/TerraForm Power falls in BOTTOM 2.5% of all property owners in Champaign County as far as on-time tax payments being rectified.”
Prediction: “InvEnergy will have one or more “bum” wind turbines within the California Ridge Wind Farm in the next 12 months.” We’ll be watching and counting the ones having major repairs and require huge cranes to dismantle and replace major components.
The Edgar County Watchdogs hereby request that InvEnergy or TerraForm Power or TerraForm Power’s parent company SunEdison send a messenger to give us a full explanation of why the property taxes have gone unpaid.
Note to the readers: SunEdison is TerraForm Power’s parent company. SunEdison has received 650 million dollars in subsidies and tax credits since 2000. SunEdison value went from a 10 billion dollar company in July 2015 down to a 600 million dollar company just eight months later.
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Windfall turns into Wind FAIL for Champaign County Taxpayers –
InvEnergy claimed they were going to be “good neighbors” and bring lots of jobs and income to Champaign and Vermilion County when they constructed the so-called “California Ridge (CalRidge) Wind Farm.” It appears they have broken another promise by failing to pay taxes on their wind turbines. Instead of the “windfall,” we are seeing yet another “wind FAIL.” – as in failing to pay their property taxes on time…
When InvEnergy’s representatives first arrived to East Central Illinois and asked our leaders to approve their wind turbine project, they bragged about how they are different than other wind farm developers who show up, develop a project, and then sell the wind farm to “outsiders.” InvEnergy, which is based in Chicago, Illinois, said they were going to keep and own and maintain this wind farm for many years and be a part of this community. These promises were made in 2009.
In 2012, the CalRidge project was constructed.
In 2013, the local citizens complained about relentless noise inside their homes, and one Vermilion County family subsequently abandoned their home and moved into a doublewide trailer 8 miles away. Ted Hartke’s home was listed for sale and remained on the market (at a reduced price) for 2.5 years. Hartke became motivated to keep this from happening to other communities, and after his visit to warn citizens in Livingston County Illinois and Sanilac County Michigan, those local voters and decision makers rejected InvEnergy’s projects, voting them down and keeping their land free of the wind turbine problems.
On July 17, 2015, the Livingston County Board rejected InvEnergy’s so-called “Pleasant Ridge Farm.”
Shareholders won’t get an official voice in the bankruptcy of SunEdison Inc. because the company is “hopelessly insolvent,” with debts outweighing assets by at least $1 billion, a bankruptcy judge has ruled.
At this point, it appears that Livingston County, Argyle Township in Sanilac County, and other surrounding towns appear to be full of really smart people who were informed enough to avoid another InvEnergy fallout.
On October 7th, those wise communities were, once again, complimented on their decision to reject InvEnergy because California Ridge Wind Energy is late on paying real estate taxes on different properties in the amount of $37,393.35 as follows (newspaper list of late tax payments here):
Champaign County Parcel Tax ID #17-18-05-200-007 = $18,480.40 Champaign County Parcel Tax ID # 17-18-06-100-002 = $432.55 Champaign County Parcel Tax ID # 17-18-06-300-007 = $18,480.40
Failure to pay the taxes this year may be just a tip of the iceburg for this InvEnergy project. It may have serious finance and ownership problems soon.
TerraForm Power, which owns 90% of CalRidge, does not have any employees, no offices, and no “support staff” on the payroll of TerraForm Power. TerraForm Power is a “YieldCo” of SunEdison. SunEdison is a now-bankrupt company which is trying to sell both YieldCo companies, TerraForm Power and TerraGlobal Power. TerraForm and TerraGlobal stock prices have tanked and have not made much of a recovery since SunEdison filed for bankruptcy protection.
It is disappointing that community leaders supported wind energy and InvEnergy projects. They seem to be really stupid investments, and the companies who develop and own these projects commonly screw up, go bankrupt, and leave the locals stuck with cleaning up messes. It would be wise for communities to stay alert and aware of the issues which follow InvEnergy’s projects.
These are indications that InvEnergy will probably not be a good neighbor…….forcing themselves onto communities and even forcing their noise inside the bedrooms of nearby residents causing sleep deprivation health impacts plays out on numerous occasions. InvEnergy seems to be one of these really bad companies who takes what they can get and then takes more from their unwilling hosts. InvEnergy may be the “ultimate manipulator.”
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Illinois Appellate Court Overturns Commerce Commission: Says “Rock Island – Clean Line” Is Not A Public Utility –
SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –
On October 7, 2016, the 3rd Illinois Appellate Court overturned the Illinois Commerce Commission’s decision that Clean Line Energy Partners was a public utility, and remanded it back for further proceedings.
Some facts from the case:
Rock Island admitted that the wind generators used in its energy and financial simulation models are based on predictions and do not yet exist.
Currently, Rock Island does not have any transmission customers; the only way it could serve a customer is by building the project.
Rock Island does not have a process to recover its costs from ratepayers and therefore must sell capacity through negotiated contracts.
Michael Skelly, the president of Rock Island and Clean Line, testified that on the date the application was filed, Rock Island did not own, control, operate, or manage any transmission plants, equipment, or property in Illinois. He also stated that as of the date of his testimony, Rock Island still did not own property in Illinois.
Rock Island project is not currently included in the PJM regional transmission plan because none of the project’s capacity has been contracted and no potential generators have obtained rights to buy service on the line.
Commission staff economist, Richard Zuraski, noted that a competitive electricity market already exists in Illinois and stated in his report that the proposed project was unnecessary.
Staff concluded that Rock Island “is asking the Commission to *** grant it a CPCN so it looks like a ‘public utility’for purposes of condemning private property to build its line, while at the same time it plans to offer only a token percentage of that line’s capacity for ‘public use.’ ”
The Commission’s decision was challenge on the grounds that:
the findings of the Commission are not supported by substantial evidence,
the Commission lacked jurisdiction to enter the order or decision,
the order or decision is in violation of the state or federal constitution or laws, or
the proceedings violated the appellant’s constitutional rights.
The Court determined (starting on page 8 of the decision) that Rock Island failed to meet both prongs of satisfying the definition of “public utility”, it owned no property in the State of Illinois, and under the circumstances presented Rock Island did not present a “public use” for sales of its product.
The Court concluded Rock Island was not a public utility, the Commerce Commission lacked authority to issue the certificate of public convenience and necessity to Rock Island, and reversed the Commissions finding directing it enter an order consistent with the Court’s decision.
WATSEKA — The owners of farmland used to build the Pilot Hill Wind Farm in Iroquois County are suing the wind farm’s developers, arguing that they are still owed money for access roads built on their property and for damage done to their land during construction.
Attorney J. Dennis Marek of the Kankakee law firm Marek, Meyer and Coghlan filed a two-count lawsuit in Iroquois County Circuit Court on behalf of Charles, George and Howard Haley.
Named as defendants are San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy, which owns and operates the Pilot Hill Wind Farm, along with Cincinnati-based Vision Energy, which sold its ownership to EDF in 2014.
The lawsuit seeks an annual payment of $4,540 for the next 35 years, plus a one-time payment of between $50,000 and $74,000, as damages against . . . continue reading at the News-Gazette (HERE) . . .
Pilot Hill Wind Farm damaged by…wind –
PILOT HILL, IL. (ECWd) –
The Pilot Hill Wind Project, located in Kankakee and Iroquois counties in Illinois was the target of wind today.
Yes, wind damaged the wind turbine –
This project is a 175 MW Farm and consists of General Electric (GE) and Vestas turbines and happens to sit on the same electric grid powering Microsoft’s Chicago Area Datacenter.
It began producing power in September of 2015 – which makes this project and turbine not even a year old yet. Hope its not an indication of things to come.
Learn more about the damage these things inflict on their neighbors here: “Our Living Hell”
Photos contributed by Jo Stolfa Whitman (here).
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Invenergy says “designed to fall straight down”…but… Wind Turbine Blade hits Spanish House –
Reading the following article, I was reminded of Attorney Mike Blazer, representing Invenergy, when he told the Vermilion County Board that the blades were designed to fall straight down (article here on Blazer’s statement). Such a statement is impossible to prove, since a person could conceivably “design” blades to fly to the moon when they break off…nothing says they have to act as designed.
Wind Turbine Terror: Spanish Home Hit by Flying Blade – Just 1 of 3,800 Blade ‘Fails’ Every Year
The number of cases involving collapsing turbines and flying blades (aka “component liberation”) has become so common that, if we were a tad cynical, we would go so far to suggest the possibility of some kind of pattern, along the lines proffered by Mr Bond’s nemesis, Goldfinger: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times it’s enemy action”.
Then there’s the wild habit of these little ‘eco-friendlies’ unshackling their 10 tonne blades, and chucking them for miles in all directions – as seen in the video below – CONTINUE READING (click here) . . .
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Wind Farms: Invenergy accused of running misleading ad –
Invenergy accused of running misleading ad in Burrillville Bargain Buyer –
At Tuesday night’s Energy Facilities Siting Board Meeting (EFSB), with Invenergy‘s Director of Development John Niland in attendance, angry residents accused the company of running a deliberately deceptive ad in the Bargain Buyer regarding the timing and location of the meeting.
“Today, in every mailbox in Burrillville, The Bargain Buyer, which is our Bible in Burrillville, was delivered,” said Raymond Trinque, “Any clear thinking person would see this as a dirty trick by Invenergy.” The advertisement, (pictured) says the meeting will be held on Thursday night at the Burrillville High School.
The meeting was held Tuesday night at the Burrillville Middle School.
The date, May 10, is correct.
Social media contained reports from people who say that some residents arrived at the High School for the meeting only to go home. Residents worry that others may arrive on Thursday evening for a meeting that’s over.
“Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,” Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“While they have been an excellent teaching tool for students, they have only generated $8,500 in power in their lifetime,” she said. “One of the reasons for the lower than expected energy power is that the turbines often need to be repaired. They are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.”
“It is becoming more and more difficult for us financially to maintain the turbines,” Josh Bullock, the college’s president, told the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier last week. “I think it was an extremely worthy experiment when they were installed, but they just have not performed to our expectations to this point.”
Bullock states that the turbines simply haven’t been able to power the campus’ buildings and that most of the electricity wasn’t effectively used.
Lake Land plans to replace the two failed turbines with a solar power system paid for by a government grant. “[T]he photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year,”Allee told the DCNF.
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Lake Land College’s $987,697.20 Wind Turbine Waste –
MATTOON, IL. (ECWd) –
Lake Land College has reportedly discussed taking down the wind turbine that was struck by lightning last year due to the cost of repairs – and because it never really worked as they thought it would.
Lake Land College (LLC) wind turbine history can be seen here:
2007-2010 COST BREAKDOWN:
2007: Wind feasibility study completed for $30,000 2010: LLC provided $500,000 from Illinois DCEO to “build one turbine.” 2010: LLC provided 18% of $2,542,762 from US Dept of Labor for “green job training program and related equipment including a 100 kW turbine.” (The turbine portion of this US DoL grant calculates to $457,697.20 per the small print details.)
(read the comments from “gringa”in 2012……totally good point about it never paying for themselves)
“No mention of payback periods in this article. Seems like LLC would include the economic effectiveness of this investment in any discussion of it. After all, isn’t this all about return on investment? Maybe not. Wind is free, but the land and equipment and maintenance to that equipment is NOT free. “
in 2014, another article was written touting the “savings”:
“Bullock said the southernmost wind turbine of Lake Land’s two 160-foot-tall, 100-kilowatt turbines was damaged by a lightning strike last summer and has not functioned properly since then. He said the administration does not believe that making the nearly $100,000 in repairs estimated for the turbine would be cost effective.”
They were not “cost-effective” when they were built, why is that an issue now?
“Bullock said the two 100-kilowatt turbines, which were made possible with federal grant funding, have not been effective at powering buildings on campus. “
Just now figuring out they are not effective?
I wonder how much these machines actually produced while they were operating……….probably even less than the most conservative estimates. This all makes me want to puke……it adds up to more than THREE TIMES THE LOSS of the below $319,900 home ruined by the InvEnergy wind farm in Vermilion County, IL.
A Federal lawsuit was filed March 18th, 2016 against Vermilion County and Michael Marron, in both his individual and official capacity as County Board Chairman.
The allegation point to the termination of Nicole Bogart being an action “in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as secured by 42 U.S.C.§1983; the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution as secured by 42 U.S.C.§1983; Due Process under Article I, § 2 of the Illinois Constitution; and Local Government Employees Political Rights Act, 50 ILCS 135 et seq”.
Ms. Bogart alleged that her termination was political and retaliatory because she ran as for the Vermilion County Recorder of Deeds as a Democrat. Marron is a Republican.
Marron and others are also responsible for basically doing nothing to address the citizens concerns on health issues related from the County’s failing wind farm policy. The pattern exhibited by the county when citizens spoke out was to restrict public comment, thus limiting the people’s voice and First Amendment right to redress of grievances of their government.
Our own experiences with this particular County Board member has led us to the belief that his ego is bigger than the head on his shoulders. Upon taking the position of County Chairman his arrogance is easily recognizable by those from both political parties. Many within the Republican party have taken the position he is a failed leader of the county.
Marron is the same person who filed a false police report against a local neighbor who has plead with the county to implement Wind Farm Ordinances that protect the health of the citizens. To date the Sheriff has not made as much as a phone call to the citizen who Marron claimed ran him off the road. All indications point to the filing being nothing more than an intimidation tactic to silence the citizen. We note that it did not work!
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Danville Election Commission refuses to deliver Ballots –
DANVILLE, IL. (ECWd) –
Frank Wright, the Democrat Party Chairman in Vermilion County, Illinois has reported that an election judge at the Danville Boys and Girls Club called the Danville Election Commission earlier today to let them know she was running out of Democrat Ballots.
She called twice without any action to deliver more ballots.
The third time, the Election Commission hung up on her, refusing to talk.
The Election Judge then decided the only thing she could do was to photocopy the ballots on small paper so the voters could at least cast a ballot.
The Election Judge is filing a grievance.
Will Nesbitt is the Director of the Danville Election Commission who failed to act.
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Jim Acklin failed to address the issue of mandated reporting –
Once again we must look to official records to inform the voters of inconsistencies and misleading information made by those running for office. In this case, Jim Acklin, former St. Joe-Ogden School superintendent. A recent video released by Liberty Principles PAC exposed serious concerns regarding sexual abuse by a former SJO teacher that actually was convicted and is now a registered sex offender.
For clarity, watching the video released on the matter below, then reading and watching Acklins responses, followed with reading the court documents you can come up with your own determination regarding what appears to be very clear troubling issues with this candidate and his claims.
A written response to the above video hit the wires in less than 12 hours. Below is our Fact Check of Acklin’s claims to include direct links to documents supporting our reporting.
Acklin – claimed fact: “Jim Acklin’s Record of Keeping Students Safe -ST. JOSEPH— Upon release of a low rate smear of longtime school administrator, coach, and teacher Jim Acklin, it is important to set the record straight about lies being told by the desperate and despicable Halbrook campaign.”
Fact – Halbrook campaign had nothing to do with the video exposing matters of serious importance to the voters. Acklin lied in his so-called “Fact Check” and we first exposed that in this article. If Acklin is willing to lie about a political ad’s origination, can you trust him to not lie about other matters?
Acklin – claimed fact: “As soon as Jon Jamison was accused of wrongdoing, he was removed from the classroom. “(Jamison) was placed on administrative leave…(and) was sent home that day.” “The first priority here at St. Joseph-Ogden High School has always been and will always be the safety of our students,” said Acklin, who said he was first made aware of the allegations late Monday afternoon. -News-Gazette, 2/8/2012″
Fact: There is so much evidence that proves his statement to be untruthful, it is concerning. Facts prove he was accused of wrongdoing in 2008. In fact, as outlined below in more detail, the sexual abuser was told future similar activity would lead to dismissal.
Did he forget what really happened, or simply mislead the public? You can read ALL the records of the court case at these links, here, here, here,here, here, here,here (disturbing reading), here, andhereto get a better grasp of the whole story. We will highlight some bullet points from those documents to make our point.
From Page 8 of the complaint – On February 6, 2008, Brooks and Acklin met with Jamison concerning the allegations of Jamison’s conduct with JANE DOE-1.During that meeting, Brooks and Acklin: a. instructed Jamison to remove all students from his MySpace page; b. instructed Jamison not to allow any more students access to his MySpace page; c. informed Jamison that his conduct was not in his best interest; d. informed Jamison that “if anything else came up regarding this circumstance or similar to these issues,” he would be dismissed.
So the records show he in fact knew of inappropriate behavior in 2008. Inappropriate because he gave specific corrective measures and warnings to the now convicted sexual abuser.
He acknowledges the actions of the accused coach were “not in his best interest”. Interesting he took that position instead of citing what was in the best interest of a child. Considering he also acknowledges any other circumstance or similar issues would lead to his dismissal, one could argue Acklin gave him a chance to stop his improper behavior. It appears that decision was wrong, as a child ended up getting sexually abused.
Acklin – claimed fact: “Acklin was never accused of any failure to report Jamison’s activity.”
Fact: Page 8 of the complaint reports – “Uphoff, Brooks, and Acklin failed to further investigate complaints against Jamison for sexual harassment and/or sexual grooming and/or sexual abuse of his female students and failed to make mandated reports.“
So you see, he was in fact accused of failure to report Jamison’s Activity. His statement to the contrary is simply a lie and the court record proves it!
James Acklin WAS accused of not reporting Jamison’s activity!
Acklin- claimed fact:“There is precedence for criminal charges being filed against school administrators who do not report allegations of sexual abuse to DCFS. “Former Urbana school Superintendent Gene Amberg…(is) charged with one count of failing to make a mandated report.” -News-Gazette, 8/22/2008 Jim Acklin never faced charges.”
Fact: There is precedence for criminal charges being filed. Considering the record reports multiple failures to report by several people, Acklin included, we can only wonder why no one was charged with failure to report. It’s clear from the record, they knew a problem existed and even warned the now convicted sexual abuser to not allow any more similar acts to take place and that if he did, he would be dismissed. Was this a case that if they charged one they would have to charge two others, thus stripping the school of its Superintendent & Principal? Sadly we will never know, but at least now you have records you can read for yourself to better decide what to believe.
Acklin – claimed fact:“Acklin was never found liable for any civil wrongdoing. Jim Acklin was fully released of any “derivative claims associated with the alleged acts of Jon Jamison” and continued to deny any misconduct. The suit was settled for $6,500, a level many experts consider a “nuisance” suit.”
Fact: That is correct. A settlement offer was agreed to and an interesting part of that settlement needs to be known. “Plaintiff also further acknowledges and agrees that settlement is made to avoid the expense in time and money of’ further litigation and for the purpose of judicial economy.”
Was this a case where a sexually abused child who finally saw her abuser convicted simply could no longer afford the costs of pursuing further civil action and just wanted to get on with her life? The language of the offer seems to indicate as much. The fact that no court ever found Acklin liable does not mean he did nothing wrong.
Acklin statement: “Within minutes of being informed by the sheriff’s office of the pending arrest, (which was February 7, 2012), I called the teacher into my office, I suspended him, I banned him from school property, and I took immediate steps to ensure he would never teach again, not only at SJO, but anywhere, ever.”
Fact: In 2008, 4 years prior, records reflect Acklin outlining this same teacher’s conduct was not in his best interest and further similar activities would lead to his dismissal. Sadly, by not taking steps in the best interest of the child, a child was sexually abused.
Citing action taken after the police notify you of an impending arrest is hardly a sign of leadership in most people’s opinion.
From the record: “Board -Policy 5 90 refers to St Joseph-Ogden District’s written policy written policy 5 90 entitled Abused and neglected Child reporting, which prior to December 19, 201, stated in relevant part “Any District employee who suspects or receives knowledge that a student may be an abused or neglected child shall immediately report such a case to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services“.(See page 7 of court records – pages 8-13 MOST disturbing)
Reading of the records it sure appears their own policy was not followed.
We urge the voters to take the time and read ALL the records on this matter and educate themselves on all the information pertaining to this horrific event that impacted a young girl and other’s lives.
An informed electorate is the only solution to fixing the laundry list of problems we face with our local government. Again, we urge you to review all of the information and make an informed decision when you cast your ballot in the upcoming election.
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State Rep Candidates Jim Acklin and Randy Peterson would impose FOIA fee to access public documents –
PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –
During a recent “Meet the Candidates” night in Paris, Illinois, Candidates for the 102nd State Representative District were asked if they would support or oppose a fee to access public records thru the Freedom Of Information Act.
Brad Halbrook, Jim Acklin, and Randy Peterson were present.
Brad Halbrook stated he would opposeany fee for public records because the public has already paid for those records and there needs to be more accountability.
Both Acklin and Peterson stated they would not opposesuch a fee, meaning they do in fact support charging the public for records they already own by law and have already paid for.
History has shown us that a sure sign of hiding things from the public is making them pay for informationthat should be provided without charge.
Complete video here:
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Wind Farms: More problems with InvEnergy Attorney Mike Blazer –
Argyle and Moore Townships, Michigan (ECWd) –
The last couple weeks, Mike Blazer, attorney for InvEnergy, has been the source of citizen complaints in a remarkable place. Blazer has been caught telling a few lies to citizens in Argyle Michigan. Michigan citizens took issue with the following fabrications of his imagination which he tried to promote as fact (video of Ted Hartkey’s presentation below):
1.) InvEnergy Attorney MIKE BLAZER CLAIM: Ted Hartke, a victim from within an InvEnergy Wind Farm in Illinois was “fired from his job” as of 2013 about the same time Hartke abandoned his home due to the wind turbine noise causing sleep deprivation to his entire family. Blazer’s source is an email from a Livingston County citizen who visited the abandoned house when a neighbor farmer stopped by and told the visitor that there was nothing wrong with turbines and Hartke “was fired from his job.”
ACTUAL TRUTH: Ted Hartke’s former employer, Foth Engineering, exited the boundary surveying and construction layout business and sold three company trucks, two robotic total stations, and a GPS system to Hartke who used the trucks and equipment to start his new business “Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc.” in approximately May, 2011. Hartke continued to work for Foth as a subconsultant, and Foth provided services in return (InvEnergy’s wind farm was constructed in 2012 and became operational in 2013……..so Blazer’s claim is hereby debunked.)
2.) InvEnergy Attorney MIKE BLAZER CLAIM: Sophia Hartke, (Ted’s 6 year old daughter) got the idea to make a drawing of “No Wind Turbines” from signs like people would see along roadsides in Livingston County.
ACTUAL TRUTH: Ted Hartke was contacted by citizens from Livingston County and told about Blazer’s claim. Ted thought that it could have merit, because there are some signs and websites which do have these images, so he decided to ask Sophia where she got the idea how to draw a red circle with a slash through it to indicate “No Wind Turbines.” Sophia, who was 8 years old when asked this question said, “I got the idea from the “Ghostbusters” movie. Everybody knows that!” (Well, BLAZER is not smarter than a 6 year old on the anti wind turbine symbol origination.)
3.) InvEnergy Attorney MIKE BLAZER CLAIM: Ted Hartke’s story not believable to county leaders, namely Macon County where Blazer’s “E-ON Renewable’s” project application was approved last year. While Hartke had only spoken to Macon County Board for a mere 5 minutes, Hartke was under sworn testimony in Livingston County where the zoning board endured 30 nights of hearings which included Hartke’s 3 hours of presentation and cross-examination. As it turns out, Ted Hartke said it best at the town hall meeting in Argyle, saying that Blazer “was smoked” in Livingston County where Blazer’s only recourse was responded by filing a lawsuit against said county board members.
After seeing Blazer’s attacks against Ted Hartke (and an additional attack against a six year old wind farm victim), and also Livingston County Board members, the Edgar County Watchdogs would like to point out that this mistreatment certainly does not hold water with the citizens witnessing his tirades. Perhaps Blazer possibly thinks his audience is stupid and naive enough to accept whatever gibberish he spews out during his attacks and belittlements of wind farm victims. It appears he may be doing a poor job representing InvEnergy as it looks like the citizens have beaten InvEnergy’s attorney Blazer in Livingston County Illinois AND Sanilac County Michigan looks like another community which sends Blazer packing. It makes us wonder…….how long will InvEnergy decision makers continue to pay his wages for these service failures?
For additional entertainment, refer to this article from Jessupwhere InvEnergy is trying to build a new gas-fired electric generation plant situated too close to residents in that community. The comments to Chris Kelly’s articles in The Times Tribune are intriguing. It appears that if Mike Blazer’s mouth is moving, chances are he is NOT presenting the facts. A decision maker who enters into a deal with Mike Blazer doing the negotiating should be very cautious. We suggest that Blazer be video recorded and audio recorded to keep track of exactly what he promises and use it for proof when things don’t work out as promoted.
Video (from Concerned Citizens of Argyle and Moore Township) of Ted Hartke’s presentation and Mike Blazer’s questioning below:
A Playlist of 4 videos from this event can also be found (HERE).
PHOTO BELOW IS FROM KEVON MARTIS FACEBOOK. KEVIN MARTIS IS EXEC DIR OF INTERSTATE INFORMED CITIZENS COALITION.
. Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
Last Friday, another turbine caught fire in Livingston County, Illinois. It was close in location to the turbine fire from last summer (here) and part of Iberdrola Renewable’s Streator Cayuga Ridge project
There were high winds at the time, and local fire departments at the scene could do nothing but watch it burn.
Pontiac and Saunemin Fire Departments were on scene.
Pics below were sent to us thru our facebook page:
State Rep Candidate Randy Peterson – The do-nothing county party chairman –
EDGAR CO., IL. (ECWd) –
When you look at people and how they conduct themselves in their quest for political power, you must take into consideration the actions from their past that may reflect on how they will act once elected.
When we look at candidate Randy Peterson, we clearly see someone who has done absolutely nothing since he became the Edgar County Republican Party Chairman.
He has held no meetings of his own accord (except once to recommend a county board appointment and advertising). There was a meeting a couple months ago, but I scheduled that one, sent out the email blast, and contacted the speakers. He refused to answer emails, phone calls, and text messages about the meeting.
There have been virtually no other meetings in the almost two years since he became the republican party chairman in Edgar County.
The Lincoln Day Dinner from last year was a complete disgrace, with most likely the lowest number of attendees in Edgar County Republican Party history.
Peterson failed to even schedule a Christmas Party for this past year. What a piece of work!
There is no Lincoln Day Dinner scheduled yet for this year, if there will ever be one scheduled.
To top that off, just incase he has been working behind the scenes in his own county – One measure of success at the local level could be based on how many Precinct Committeeman are running for office? In Edgar County, of the 31 Precincts, only 11 have anyone running as Precinct Committeeman. Of those 11, 1 is Peterson and 2 are Watchdogs. For those lousy numbers, he is a failure.
He actively campaigned for Democrat Party candidates over those in his own party during the last election cycle.
More on Peterson: here.
Please consider a donation to The Edgar County Watchdogs.
Randy Peterson photo from his facebook
Governor Rauner Adds 11 Counties to State Disaster Proclamation for Flooding –
SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –
January 5, 2016
State Continues Supporting Communities Dealing with Flood Impacts
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner today added 11 counties to the state disaster declaration for widespread flooding. Those counties include Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Lawrence, Marion, Menard, Moultrie, Pike, Richland, Sangamon and Vermilion.
Last week, Gov. Rauner declared Alexander, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Randolph and St. Clair counties state disaster areas after heavy rains caused several rivers and waterways to surge to record or near-record levels. Today’s announcement brings the total number of declared counties to 23.
“The impacts of this flood event have been felt in many communities across the state,” said Gov. Rauner. “We’re continuing to provide personnel and resources communities need as they battle flood waters and begin their recovery process.”
A state disaster declaration makes a wide variety of state resources available that can help communities respond and recover from flooding. Such resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks, inmate crews and other assistance to ensure public safety.
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield was activated Dec. 28 to coordinate the state’s flood response and has operated since that time to coordinate deployment of state personnel and resources to help communities protect public health and safety.
As flood waters begin receding in some areas, local emergency management agencies are beginning to collect damage information from affected people and units of local government. That information will be forwarded to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), where it will be reviewed to develop a picture of the overall impact on people and local governments.
If the initial damage information shows losses that may meet thresholds for a federal disaster declaration, the state could request that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA ) join state and local officials for a more thorough assessment of the damage. If it appears the state meets the federal assistance criteria, the governor could request a major disaster declaration from the President.
There are two separate federal assistance programs. The Individual Assistance program offers grants and low-interest loans to people affected by disasters. The Public Assistance program provides reimbursement up to 75 percent of eligible costs incurred by local governments as they dealt with the disaster and subsequent recovery.
While there is no defined damage amount for Individual Assistance, the state’s past experience with requests for federal assistance shows that it takes hundreds of homes with severe damage to qualify for the program. The Public Assistance program does have a population-based threshold, which for Illinois is $18.1 million statewide. Once the state meets the statewide threshold, individual counties would also have to meet a threshold of $3.56 times the county’s population.
IEMA Director James K. Joseph says it will take a few weeks to gather the initial damage assessment information from local emergency management officials since some impacted counties are still dealing with high waters.
“Flood waters need to recede before local officials can get an accurate accounting of the damage,” said Joseph. “Our staff is working closely with all of the affected counties to help the process proceed as quickly as possible.”
Election Board Lottery Determined Ballot Order For 2016 Primary Election –
Springfield, IL. (ECWd) –
The Illinois State Board of Elections held the lottery on December 9, 2015, to determine ballot placement in the upcoming election.
Ballot order for the 102nd Illinois State Representative District is
Ballot order for the 110th Illinois State Representative District (without ballot due to filing dates):
36 Property Owners Sue Macon County Board and Wind Turbine Farm –
Macon Co., IL. (ECWd) –
Failure to provide hearing notice in accordance with law, failure to provide essential information regarding the hearing, and failure to issue hearing notices to landowners surrounding the proposed wind farm.
This is a classic example of why adherence to the law and meeting/hearing notice requirements must be followed. Had they been, this lawsuit could have never happened.
The proposed wind farm is owned by E.On and its attorney is reportedly Mike Blazer, whom we have written concerning Vermilion County and other wind farms and their hearing processes.
For the list of defendants and plaintiffs, see this pageon Judici. To keep updated on the suit’s status, go to this page.
This article appeared in the Decatur Herald-Review:
Landowners demand court review of wind farm project
RYAN VOYLES H&R Staff Writer
DECATUR — Macon County officials failed to provide statutory notices for a public hearing as well as essential information in-regard to the proposed wind farm project, a petition for review filed by landowners near the project’s location claims.
There are 36 plaintiffs named in the claim filed Monday in the Macon County Circuit Court, with hopes to put a stop to a plan to build 139 wind turbines across 24,000 acres near Maroa and Warrensburg.
Defendants listed includes Macon County and all 21 members of the county board, who approved the special-use permit to construct the wind farm at the board’s September meeting. That includes board members Matt Brown, who voted against the project, and Grant Noland, who abstained from voting on four turbines located on property his family rents and operates on.
Other defendants includes E.On, the American unit of Germany’s largest utility company, and its subsidiary companies Twin Forks Wind Farm and EC&R O&M, which submitted the original application and would oversee operation of the wind farm.
The case seeks an end to any further development of the wind farm at its proposed location as well as to prevent the county board from assisting E.On with further site development or building permits.
Multiple causes are given in the claim for the court to overrule the county’s initial decision. Richard Porter, a Rockford-based attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the “fatal flaw” of the county’s process was in how it issued notices to residents who could potentially be affected by the wind farm of the original Aug. 11 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to discuss the project.
Illinois statute requires at least 15 days’ notice before any board of appeals, and the notices must include the time, place and date of the hearing. The case claims that various plaintiffs did not receive a notice before the required 15 days, while others say they received a notice with the wrong date of the meeting. Other plaintiffs claim they did not receive any notice at all.
“I have never seen such an egregious violation of due process,” Porter said when reached Tuesday afternoon.
Other issues the claim raises includes how residents who sought information on Twin Forks’ application were not given a copy until after the initial Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, which the case states prevented opposition from gathering…continue reading at the Decatur-Herald (HERE)…
Coming to a neighborhood near you (video)…
This video is from Hoosac Wind Watch and is an example of these “quiet” monsters that are headed into your neighborhood…should you keep buying the “green energy” punch-line:
Boone County Votes For Increased Wind Turbine Setbacks Based On Property Lines –
BOONE CO., IL. (ECWd) –
Boone County Board voted to protect their citizens this evening!
After NINE MONTHS of testimony and cross examination, and supportive votes cast by the ZBA, the full county board met and PASSED the following with a 9 to 3 margin:
All wind turbines must be placed at a minimum of 2640 feet from a PROPERTY LINE.
Waivers are allowed, which can reduce the turbine setback down to 1,500 feet from a residence ONLY if the host or neighbor agrees to the wind energy company’s waiver. 1,500 feet from a residence is the minimum distance allowed. The waivers would be negotiated with individual neighbors and land owners. Setbacks from roads or easement are now set at twice the turbine height.
Mainstream Renewables was attempting to develop a wind farm in Boone County, but tonight’s vote by well-informed county board members effectively rejected the wind industry’s claims that industrial wind turbines were merely “annoying” and not necessarily “harmful” at distances less than 0.5 miles from property lines. Mainstream Renewable’s attorney, James Griffin, tried to make claims that the setback waiver would be “unconstitutional,” but the Boone County State’s attorney did not support his argument.
The specific problems with location of wind turbines near human populations are as follows:
1.) Health of nearby residents at serious risk: Sleep deprivation from wind turbine low frequency noise (thumping and rumbling heard and felt inside the homes of neighbors) have caused problems for many families. Ted Hartke, from Vermilion County Illinois, Cary Shineldecker, from Michigan, and Marvin Stichnoch from Iroquois County Illinois all confirmed sleep deprivation and health problems caused by wind turbines constructed too close near their homes. The Hartke family abandoned their home in 2013, 11 months after InvEnergy began operating turbines.
2.) Property Values: Homes situated near wind turbines are difficult to sell, take longer to sell, and sell at much lower prices than homes which are not impacted by wind turbine noise, shadow flicker, and “industrial” view of the surroundings. There is also a loss of emergency response. Wind farms are effectively “no-fly” zones for medical evacuation helicopters. If there is an accident within a wind farm, citizens may not have any opportunities for being air-lifted for prompt medical care such as what happened to a woman severely injured in a car accident in Livingston County, Illinois.
3.) Turbine malfunctions, fires, sudden catastrophic blade failures: Wind turbine manuals detail that workers should “run upwind” a minimum distance of 500 meters (1640 feet) from a wind turbine which is on fire or in danger of blade failure to avoid the danger of flying debris. Wind turbine motors have a lot of moving parts which need lubrication and contain a lot of oil. When a malfunction occurs, parts can overheat from friction and cause the oil to catch fire. The weatherproof housings and turbine blades are comprised of fiberglass composite material. This material burns readily, and wind feeds the flames. Once a turbine catches fire, there is no possible way to extinguish it, and the entire turbine burns and blades fall off during the burn. Chunks of flaming fiberglass composite materials can fall and cause widespread field fires. Falling debris causes a tremendous hazard for emergency responders.
A group of citizens in Boone County have created a website showing their concerns as a way to educate their community. www.fairwindenergy.orgdoes contain a lot of useful information and also compelling video of victims reporting the problems experienced from living within InvEnergy’s wind farm in Vermilion County Illinois. We encourage everyone to watch these videos to see what can happen when county board members fail to protect their citizens.
Rauner backs Halbrook for 102nd House Race –
Tom Kacich: Rauner backs candidate in state House race
Gov. Bruce Rauner has jumped into the 102nd House District Republican primary, endorsing former state Rep. Brad Halbrook in what for now is a three-way race.
Halbrook, of Shelbyville, is running with Jim Acklin of Ogden and Randy Peterson of Paris to replace retiring state Rep. Adam Brown, who announced this summer that he would not try for a fourth term in 2016.
“The governor is supporting Brad because he’s the right fit for the district and supports the governor’s Turnaround Agenda,” said Rauner spokesman Lance Trover.
InvEnergy Insults Intelligence of Livingston County Board in Wind Farm Appeal –
Livingston Co., IL. (ECWd) –
Invenergy has appealed the Livingston County Board’s denial of their Special Use Permit.
In the appeal, Invenergy denies any negative impacts on real estate, claim they operate within the noise limits, and claim the Board didn’t read the documents given to them.
The comedy starts on Page 8 of the below pdf, and include references that Marty Flannin changed his mind when under pressure form those who don’t want it – like that somehow reverses the outcome of the votes?
Blazer kicks it up a notch on page 10. Invenergy seems to think you can’t vote on anything if you belong to a certain political affiliation, operate a non-profit, attend a protest, or happen to be in the same city at the same time as any organization funded by the Koch Brothers.
Diane Benjamin’s BLNNEWS.com got a mention, but they left out Ted Hartke, their most vocal opponent.
Carolyn Gerwin looks to be the one Mike Blazer blames for his problems. That’s the trouble with trying to hurt more people with wind turbines. People find out and vote “no.”
There will be those who stand up for what is good and right. I am surprised that Blazer did not put “TedHartke” in this document. InvEnergy (Blazer) dug their own grave in this case…….because of their refusal to correct terrible problems they have caused elsewhere.
Blazer also tries to blame Marty Fannin for clarifying his vote and also Gerwin for having the right position on this in the first place.
For good measure when all else fails, Blazer and Invenergy think they can win by blaming of “Tea Party” and “Koch Brothers” who have absolutely nothing to lose or gain by the Livingston County Board decision.
I’m curious as to if any people speaking in favor of Invenergy were under contract to speak in favor of these wind turbines…
A few months ago, we reported on what we called bribing public officials, with promises of financial “donations” should they sign agreements that basically forced them and future board members into speaking in favor of Wind Farms and never speaking or acting against them.
We called it bribery at the time, and still believe it to be bribery.
We call on concerned citizens to demand their local prosecutors to investigate the “support agreements” and prosecute the offenders if they believe it to be bribery. Is this really any different than offering millions of dollars in “donations” for approval of any other zoning question?
Money for support – Pay-to-Play – Bribery – However you want to frame the argument, the result is the same. Please read the linked article below:
US Justice Dept Takes on Wind Power Outfits’ Bribery & Corruption
However, as anger turns to fury, not only are rural communities refusing to be bought off with trinkets and blankets, they’ve called the wind industry’s efforts to ‘grease’ the wheels of…continue reading (here).
State Rep Candidate Randy Peterson’s DUI was more than twice the legal limit –
Paris, IL. (ECWd) –
The reporting on Randy Peterson’s candidacy by the News-Gazette, which reported Peterson’s ’03 DUI arrest as having “a preliminary blood test said he had a blood alcohol content of 0.156, as detected by a portable breath alcohol test device” while it may be factually true, the complete truth of the DUI conviction was that Peterson’s BAC was actually 0.162, or more than twice the legal limit.
This is an important distinction, in that some people may have thought it was just a little over the limit and should be dismissed as not important, however, with more than twice the legal limit – it shows just how irresponsible he was to think he could get hammered and drive home while risking the lives of everyone else on the road. Other observations of the arresting officer were: “Driving completely in wrong lane of travel, red-watery eyes, strong odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, failed all field sobriety tests…”
So, if Peterson has “learned from his mistakes” and it is “all in his past” maybe he should insist on accurate reporting.
I sent the News-Gazette reporter a copy of the actual ticket and BAC printout the day after the article was posted, but it doesn’t appear he made any attempt at correcting his story.
Sleep deprivation from wind turbines explained –
This is an excellent article which explains what those living near turbines are still experiencing. Credit goes to wind-watch.org:
Q1.You mention the NASA wind turbine research of the 1980s. Is that relevant to the type of wind turbines used today?
Research into very large (multi-megawatt) wind turbines began at NASA in 1975. Much of this work was undertaken by very competent aero-acousticians, drawing on experience gained in the context of propeller and jet-engine development, and which has successfully resulted in substantial improvements in aero-engine noise. They identified at an early stage why the existing “downwind rotor” turbines were so noisy, and in 1979 commenced theoretical and practical evaluation of the first very large “upwind-rotor” turbine, the 2.5 MW “MOD-2”. In this context, in 1981 they confirmed the predicted reduced noise characteristics, while also investigating the adverse power generation and noise effects associated with close spacings between wind-turbines. They subsequently identified additional circumstances under which the low-frequency and infrasound generation of such upwind-rotor turbines could be compromised, and performed important studies on the human perception of low-frequency noise and infrasound. The latter investigations initially concentrated on the noise characteristics of the earlier downwind-rotor turbines, but the underlying physics governing hearing perception relate also to the upwind-rotor configuration.
Over the intervening 25-35 years, the basic physics of aerodynamic noise generation has not changed, the adverse effects of unduly close-spaced wind-turbine interaction remain the same, and the characteristics of human hearing have not changed. These aspects all continue to have immediate relevance to modern wind-turbine installations, yet this research has often been dismissed as old-fashioned and irrelevant by the wind-development community.
Q2.How do wind turbines produce infrasound and is this hazardous to humans if they cannot hear it?
The infrasound is generated by the aerodynamic lift forces on the blades, which are necessary to provide the driving torque to rotate the blades and generate electrical power. Newton’s law requires that there are corresponding forces of reaction on the air passing over the blades. Although these forces may be comparatively “steady”, the constantly changing position of the blades means that the resultant force pattern acting on the surrounding air is also changing so that, inevitably, infrasound is generated. Additional factors, such as the difference between blades encountering slow moving air at (continue reading here)…
Brad Halbrook Announces Candidacy for the 102nd House District
For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Shelden
September 23, 2015 217-493-8543
Brad Halbrook, former State Representative and Republican from Shelbyville, will be announcing his intention to be a candidate for the 102nd State Representative District at a series of press availabilities and events on Thursday, September 24, 2015. His seven county schedule is as follows.
Paris City Hall, 206 S Central Avenue, Paris
Sonny’s Cafe, 302 N Gray St, Sidell
Tolono Township Building, 111 E Holden, Tolono
Douglas County Courthouse, 401 S Center, Tuscola
Village of Arcola, 114 N Locust, Arcola
Bullet Trap, 279 N Front St., Macon
Moultrie County Courthouse, 10 S Main St, Sullivan
Shelby County Courthouse, 301 E Main St, Shelbyville
Mike Marron Plans to Avoid Public Scrutiny of Vermilion County Planning –
Vermilion Co., IL. (ECWd) –
Marron Plans to Avoid Scrutiny of Vermilion County Planning BY, FOR, ABOUT — AND COPYRIGHTED BY — MIKE MARRON.
Below is an unsolicited “solicitation” email from Mike Marron.
Marron is the current Vermilion County Board chairman. He has had some run-ins with political firings and hirings. He has appointed his own mother to a county position on the mental health board and also recently attempted to get his wife, Brandy Marron, appointed to serve on the Illinois Soybean Board. Now, it appears he is using his position to create a PRIVATE public group to contribute ideas to make Vermilion County “better.” This quasi-public committee is made up of mostly Republicans…..most likely 100% Republicans. We don’t have anything against being Republican, but to be fair, we are certain there are some really good Democrats in Vermilion County, also. So, this VC2025 committee is actually a PARTISAN committee consisting of 100% Republican politicians.
Marron has submitted guest commentary to the News Gazette to promote his “Vermilion County 2025 Vision” to the general public. We do not have a problem with this seemingly well-intended promotion. HOWEVER, alarm bells are ringing.
The emailed request clearly indicates that this is a Mike Marron project. He uses his personal email address to conduct this “public” business. His message clearly indicates that this correspondence is copywritten, contains a “special” post office box address for “VC2025” and all letters are to be sent to Mike Marron.
Now, some Vermilion County citizens are feeling like they are being owned by Marron. We wonder if the input from the public can be legally FOIA’d since this appears to be ran as a private entity, with an independent mailing address, and using Mike Marron’s individual private email address. This whole situation stinks to high heaven. We also wonder if the input Marron receives will suddenly become claimed as his own intellectual property. The Edgar County Watchdogs find this situation to be rather interesting. We wonder if every rural citizen will finally get to “experience and enjoy” being screwed over by having 495′ tall wind turbines constructed 1200′ from their bedroom window.
Remember, Mike Marron has said to the wind victims: “If you don’t like it, then you should just MOVE!” and, “It (the noise) bothers my wife, but it doesn’t bother me.” Any person who would say such a thing to a member of the general public should be examined more closely. Also, since Mike Marron filed a false police report against a constituent which was never followed up or investigated by the Vermilion County Sheriff’s department, perhaps an investigation into Marron’s personal gains from hosting wind turbines and firing of a long-time county finance officer should be looked into.
There are major issues going on in Vermilion County. If we were the citizens, we would continue to fight hard against the cover-ups of the bad decisions which are pushed forth and promoted by Mike Marron and company. He needs reminded that the county government works for the people, and the people are not there to serve him and his private self-serving promotion.
Below are excerpts from the actual email sent out by Marron using his private email account to promote “Vision 2025” which appears to be an official county committee, but when viewing the website it clearly states that it is “not paid for with taxpayer money.”
___________________________From: Mike Marron [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Mike Marron Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 3:44 PM To: =?utf-8?Q??= <> Subject: VC2025 Update (SEE PRETTY SUNSET) Our VC2025 committee, a group of committed team members, needs your help in planning for the County’s future and making county government more relevant. The idea behind VC2025 is to set ambitious goals for our County. What do we want Vermilion County to look like in ten years? What kind of County do we want to create? If we dream big, pitch in, and stay committed to self-improvement, we can accomplish anything. We can build a great tomorrow. After we set our goals, we will need a strong framework in place to accomplish our ambitions. We will have to utilize all the professional tools at our disposal. This is key. We want our plan to actually be effective. We aren’t going through this exercise to create a nice plan that will sit on someone’s shelf for ten years. Our plan must produce tangible results. Finally, we must issue a challenge to the citizens of our County, a call to action that motivates people to get the job done building our community of tomorrow.
To be successful, we need your help in this task. We can only produce winning results if we have public “buy in” for this initiative. This needs to be your initiative, your goals, your structure, and your challenge, all to build your future. We are asking as many people as we can to identify what you feel are Vermilion County’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We will compile this information and use it to help create the goals that we will set for the County. This is your chance for input, Vermilion County officials asking you how to make County government more relevant in your lives. Please visit our website www.vc2025.org and fill out the questionnaire on the first page. Your input is critical to our success. Together we will build a plan for a bright and better tomorrow for Vermilion County.
Regards, Mike Marron
(SEE PROMO OF MARRON’S WEBSITE: VC2025.ORG )
Please take a minute to visit the VC2025 website to share your thoughts. The questionnaire is right on the home page.
(SEE INDUSTRIOUS, EARNEST MIKE BUSY AT HIS DESK WORKING HARD FOR US)
There was a very nice article recently in the Commercial News explaining what we are trying to do with VC2025. Please click on the link above to read it. Thanks.
This information is not paid for with taxpayers money:
Mike Marron / VC2025 PO Box 1492 Danville, IL 61834
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Vermilion County Board taking steps to limit public comment –
Vermilion Co., IL. (ECWd) –
The Vermilion County Board is set to take action to limit public comment time from five minutes per person, to three minutes per person. this will come to a vote at their August 11, 2015 County Board Meeting.
After taking extensive heat for more than a year, Chairman Maron is apparently deciding that the public is the problem, not the board. He must be tired of listening to those pesky voters and others for 30 whole minutes each meeting.
It must be that they have “more important” business to deal with other than listening to the people they swore to serve.
I’m sure we’ll hear about how this will “streamline” public comment and “provide more opportunity” for people to address the board and that this is simply a “cosmetic change” – nevermind that they could simply increase the public comment time to 45 minutes…now that would enhance the public’s right to speak. Unlike this new policy change.
There you go Vermilion County, remember that when you are asked for your vote in the upcoming elections. Ask yourself this question: “Did my elected representative listen to me and did they offer appropriate time during meetings to listen to others?”