DANVILLE, IL. (ECWd) -
January 14th, 2014. Vermilion County Board Meeting.
The January meeting began on time at 6 pm. The monthly agenda was adopted and the December meeting minutes were approved. The chairman lets us know that under audience comments the limit will be 5 minutes per person with a total time of 30 minutes.
-Under audience comments this week, Kathy Vines from Vermilion county Illinois was the first to speak. Until last month Ms. Vines served on the Vermilion County Mental Health 708 Board for 6 years, 2 years as vice chair when her term expired. She pointed out to the board that her re-appointment notice was on file since October and was on the December Agenda for approval, but was pulled unexpectedly at the last minute. Ms. Vines also stated that none of the current board members had been re-appointed, but 3 new members were appointed and none had ever attended any meetings. One of the new appointments included the mother of board Vice-Chairman Mike Marron (22239 N. 180 East Road, Fithian, IL. 61844. [email protected] or 217-841-5269). Don’t’ forget, Mike Marron and his family are reportedly receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the industrial wind turbines that are afflicting Vermilion county. Ms. Vines has concern about the pattern of appointment to the 708 board and the possibility of a hidden agenda. She assumes that the appointments are political in nature and emanate from her active involvement to increase the board funding. She asks the board to find an answer to why her appointment has been put off for over 2 months.
-The second person to speak is Dave Miles who lives in the Invenergy industrial wind complex in Pilot Township. Mr. Miles points out to the board the Mike Blazer, the Invenergy attorney lied when he told the board that the blade structural failure was caused by lightning. Mr. Miles asks “Why did the turbine run for another 4 days?” He also points out the lie about the blade falling inches from the tower. “Why were the Invenergy employees out in the fields picking up pieces?” Mr. Miles also says that he contacted his district representative, Mike Marron (see address and phone number above, yes the same Mr. Marron whose family receives money from the wind industry) to look into these issues. After all, they affect his family. He has not received any response from Mr. Marron. Why is Mr. Marron still representing Pilot Township? Isn’t he up for re-election in November? Surely we can do better? Mr. Miles asks the board to look into the November 17th power failure where Invenergy failed to light the turbine towers as required by the county ordinance. He states that that to his knowledge, no NOTAM was filed as required and asks that county assistant state’s attorney Bill Donahue look into the issue. According to Mr. Miles, the county fine for the ordinance violation is $1,000 per turbine or $104,000!
-Next to speak is John Kraft from the Edgar County Watchdogs, Mr. Kraft questioned the Invenergy e-mail to the county that states that during the November lighting failure that procedure was followed. Mr. Kraft did a search of NOTAMS and did not find any that related to the Invenergy complex failure in November. Mr. Kraft requested that the board ask Invenergy for proof that the procedure was followed. He suggests that the proof should be in the form of a letter from the FAA to confirm compliance.
-Next up Arthur Kronkite from Vermilion County. Mr. Kronkite compliments the board for asking questions last month when Mr. Blazer presented his performance. Mr. Kronkite also questioned whether anyone had confirmed that one of the current board members and his family were profiting handsomely from industrial wind turbines and was also a member of the county Structural-Safety committee that over-sees the industrial wind turbine application process. Would not this be a clear conflict of interest? (He is speaking of course about Mr. Marron again). Mr. Kronkite goes on to question many of the statements made last month by Invenergy attorney Mike Blazer. He points out several lies made by the attorney and infers that the board and the “lap-dog media” should not believe everything that comes out of the mouth of this paid spokesperson. Mr. Kronkite should not be missed on the video.
-Kim Hufford lives in the middle of the Invenergy wind complex in Vermilion County and is the next to speak. She bought her dream home in 2003 and spent 2 years doing improvements including new plumbing and electrical and moved in in 2005. She has a 16 year old child that cannot sleep at night due to wind turbine noise and it is affecting her school work. She has a 16 month old son that can’t sleep and keeps Kim awake at night. Kim works in health care and the loss of sleep to herself and her 16 month old is affecting her ability to do critical work at her job. In 2009 she had her house appraised as part of a divorce procedure and again in 2011. The appraiser told her that he would take into consideration the fact that she lives in an industrial wind complex with all of the negative issues that are known to this industry. According to Kim, her property value dropped by $25,000 dollars. (Note: Some studies show that homes cannot be sold for anything when located near industrial wind turbines!) Kim is also dejected that she has lost the value of living in the country due to the industrial wind turbines, she has lost her view during the day and has bright red lights at night.
-Next to speak is Darrell Cambron of Vermilion County. Mr. Cambron presents to the board a new report from January 2014 called Wind Turbines: A Different Breed of Noise? Mr. Cambron points out that Vermilion County is not alone when dealing with the issues of industrial wind turbines including that fact that people are being forced from their homes. Mr. Cambron asks that the board look into the presented document which includes many references that are relevant. Mr. Cambron also advises the board to consider that fact that the Invenergy attorney that spoke last month is a paid consultant. His job is to make you believe that his noise study that he paid for is right whether it is or not. His job is to make the board believe that his statements are true even if they are not. Mr. Cambron also asks that after all of the documentation given to the board and after all the public testimony about how this issue is negatively affecting the county, which board members have done anything to resolve the issue in the last 30 days? A show of hands is requested. No board member responds.
-The next person to speak is Ted Hartke of Vermilion County. Mr. Hartke and family formerly resided in the middle of the Invenergy wind complex, but were forced to move due to problems with noise and shadow flicker in their beautiful home. They now live in a double-wide trailer 8 miles away. Mr. Hartke tells the board that good health is a fundamental right and the county has taken away his rights by selling out to Invenergy. He believes that the Vermilion county health department will need to get involved with the negative effects that industrial wind turbines are having on people. Mr. Hartke also says that Invenergy negligence (which the county has allowed) has cause his son to lose sleep resulting in poor performance in school. Mr. Hartke challenges the board to not let their sit-by and do nothing attitude cause the children of Vermilion county to be scholastically disadvantaged. Mr. Hartke speaks of the grief and despair his family has gone through due to the lack of action by the county board. No child should have to go through this sacrifice. As adults, the board should stand up and protect the most vulnerable ones that cannot speak for themselves. Mr. Hartke also speaks of his loss of investment in his property. NO ONE will want to live in Vermilion County knowing that they could see their money and time squandered when industrial wind turbines are allowed too close to their home. Mr. Hartke has lost respect for county leaders when they continue to refuse to help those in the county that suffer from industrial wind turbines. Mr. Hartke challenges the board to remove board members that have a conflict of interest when they and/or their family members are receiving substantial payments from the wind industry. Mr. Hartke comments are powerful statements and should not be missed on the video from the county meeting.
-The last two people that wanted to speak were not allowed by the county board chairman, Gary Wienard due to the 30 minute limit. UPDATE: In watching the video, the actual time used was 27:03, leaving 2 minutes and 57 seconds remaining.
-Agenda item #11, Chairman’s comments: the county will assess the use of the health department building, Apex Wind has started construction of another industrial wind turbine complex in Vermilion county, the final noise study paid for and presented by Invenergy will be completed in February, there were new alarms installed in the courthouse and the county farmland auction was delayed due to needing a new survey.
-The industrial wind turbine issue continues to dominate the county board meetings. And as usual the board does not respond to any input from their constituents. As Mr. Hartke notes, we obviously have a dysfunctional county board. This issue can be resolved, but not by a sit-by and do nothing county board leadership. I am reminded of Sgt. Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes. – I see nothing, I hear nothing, and I do nothing. This should be the county board motto. The people of Vermilion county need to take note. The next time the issue could be affecting your family. Do you want a county board that is incompetent? Do you want a county board that is unresponsive and irresponsible? There is an election coming up this year and it’s time for a change.
The next county board meeting is Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at the courthouse annex in Danville at 6 PM.
The Vermilion County Executive and Legislation Committee will have a meeting on January 23 @ 4:30 p.m.
On the agenda is: “An Ordinance amending the Vermilion County Ordinance with respect to competitive bidding”
Just remember this: They cannot authorize something through an ordinance that violates state law.
Video of the January 14, 2014 Vermilion County Board Meeting is here: