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April 19, 2024

Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 14, 2014



On September 9th, 2014, the Vermilion County board put a resolution on the agenda (click here) to revisit the inadequate county wind ordinance. Although poorly worded and biased, the resolution offered the opportunity to do the right and fair thing for the unprotected residents of the county who are being forced to live too close to industrial wind turbines. The county leadership also did their best to word the resolution to try to convince the voting board members not to vote in favor of revisiting the ordinance. The resolution advised the board that the ordinance had already been twice reviewed and once changed. The resolution told the board that the County had already held “extensive public hearings” and formed a study group to make recommendations. The resolution told the board that in-house and outside legal counsel and the study group determined that no changes were possible without zoning (NOT TRUE!).

County board member Kevin Green bravely stood before the board and pointed out the inaccuracies of the resolution. Even though the resolution was poorly worded and had obvious inaccuracies and outright false statements which were pointed out by citizens during public comments, Green rallied for its passage in order to begin the review process immediately.

Board member John Alexander (last known address: 3022 Golf Circle, Danville, IL. 61832, 217-516-8440 H, 217-497-5010 C) presented an emotional appeal to the board to stand behind the current board policy to do nothing, continue to bury their heads in the sand, and basically shirk their responsibility to fairly protect all of the residents of the county, not just a select few.

Despite the bias in the wording of the resolution, 14 board members stepped up and met their obligation and duty to the county residents, and voted to take another look at the ineffective wind ordinance.

Those voting in favor were:
Stone, Turner, Walls, A.J. Wright, Boyd, Criswell, Dodge, Foster, Green (many thanks to you Kevin, being a District 2 representative, the same district which hosts the problematic Invenergy complex!), Jenkins, Miller, Nesbitt, Johnson (and a special shout-out to Todd..….whose constituents will now be living in the new APEX-IKEA wind complex) and Stahl. These are your true leaders of the county. They have listened to the facts from both sides and made an informed decision.

It was disappointing that 11 members voted to not protect the county rural families. Those voting against reviewing the ordinance were:

Bill Wright, Alexander, Davis, Dreher, Fox, Knight, Leigh, Marron (co-owner of Marron Farms, which reportedly receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the wind industry and hosts numerous problematic turbines on their land…..surprise, surprise!), Mockbee (lives in District 2, whose families have been pleading for help for over 2 years – but he chooses not to engage them with any conversations or considerations; he actually wiggled with delight while Weinard claimed the victims “had no credibility” at a recent board meeting), Stark, and, of course, chairman Weinard. These are your county representatives who are bowing to the desires of a few select high-income land owners over the rights of the rural families who are trying to live peacefully in the rural community, and now (or in the future) being forced to live with harmful effects of industrial wind turbines. These are your leaders that have no compassion for the suffering in their own county.

Voters of Vermilion County beware! The next time, it could be you asking for assistance from your district representative. It’s likely they will blame you for the problems you bring to their attention and will turn their backs. Don’t you want someone that listens to the facts, makes an informed decision, and steps up to the plate to do the right thing even when their county board leadership does everything that it can to bury the issue?

Do you want a county representative that puts the interest of a Chicago corporation (Invenergy) ahead of the welfare of its own residents? Maybe Bill Wright, John Alexander, Larry Davis, John Dreher, Bob Fox, Rick Knight, Chris Leigh, Mike Marron, Chuck Mockbee, Bruce Stark or Gary Weinard are already your district representative? If they are, we feel sorry for you. Last month a citizen suggested that chairman Gary Weinard should step aside over his lack of credibility and blatant disregard of the county residents and the damaging effects of the industrial wind turbines. Maybe it’s time to suggest that those that voted against the resolution also step down.

The assistant state’s attorney, Bill Donahue, also failed to serve citizens of Vermilion County. Where was he when Mike Marron voted against the resolution in SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HIM AND HIS FAMILY ARE RAKING IN THE MONEY FROM WIND GIANT, INVENERGY? This is a major breach of the public trust. Mike Marron has severe ethical problems because he fails to recognize his own CONFLICT OF INTEREST! Donahue seems to encourage unethical, immoral strategies and seems to try his best to find out ways on how the board can avoid open discussion and finagle the means to reduce opportunities for competitive bidding on county services.

After the roll call votes were cast to APPROVE the resolution to review the ordinance, Chairman Weinard was obviously exasperated and directed board member Kevin Green to chair the committee to complete the necessary work. The chairman also suggested that all board members that voted yes should be placed on the review committee, like it was some sort of punishment for their vote.

Mr. Green will have 30 days to put the committee in place and 180 days for the committee to present any recommendations to the full board. Chairman Weinard also advised Mr. Green that any recommendations must be legal suggestions that the board can act on.

Edited: Removed paragraph…

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  • ECWDogs
    Posted at 16:31h, 14 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • jannie
    Posted at 17:35h, 14 September

    I would think that someone who is receiving money from the wind company in the form of leases would abstain from voting since they have a vested interest in making the wind ordinance as “loose” as possible for future lease contracts since the wind company already knows they are easy and want to let their land go industrial. It seems like it would be like voting for something you are going to be gaining something from and I’m sure they didn’t vote when it came to the actual passing on previous wind project applications since that probably is illegal.

  • safesetbacks
    Posted at 18:05h, 14 September

    Vermillion Illinois County Board Votes to Review Wind Farm Ordinance to Protect People

  • wsgarage
    Posted at 18:09h, 14 September

    RT @safesetbacks: Vermillion Illinois County Board Votes to Review Wind Farm Ordinance to Protect People

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 19:19h, 14 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • caseih 2388
    Posted at 20:24h, 14 September

    jannie, the same conflict of interest occurred in Iroquois County with the wind farm ordinance revisions a year ago. When a responsible ordinance was put before the board for a vote, all the board members who were getting, or had gotten, money from wind farm companies voted for the interest of the wind farm companies. Luckily there was an overwhelming majority of responsible board members who voted in the interest of their constituents. Even at the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing (a public hearing of the proposed ordinance revision) the chairman of ZBA stated as the hearing began that he had received money from a wind farm company. Then he proceeded to vote in the wind industry’s behalf. There are too many people in public office who lack the necessary ethics required for public office when they stand to gain financially from their position in government.

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 22:27h, 14 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 01:24h, 15 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 04:20h, 15 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 07:22h, 15 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 10:45h, 15 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • barbfeller
    Posted at 13:20h, 15 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance

  • ProtectAmherst
    Posted at 13:32h, 16 September

    Vermilion County Board votes to review Wind Farm Ordinance via @ECWDogs

  • Taxpayer
    Posted at 11:23h, 17 September

    I find it a double standard to hear farmers and landowners say they do not want economic harm to themselves because of zoning. You think maybe rural home owners do NOT want economic harm to their home and themselves as well – because of inconsiderate, money hungry farmers and land owners! I farm so I am not biased on this subject – but do the right thing – give the rural home owner a voice and bargaining chip in the wind tower siting, zoning & compensation process!