Forget those “MN” stickers on license plates. They’re no longer needed when trying to identify cars from Marion County — especially the northern part of the county, where lots of fresh, dusty rock has been splayed out on county roads by the Diamond Vista wind farm project.
Now that debate over the county’s other wind project, Expedition Wind in the southern part of the county, has settled down a bit, it’s time to assess winners and losers in the deliberation.
We often — usually affectionately, as we do appreciate the entertainment qualities of their meetings — refer to our county commissioners as Curley, Larry, and Moe. (You can decide who’s who.) Some of their behavior during the wind farm debate certainly lived up to those names.
We would, however, like to single out one of the three for some seriously non-Stooge-like behavior.
Throughout a series of very difficult meetings and debates, commission chairman Kent Becker kept discussion on target and polite, avoiding most of the heated, often personal, sometimes contradictory arguments of his colleagues in the trio. Becker clearly has grown into the job of commissioner and has become a much better chairman than we expected.
Wind farm opponents, on the other hand, need to learn when to give up and move on. Dropping one of their lawsuits against the county was a good first step. A good next move would be to drop the other, which threatens to eat up in legal fees whatever windfall in the way of payments in lieu of taxes that Expedition will make to the county.
It’s time to let all of this to blow over and start worrying about other issues, like whether our trash needs a Taj Mahal transfer station and why our communication system for emergencies like flooding is all wet.
— ERIC MEYER
Last modified July 25, 2019