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Commissioners aren’t listening

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The recent approval of those large wind turbines by the San Miguel County Commission is one of the most troubling decisions in recent years,and reflects a more pervasive problem from our adult leaders. They simply do not care what the people want and they seem to be oblivious to ethics and the outside perception of their actions.

These commissioners are supposed to represent the people that elected them.They are not supposed to ignore the wishes of the people. Would any of these commissioners want these monstrous wind turbines destroying the pristine view of their home for the rest of their lives? I think not. The turbines also have the possibility of impacting tourism because of their affect on our beautiful scenery. The fine folks that live near the proposed turbines are trying to have either a grand jury investigation or place the matter of these turbines before the people in a referendum. Why would the San Miguel commissioners and the county attorney fight this constitutional request for their right to vote on this issue and see in clear terms the desires of the people who elected them or who are paying their salaries?

After attending the Feb. 8 commission meeting, I see why. These commissioners would not allow anyone the opportunity to speak. They voted on an ordinance with significant changes. Those changes were suppose to be given input prior to Tuesday’s meeting by the task force on the wind turbines. Those commissioners talked about transparency and protecting our right to speak at the meeting. While mocking and shouting down anyone who tried to exercise their First Amendment right to voice an opinion to the commissioners. When someone starting clapping or expressing emotion, the same county commissioner said, “we don’t need the emotion,” while then going on to say that he was a defender of our constitutional rights. Who do these commissioners think they are?

The commissioners had received different recommendations from the task force.

Their recommendations were to place the wind turbines three miles back. The task force had also received reputable information about the dangers of the wind turbines.

Yet, despite those citizen recommendations and the potential for harm to the residents, the commissioners turned a deaf ear. Sure, they will allow, begrudgingly, more comments, while appearing to already knowing what they will do.

I would think that these county commissioners would have a “compelling interest” to protect the safety of the people of San Miguel County. But, their interest seems to be with those who want to shove down the throats of good people, a project that a large portion of the people do not want. If that is not true, then let the people decide in a referendum. What are they afraid of?

I would appreciate it if the commissioners would stop demeaning people who attend these meetings and start protecting the rights of the people that elected them. The days of cronyism and the appearance of corruption should be over. They should be defenders of fairness and justice of all the people, even those that risked life and limb in a snowstorm to attend their meeting. Those rights were neglected and stepped on by the San Miguel County Commission.

Dale Harapat
Las Vegas