Sunday, October 28, 2007

Open Letter to Governor Kathleen Sebelius

(The following letter was submitted in October 2007 to the Governor of Kansas by J.P. Michaud, resident of Ellis County)

Dear Governor Sebelius,

I was encouraged to read yesterday in our local paper, the Hays Daily News, that your obligation to protecting the health and welfare of the people of Kansas was first and foremost in your mind in supporting the decision to deny the permits for Sunflower Electric's new coal plants.

However, I must ask why that same concern does not appear to extend to the more than 100 families in Ellis County whose, health, homes and livelihoods have been threatened by efforts to site a massive wind energy development inappropriately close to residential settlements.

You pointed out that only 15% of the energy generated by the proposed coal plants would be used by Kansas, while 85% would be sold out of state, while Kansas would bear 100% of the local environmental impact. The same is true for Iberdrola's (CPV Wind Hays) development in Ellis County. Local residents would see their local environment devastated, lose millions of dollars of real estate value, have their health threatened, their quality of life diminished and the scenic beauty of their community destroyed forever, only to have the bulk of the power and the profits exported.

I am not going to argue that wind energy is a huge corporate boondoggle for taxpayers, that it is the most expensive and inefficient form of electricity generation, that it cannot replace any conventional generation because of the fickle nature of wind, that it is only feasible because of massive tax incentives provided to foreign corporations, that wind turbines rarely operate long enough to recover the carbon footprint of their installation, etc, etc.

However, I am going to argue that wind energy has an undeniably large environmental footprint that demands appropriate sites be selected for wind turbines.

The state should not turn a blind eye when large scale energy generation of any kind is proposed in the wrong place as local governments have neither the resources nor the expertise to regulate developments of this magnitude.

The proposed site for Iberdrola's project was selected on the basis its proximity to power lines and the covert scheming of a handful of (mostly non-resident) landholders. There was no independent environmental impact study, no economic impact study, and no consideration given to the rights of neighboring landholders. Both our local zoning board and our county commission are rank with corruption and conflicts of interest that should be sufficient to convene a grand jury investigation.

They completely ignoring the interests of the community at large in the hopes of profiting their own families. Our recently adopted zoning regulations (imposed specifically to facilitate wind energy development) are so inadequate that they contain only 1.5 pages that supposedly 'regulate' wind energy development – compared to 26 pages on signs! Add to this the fact that we have absolutely no comprehensive plan for zoning as recommended by state guidelines and it is not surprising that David Yearout, a member of your own energy council, saw fit to remove himself from the process, so much of his template was deleted from our regulations.

I understand and applaud your commitment to renewable energy. However 'renewable' does not mean 'without impact' – either socially, economically or environmentally. All forms of energy generation have impacts and must be carefully sited so as to minimize these impacts on our population – not simply to maximize the profits of greedy developers.

On behalf of myself and the more than 750 signatories of the Ellis County Wind Farm Moratorium Petition, I request that you weigh in on this issue and defend the innocent families of Hays Ellis County who are now facing the imminent threat of a new application from Iberdrola, carefully gerrymandered to exclude a perfectly valid protest petition that defeated their initial application.

Please tell Iberdrola that, while we support wind energy, we value the health and welfare of our people even more. The wind blows just as hard across the 20 sections of vacant land in southeast Ellis County where almost nobody lives.


J.P. Michaud
1189 180th Ave.
Hays, Kansas

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wind energy will raise power bills

(submitted to Hays Daily News, Oct. 25)

I agree with Craig Volland (HDN Oct. 23) that power bills will be going up. However, I disagree when he says that "rates will increase less if we utilize our state's world class wind resources". In fact, nothing is going to raise our electricity rates faster than the installation of wind power. It is the most inefficient and overpriced form of power currently being flogged to consumers by 'green-posing' politicians and profit-hungry wind developers.

The real cost of wind power is staggering when you add it all up. Estimates indicate that it is 2.5-4.0 times more expensive than energy from conventional sources. But wind turbines must be sited where wind is suitable, rather than where power is needed, and 6% of that power is lost for every 100 miles it must travel to the end user. Distribution costs are also higher for wind power because more extensive power lines are required to connect it to the grid. Furthermore, the constantly fluctuating energy yield from wind is more expensive to integrate, raising the cost of grid management.

Higher costs might be socially acceptable if wind could actually replace coal-fired generation, but it can't. Wind power is unpredictable and will always require backup from a reliable, on-demand, source. The greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program referred to by Volland will provide wind power with yet another undeserved advantage over other forms of generation simply because there is no CO2 produced during its operation – this despite the hundreds of tons of CO2 released during the fabrication, transport and installation of each turbine.

Beyond the direct costs of wind power, we must also factor in the socio-economic and ecological costs. Foremost among these is the loss of property values, which reliable estimates suggest is about 30%, on average, for those unfortunate enough to become wind farm neighbors. Then there are many more costs that are difficult to quantify – the environmental and ecological impacts on vast tracts of land.

What price can we place on thousands of bats and soaring birds of prey destined to be sliced and diced by wind turbines? What monetary value can be assessed for lost quality of life, destruction of rural tranquility, noise pollution, and the unique human health risks associated with wind energy? These costs are all real and must be given due consideration whenever wind energy is compared to less environmentally intrusive forms of generation.

Due to deceptive government legislation, the high costs of wind power are being temporarily concealed from consumers in order to encourage its public acceptance. But don’t be fooled; power bills will rise dramatically in the next few years as government subsidies expire and utilities seek to recover the high maintenance costs associated with wind turbines. Almost half the capital cost of each turbine is the gearbox and current data from Germany indicate that these have a half life of less than five years. Within five years, wind developers will have run for cover with their 'windfall' profits and consumers will be left holding the bag – an industrial wasteland of decrepit monstrosities.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It would forever change who we are & how we would be viewed by others

Rod Bittel, life long resident of Ellis County, has written this letter:

The wind turbine complex controversy continues to divide our county. This conflict isn't about foreign oil or saving the planet -- it's about location and the proposed location is not suitable. This project covers 2.5 times the area of the city of Hays with 140 turbines that are 400 feet tall (approximately the size of the two cell phone towers you see south of Golf Course Road). The only thing suitable about this location is the financial gain for a few landowners, many who don't live in the area or even in this county. If you put the 100-plus families that live in the area of the proposed project first in the equation it is probably one of the worst locations in the county.

For those of us who call this area home, there are real worries about the documented health effects that may occur if such an industrial complex is built so close to our homes. There are concerns about safety during the building phase as well as from the turbines themselves after construction. There are fears about property and market values decreasing on the biggest investment that most of us have. Some claim that there is no proof to any of these concerns. We can provide ample documentation to show that the county is taking a huge risk if this project proceeds. To the doubters, we say we don't want to be the guinea pigs that find out whether the fears and concerns are real or not. It's simple, move the location of the turbines somewhere where there are not homes and eliminate the risks.

The effect on Hays also needs to be considered. Hays is recognized as a regional hub for medicine, education, commerce, retail, culture and the arts, which enhance our quality of life. What will locating an industrial complex with 140, 400 feet turbines so close to the largest growing city in northwest Kansas do? Will it hurt recruitment of professionals to the area? Will it send a negative message to businesses that are considering Hays? Some of our larger employers have made it clear that they think so. Will it hurt the historical nature of our area or stop future residential growth west of Hays? Will life long citizens of Ellis County move out because their homes and families are negatively impacted? Are these risks that we want to take?

We have stood our ground that this location is both bad and risky for those who live in the area and for the city of Hays. But by standing up for what we believe in, we have been called radicals, wackos, selfish, anti-environmentalists, terrorists, unpatriotic and, yes, even crazy Canadians. We would like to remind those name-callers who we are. We are teachers, nurses, farmers, geologists, ranchers, store and business owners, dental hygienists, therapists, office workers, psychologists, construction workers, your family members, home builders, mechanics, cooks, college professors, grade school, middle school, high school and college students, volunteer coaches, Girl Scout leaders, Sunday School teachers, occupational therapists, highway patrolman and social workers who work in your churches, social service agencies, stores, schools, hospitals, utility companies, governmental agencies, and take care of your children, your parents, the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged in our county. We are woven into the fabric of what is Ellis County.

We should have never let a foreign owned company come between us and attempt to compromise our quality of life. Putting an industrial wind turbine complex with 140 turbines, 400 feet tall located just west of Hays would forever change who we are and how we would be seen.

Submitted by:
Rod Bittel
1101 Noose Road
Hays, Kansas

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Zoning is ‘give and take’

(submitted to Hays Daily News, October 13)

I want to commend Jo Kraus for some valid points she made in her recent letter, “Zoning issue could split county further”. I presume she means ‘further than the wind farm debacle already has’. I think she is quite correct that the majority of rural residents in Ellis County were against zoning because of concerns about their private interests and the potential loss of individual freedoms on their own lands.

The majority of land in Ellis County is zoned agricultural and Jo is also right that those who move out to live in such areas must accept agricultural activities. I must accept being showered with dust because one of my neighbors refuses to farm no-till and insists on tilling his land incessantly. I must accept herbicide drift onto my property when the wheat gets sprayed, and I must accept the bad smell of an oil well when the wind blows the wrong way. But these were all factors I was able to balance in my decision to buy my property, not something imposed on me after the fact.

However, rural residents are not obliged to accept living in the middle of an industrial park on agriculturally zoned land, just because someone wants to call it a wind ‘farm’. When they happened to be cash-poor, many land-wealthy farmers sold small tracts of land very profitably to townspeople on the promise of a quiet country lifestyle. Now some of these same farmers want to industrialize the surrounding landscape for their personal gain, effectively destroying the value of what they have already sold. Who can have sympathy for them?

Like it or not, we now have zoning in Ellis County, albeit without majority support, and without any form of comprehensive plan to guide it. But zoning does provide people with something in return for surrendering those formerly limitless freedoms – a measure of protection from their neighbors. As one of the architects of zoning, we should thank Jo for leaving us recourse to a formal protest petition, the one legal mechanism that can prevent people from profiting at the expense of their neighbors.

However, it is widely predicted that a new application by Krista Gordon and company will judiciously alter the wind project boundaries so as to exclude the protest petition and subject a large number of property owners to a noxious development they have already overwhelmingly rejected using a valid legal tool. After all, they know who we are, they know where we live, and they need only pull back 1001 feet from our property lines to be technically within the letter of the law.

The letter of the law perhaps, but certainly not the spirit of the law. We can only hope that our County Commission will honor the spirit of zoning law and the legal result of the protest petition when (not if) Iberdrola returns asking for a waiver of the one year waiting period to submit their new application. Based on the previous performance of Berens and Pfannenstiel, I’m betting they won’t, but I sincerely hope they prove me wrong.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What's going on behind closed doors?

From Jeanne Riedel, Ellis County resident:

Why are Vernon Berens, Dennis Pfannenstiel and the wind proponents so against having a moratorium?

In Dana Kraus' letter he spoke of how wind moving up a slope increases speed and that the entire site has this slope which is good for building a wind complex. Would waiting a year to study the effects of wind turbines in Ellis County change the slope? I don't think so.

But if that is what the proponents of the wind complex are afraid of, then what good would it be to build one on the proposed site?

If waiting a year is going to change things, then that means this area isn't as good as they are leading people to believe.

Dana Kraus also said that wind resource has been researched for almost four years in this area. So would one more year really make any difference? What is the rush to push this through without a comprehensive plan for the county? What is the rush to possibly put people in danger? Why don't we research the information further in regard to the sound and health issues? Why do Berens, Pfannenstiel and the wind proponents want to sweep this under the rug like it doesn't exist? For the wind turbines not causing any problems, the compensation letter made mention of them and tried to put sugar-coating on our concerns.

Those of us who are against the wind complex have been made to feel like naughty children. We are supposed to sit back and let the proponents do whatever they like for the "good" of the county. I don't think this is in the best interest of the county and that is why I feel there should be a moratorium even though Vernon Berens rejects this idea.

My question is: Why? What is going on behind closed doors with this international corporation who is looking out for its own interests? Iberdrola doesn't care about the people of Ellis County. They only want the money they can make off of this project.

Iberdrola wants to buy our silence with the so-called compensation package. Does anyone else think it's odd that those compensation letters came out on the same day that the commissioners voted on the project? Also, The Hays Daily needs to get its facts straight. We don't have until Dec. 31 to sign the compensation package. We have until Oct. 5, and they need to be signed and postmarked on or before that date. If the project isn't approved by Dec. 31, then the compensation packages are null and void.

What do they have planned, a waiver perhaps?

I just don't understand why Berens, Pfannenstiel and the wind proponents don't want a moratorium. The people of Ellis County need to ask that question also. Could it be that they don't want people to find out that this wind complex isn't about saving the planet and that it really just boils down to dishonesty and greed? Interesting that there is just one letter difference between green and greed.

Submitted by:
Jeanne Riedel
1530 Yocemento Ave.
Hays, Kansas

Why Ellis County needs a comprehensive plan

From Angie Grant, resident of Ellis County:

The fundamental premise of zoning is that particular land uses are appropriate for certain locations, but not for others. Thus a zoning board designates districts for particular uses: agricultural, commercial, industrial, residential, etc., based on recognition of the simple fact that such uses are very often incompatible with one another. Commercial development brings traffic, industrial development brings pollution, and neither should be allowed to encroach on residential areas where they would reduce the value of people's homes and diminish their quality of life.

The state of Kansas encourages the development of a comprehensive plan by all counties that adopt zoning. A zoning board without a comprehensive plan is like a train without rails to guide it. It quickly becomes a train wreck because it has no clear objectives and no guidelines to follow.

Zoning regulations are merely tools for advancing the comprehensive plan. They are supposedly written with a comprehensive plan in mind. To write zoning regulations without such a plan is to invite the institution of regulations that serve private interests rather than the public good.

This is precisely what has happened in Ellis County.

The purpose of a comprehensive plan is to provide a carefully deliberated vision of the future for the whole community and guidelines for development of all types, not just wind energy. It is a document that guides appropriate land use patterns for the public good. If any public official, appointed or elected, is opposed to the development of a comprehensive plan, this should raise a huge red flag in the minds of all citizens.

These people must either have something to lose from adopting responsible guidelines for community development or they must be hoping to gain something at the expense of the public good.

Vernon Berens and Dennis Pfannenstiel are not just county commissioners. They are also citizens of our community who must live and walk among us.

I call on everyone who cares about the future of Hays and Ellis County to pursue these two men, either on the phone at home or in person at the supermarket, and please ask each one this question:

"Why do you oppose the development of a comprehensive plan?"

Submitted by:
Angie Grant
1189 180th Ave.
Hays, Kansas

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rural Residents Should Attend County Commission Meetings

We have all heard reasons why we should vote. For example, if you don’t vote, then you don’t have a right to complain when things in government don't go your way. The same goes for attending local public hearings.

Given that Ellis County now has county-wide zoning, it is increasingly important that rural residents attend both Zoning Board meetings and County Commission meetings. It is the best way to find out about changes in local government that could affect your family's health, property, and quality of life – assuming these things matter to you. It is also the best way to ensure that both elected and appointed officials act responsibly. The best way to keep them honest is to let them know they are being watched and their actions carefully monitored.

Unfortunately, too few of our citizens attend these meetings. I must admit I have been equally remiss in this regard until recently. Apathy and lack of public attention emboldens political corruption. This was quite apparent to me when I attended Monday's meeting of the County Commission.

Despite well-supported arguments by citizens requesting a temporary moratorium on wind energy applications, and a substantial petition from county residents, the motion by Perry Henman for such a moratorium failed to be seconded. The reasons given by Commissioners Berens and Pfannenstiel for not supporting this motion were essentially non-existent. "We don't need a moratorium because we have a zoning board and we have zoning regulations."

Never mind that the regulations are completely inadequate and do nothing to regulate wind energy development or protect the environment and the citizens. Never mind that David Yearout's recommendations were completely ignored, even though he was paid by the county to guide zoning. Never mind that we don’t have a comprehensive plan to guide development of any kind within the county, in line with the expectations of our state government. Never mind that the current zoning board is, by and large, completely unqualified and beset with glaring conflicts of interest. Never mind that they are leaving the county legally vulnerable to an expensive lawsuit.

These things don’t seem to matter to Berens and Pfannenstiel. No, they cast their lot with the 'windy' developers – Krista Gordon and the Kraus family – more than two years ago. Apparently, they have far too much to gain for themselves and their friends to heed any community concerns, no matter how valid. The smell of corruption is rank in Ellis County and these commissioners appear to be counting on local apathy to grant them a license to do as they please. It is time for all rural residents of Ellis county to rise up in indignation, start attending these meetings, and start reminding these officials that they were elected to act in the interest of all citizens, not just their political cronies.

J.P. Michaud
1189 180th Ave.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How much is free?

From Penny Davis, Ellis County resident:

As I was reflecting on Iberdrola’s offer of “free electricity” to the many landowners living with the effects of but not profiting from the proposed turbines, I was reminded of a saying I once heard, “when it sounds too good to be true, the cost is hidden”. We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Likewise, I wonder how much this “free” electricity going to cost my family?

To begin with, I must point out that the offer really isn't for free electricity. Consistent with our experience of Iberdrola’s behavior in this project, there is much more to know than they are publicly disclosing. The offer is actually based on the month’s electricity bill prior to signing the contract. For instance, if we sign in October, we will be paid a set amount per month, based on our bill in September. This, of course, will not work out to “free” electricity. This year has been a particularly cool year and we didn’t run our air conditioning in September at all. Even in more normal years, the months of May through August typically dwarf the bills of September through April. Therefore the actual reimbursement will be far less than our annual electricity cost.

More to the issue at hand, when they finally delivered this offer (months after announcing it and after the commission vote), they had not discussed it with us or other landowners in the area. If they had taken the time to actually work with us, they would have discovered we don’t want their money. As it stands, even a genuine offer of free electricity will cost us more than we can afford to pay.

What we want from Iberdrola is assurance they will stand by their word. We need assurance that the turbines will not harm our children. We want assurance that they will not devastate our finances by making our largest singe investment (our home) less valuable or desirable on the market. We want assurance that we will not be subjected to daily annoyances that have driven others living with turbines out of their homes. We need assurance that they will not destroy the quality of life for which we paid a premium and searched for years to be able to acquire. This assurance, however, is something they refuse to offer. Instead, Iberdrola asks us to do the opposite by signing away all our assurance in order to receive the “free electricity”.

They tell everyone that all of the things we fear, things such as health effects, noise, flicker, property devaluation, etc, are not real concerns. Meanwhile, they ask us to sign a document giving them the right to do these things (and more) to us in exchange for “free electricity”. All we want is a guarantee that what they tell everyone is true. Instead, they make us an offer we can’t possibly afford to take and present it as being neighborly.

If Iberdola is trustworthy, they should simply do what most manufacturers do when selling a quality product, offer a guarantee. If everything they are telling the community about the project and the turbines is true, they can keep their “free electricity”, increase their profits and offer more money to the county. The residents living with the turbines will have assurance they will not be destroyed by the project. Everyone wins.

Of course, if the Commissioners are wise, they will ask Iberdrola for a similar guarantee that this choice of location will not harm the County or the city of Hays . If they do, my bet is that Iberdrola will refuse, as they have refused to assure the people living with their proposed project. Instead, they’ll encourage the county to waive what legal protections they have, all in exchange for “free” money. Then if the project is approved, we’ll all pay the long term cost of what was sold to us as “free”.

Submitted by:
Penny Davis
Hays, KS

Why so worked up, Snookums?

From Paul Faber, Ellis County resident:

My phone rang. “Hold that thought, Rudy,” I said, “I have to take this call. It’s my wife, and you of all people should understand that.” Chuckle, chuckle.

“Hi, Honey. You sound upset.” Covering the speaker, I said to Rudy, “Rudy, this may take a while. Help yourself to some nuts.”

Back to my better half. “Oh, you were at the county commission meeting. Now calm down and tell me what happened. Keith Pfannenstiel and John Schmeidler spoke. That’s nice. What did they talk about? Ah, the moratorium again. Yes again. They asked for a year’s moratorium to allow time to establish a comprehensive plan and fix the zoning regulations before any big industry comes into Ellis County? I see. Makes sense, so what’s the problem?

“Oh, Commissioner Vernon Berens thinks that our zoning regulations are fine, at least as long as you can recognize that there is no such thing as perfect zoning regulations. Sweetie, you are getting way too upset. Remember what your doctor said. Yes, Dear, I understand that stating the obvious does not excuse one from correcting the problem.

“Wow! Someone from the crowd shouted out that the zoning board was a joke.”

Winking at Rudy, I mouthed, “I know you deal with hecklers all the time.” I switched to the speaker phone so that Rudy could hear how we deal with hecklers in Ellis County.

“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch what you said. What was Mr. Berens comeback?”

“He said that the zoning commission was not a joke,” she said.

“Great comeback. I bet that quieted the crowd,” I said, giving Rudy the thumbs-up sign. “Honey, Rudy is getting all newyorky on us. He thinks that a public servant in an elected position should say something like ‘What reason do you have for calling the commission a joke?’ Or ‘Can you give me an example of what you mean?’ or something like that.”

“Well, even though no one asked, the audience guy gave him his reasons,” said the sweet voice on the speaker phone. “He said that one board member threatened to resign if the commissioners voted down the conditional-use permit for the wind project and then the next thing you know he’s the chairman of the zoning commission. In the same meeting, another board member pushed hard for his own step-dad to receive a conditional-use permit for a gravel pit and succeeded. You’d think that a conflict of interest is a vice, but instead they made him the vicechair.”

Now Rudy is giving me the thumbs up!

“Yes, Pumpkin, that most certainly does sound like a conflict of interest. Did you take your pill yet?”

“Keith talked about appointing an independent committee,” she continued, “so they could write the comprehensive plan for our county - a committee with no ulterior motives, which is not like in the case of the wind project, where zoning commissioners had family ties to leaseholders who would stand to profit big time from the wind project. Keith also pointed out how David Yearout, a hired zoning consultant for Ellis County, was paid $16,000 to help the zoning commission, which was appointed by Mr. Berens and Commissioner Vernon Pfannenstiel, to write the regulations. But when Mr. Yearout recommended that they start with a comprehensive plan and use the plan as the foundation for writing the regulations the way normal folk do, the commission declined to take his advice. “

“Hey, Bunny Love, it’s a free country, don’t make yourself sick over it. Sugar, I need to get back to Rudy.”

I noticed that Rudy had begun to fidget with my Enron paperweight embossed with the words, “Glory Days.”

“Is there anything else?” I asked.

“Well, the commissioner Mr. Pfannenstiel, in response to commissioner Mr. Henman’s request for a moratorium, moved that the commissioners abolish county-wide zoning. He said that without the county-wide zoning we wouldn’t have this issue.”

“That’s leadership,” Rudy said to me.

“Does Mr. Pfannenstiel remember,” love-ums continued, “way back in the first zoning commission meeting for public comment on the wind project, the first words spoken by Krista Jo Gordon, the project manager, were ‘We do not go into counties which are not zoned.’ So what does Mr. Pfannenstiel mean? Does he mean that today we would have a wind industry next to our home or that we wouldn’t have it? Oh, who knows? All I know is that we need a comprehensive plan and soon!”

“OK! OK!” I interrupted. “Now remind me — what is a comprehensive plan?” I attempted unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn. “OK. So without a comprehensive plan, the county can put turbines, swine or even a dirty sock factory on my beloved golf course.

“Wait a second, are you saying that we don’t have a plan at all? What do you mean ‘chill’?”

Submitted by:
Paul Faber
Hays, Kansas

Monday, October 1, 2007

Over 700 Ellis County Residents Have Asked Ellis County Commissioners for a Moratorium

(The following appeal for a moratorium was presented in person at the Ellis County Commissioners meeting by Keith Pfannenstiel, Ellis County resident, October 1, 2007)

I have asked to be put on the agenda today requesting a hold on any new applications for wind development. Also to call for a moratorium with an impartial committee, to propose a comprehensive plan and rewrite proper zoning regulations, to ensure Hays and Ellis county at large will not be financially hurt. This independent committee is the way zoning should have been implemented in the first place. Not by appointed people who also want to serve on the zoning board and insure their own financial gain.

There are plenty of well educated people in Ellis county who are not close friends or business partners of the commissioners. Not county employees looking for recognition or possibly a salary increase, not family members or landowners with lease agreements who stand to profit directly from turbine placement. This also would exclude any person who has publicly or privately contacted any wind developer for interest in future personal gain or their land.

Commissioners, our zoning board members don't even know what their roles are.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong. Ellis county said they hired zoning consultant, David Yearout, for approximately $16,000 to guide a committee appointed by you, in devising a zoning plan for consideration of adoption to protect this county. Two of you implemented this zoning against over whelming disapproval.

According to Mr. Yearout, Ellis county refused to take his advice of starting with a comprehensive plan and proper wind and zoning regulations. I believe he offered wind regulations of nearly 30 pages. I don't want to hear that zoning is a "work in progress". That only works if you start with adequate regulations. Anything less is an excuse and dreadfully dangerous.

Commissioners, I find it very hard to believe that a professional zoning consultant, who truthfully specializes in zoning for wind development, and knowing Ellis county was per suing wind energy, would risk not advising this county to require one single study. Especially knowing that an approval letter for wind energy had been sent out. My guess, is that any place else would have had a grand jury investigation.

So, unless you have conflicting interests, this moratorium is needed for more than one reason.

It is time you commissioners admit that zoning is far from where it should be and that it needs to be revised completely.

Proof of this mess showed up last Wednesday night again at the zoning meeting. A large number of good people and families in Victoria are being divided because of an inadequate zoning system that was manipulated and sacrificed from the beginning.

Today, I am personally asking there be a motion made for a moratorium. I don't need to hear "you will think about it". If a motion is made, at least the public knows which commissioners want to do this right.

They will also know which commissioners want to push it off so they can waive the one year waiting period and accept another wind application. This only pulls back the boundaries to try and eliminate the protest petition forcing it into Ellis county without any studies or guarantees.

There are over 700 signatures requesting a moratorium.

It's time to do it right!

Presented in person by:
Keith Pfannenstiel
Resident of Ellis County, Kansas