Open letter to Mike Marron, Vermilion County Board Chairman
Dear Chairman Marron,
If Bill Donahue can't find this stuff, I think you should fire him. I don't think he is doing his job keeping you out of trouble. Things are looking really bad. You have the power and authority to fix things, Mike. It is time you get started. I don't think time is going to heal things if he remains involved.
Thanks for making sure all those people were allowed to talk at Tuesday's meeting. It was a step in the right direction. I am sure it was difficult to sit through all of the criticism directed towards you.
It would be cleansing to be able to come clean on all this stuff which keeps piling up:
-GIS no-bid contract. Totally fiscally irresponsible and illegal. $637,500 would have gone a long way for other useful purposes.
-limiting the radius for snow plow truck.....should have awarded it to the first low-bidder instead of re-bidding and paying for change orders
-refusing to change wind ordinance because pro-wind law firm from Chicago says so....very, very weak argument.
-refusing to publish the entire set of minutes for the Ad Hoc wind ordinance committee.
-refusing to address reason for firing Nikki Bogart
-filing the police report, which the victim has not addressed in public settings after defending himself, but cannot control other people from constantly repeating the issue. The sheriff's office never followed up with any investigation which leads citizens to believe that it was a lie to paint the wind farm victims into a bad light.
-allowing Bob Fox to publicly attack Ted for being a surveyor involved in the project even though he was an employee working for Foth Engineering at the time. Point out that criticizing the public with false accusations causes more people to become increasingly resentful.
One or two problems can be overcome and worked out, but six or seven or 10 or 20 could overwhelm the most cunning politician.
The Ted Hartke farm land is still for sale.......7 perfectly good tillable acres on the 8.5 acre chunk and a perfectly wonderful house on the other 2.35 acres. If InvEnergy would have actually been interested in fixing the problem with some sort of reasonable settlement, a lot of these issues would not have heated up to a boil. Looking back, you said the noise is also inside your house, and how it didn't bother you but it bothered your wife? I still don't understand how that makes it OK for it to happen to other people's wives and children.
Let's be neighborly and fix this stuff instead of letting the rhetoric increase and make live even more difficult. These opportunities are few and far between. Let's solve all of these problems. I can help if you are willing to let things go.
Here are some ideas:
1.) Step down from structural safety committee. This is easy, and you have major conflict of interest to be on that committee. It is 100% within your control
2.) Fire Bill Donahue. I think you've been told this before. He has way too many mistakes and has been extremely unprofessional and makes you look really bad.
3.) Allow the wind ordinance changes to pass. I don't think you want this to haunt your political career forever. The general population is starting to lose support for wind energy. Logan County farm bureau president asked Logan County board to reject and vote NO against the failed project there. Boone County FB directors voted unanimously for changes to Illinois Farm Bureau policy. The tide is turning even with the most supportive organizations.
4.) Fix the no-bid GIS contract. It was illegal. GIS is not a professional service. Neither was the document scanning in the recorder's office. That contract is bleeding money, and fixing it quietly instead of citizens beating that drum will make you look better. This is a softball pitch.
5.) Get back the illegally transferred farmland which was given away without public approval. There should have been an auction, a real estate listing, and an appraisal. Donahue illegally signed the sales agreement contract without authorization. This would be a perfect way to accomplish item #2.
6.) Publish ALL of the minutes and comments of the wind farm Ad Hoc Committee meetings. Bill Donahue incorrectly stated that the Illinois Open Meetings Act addresses and treats public comments differently than board member comments. Having a "blank" set of minutes handed to the committee, which they approved, and then giving a different set of minutes to the Illinois Attorney General was certainly a huge mistake. Currently, there may be a third version of the minutes which were actually posted.
7.) Trust the citizens who are trying to help. My judgement tells me that items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 will likely occur with or without your help. Those are inevitable.
Anonymous Vermilion County Concerned Citizen.