Why I’m running for supervisor
I decided to run for Greene County supervisor because I am concerned about how decisions are made and how the public is involved in those decisions.
As a case in point, I look to the Beaver Creek wind project that I can see from my front porch. A forest of wind turbines with blinking red lights now stands in the northeast portion of our county.
How did this happen? What questions were asked, what answers were found? What concerns from area residents were heard?
I have been asking a lot of questions to residents of Greene County and to supervisors and residents in other counties that have already seen the effects of this type of development. As I am learning, the negative impacts from this one project will affect residents, farmers, landowners and future residents for many years.
One supervisor in a northern Iowa county had very disturbing information about the effects of wind turbines on farmers, and this has been confirmed by others I have talked to.
The operators of drones have experienced challenges in turbine areas, and some GPS systems are disrupted.
One farmer told the supervisor that he had to quit planting because without GPS, he became dizzy and nauseous focusing on the planter marker while turbine blades whirled around him.
Aerial applications may be impossible.
The Iowa Agricultural Aviation Association states on its website that turbines should not be placed in agriculture areas because aerial application may be restricted or eliminated as a farming tool.
I was told of broken tiles not being repaired adequately and soil compaction being another concern.
Documented research shows that residents near wind turbines suffer from the noise, flicker and vibrations as the blades turn, and by the flashing of red lights and the disrupted view day and night. Symptoms include depression, sleep disturbances, headache, dizziness, nausea, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes.
As for landowners, the contracts they sign are written to benefit the energy company.
In essence, they are selling their rights to their land for 40 years. That’s two generations, and a lot can change in 40 years. It is advisable that landowners have a very good lawyer review any contracts before signing.
Under Iowa Code, county supervisors “may exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve the rights, privileges and property of the county or of its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort and convenience of its residents.”
It does not seem like the current county supervisors are doing enough to protect our residents.
Certainly a balance needs to be met between the monetary benefits that will be seen from a wind project and the negative impacts it produces. But without fully researching those negative impacts and communicating the findings with the public, that balance cannot be met.
What will be the next issues to impact Greene County?
How will our elected officials protect our farmers and our rural communities?
Will they seek answers to relevant questions or will they simply accept what comes before them?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I will take time to seek out people who can help find those answers.
I believe we need to actively engage our county residents in decision-making.
And I believe we need to be proactive instead of reactionary and work toward a vision that will benefit all our residents.
That is why I am running for Greene County supervisor.
Churdan farmer Patti Naylor is a candidate for Greene County supervisor.