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Reader Sends “A Rebuttal”

March 28, 2017
Emmetsburg News

(Editor's Note: Due to its length, this letter will be printed in two issues to meet the guidelines of the newspaper.)

To the Editor:

Well, that didn't take long. The Coalition for Rural Property Rights revealed the board members' names, and Dan Lutat immediately published them in the paper so everybody would see them. He was apparently concerned that some people in this county might remain unaware of who the troublemakers are without his intervention. This is exactly why we had not attached our names to the organization from the start-the focus should not be on who we are, but on what we say. We were simply preserving our privacy and trying to avoid becoming individual targets. Our purpose for existing is to deal with a specific situation (not to "create unrest"), and who we are isn't important, except that we are real members of this community who will be really affected by this industrial installation.

Furthermore, I question his claim that people are wondering if we're a business or a nonprofit. I doubt that most people knew we existed until now. Nor do we "solicit" donations, but we do welcome them from anyone who is so inclined. So far we have been entirely self-supported. What we do is entirely funded by donations-we don't have millions in subsidies or a megacorporation backing us up, so we appreciate any help we can get. And who is the more likely propagandist, a small group of citizens trying to protect themselves and their homes or a multi-billion dollar industry muscling its way in? But Mr. Lutat has conveniently failed to mention why he feels so threatened by our organization. He is the director of the wind tech program at ILCC, so naturally anyone who opposes the proposal to build 177 turbines in our county is a danger to him. He keeps claiming that reason and cooler heads should prevail, but he is in no way impartial; indeed, he has a very big stake in this game, as do we.

Yes, some visitors to our Facebook page have been blocked, not because they disagree, but because they have been obnoxious and/or profane, including Mr. Lutat. And, believe me, NOTHING he wrote was objective or fair-minded.

Mr. Lutat claims that the supervisors represented all residents of the county when determining the various aspects of the wind ordinance they passed last September. This is not so. Dozens of people in the affected area begged them to protect us by honoring the setbacks recommended by the zoning board (which they had assigned the task of researching and recommending the best distance) and they refused to consider even one of our requests, but when the representative from MidAmerican said the FAA regulations wouldn't work for them, the supervisors immediately changed the wording. In fact, as the board members admitted, when the zoning board recommended a half-mile setback, in keeping with our Good Neighbor policy, the wind energy representatives said that it would be a "deal breaker," so they immediately gave in and set it at 1500 feet. That is one city block. So, whom did they represent?

(signed)?Cynthia Berkland

Cylinder, IA



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