To the editor:
I just left the Hancock Area Plan Commission meeting, in which these unelected officials shot down the petitions of the county and city residents; Greenfield’s planning director, Joanie Fitzwater; and Greenfield’s mayor, Chuck Fewell.
The weaponry of bureaucracy and close-mindedness has prevailed over common sense and representative government.
I am, of course, talking about Greenfield’s Resolution 2015-02, requesting the county government work within the framework of the 2006 Greenfield Comprehensive Plan when it comes to zoning and CAFOs.
Only one Planning Commission member, Dan Craig, was bold enough to make a motion that the very reasonable request be considered. He couldn’t get a second, even from the commission president, Tom Nigh, who appeared to think it was a good idea.
Michael Long protested that the city and county should work together on this issue yet voted “yes” to Jeannine Gray’s motion they do nothing about this issue.
Every other commissioner voted in favor of letting a nonexistent Purdue study determine the outcome of what the county should do.
They actually voted in support of Senate Bill 249 by doing so, which usurps county powers, leaving citizens high and dry.
When will Purdue’s study be accomplished?
Does anyone think Purdue could possibly support an outcome that wasn’t pro-Ag? Their website on CAFOs is outdated by seven years and doesn’t reflect the preponderance of evidence citing health, environmental and quality of life issues associated with CAFOs.
The site is misleading at best.
Is it a knee-jerk belief in the supremacy of the farmer that makes these commissioners deaf to common sense?
Can these unelected officials separate the warm, fuzzy feelings they have for farmers from the fact that today’s farmers are some of the worst polluters on the planet?
If the plan commission thinks this issue of creating zoning that is for everyone, not just the farmer, is over, they are sorely mistaken.
If they think Farm Bureau, lobbyists, lawyers and farmers are the only ones they are accountable to, they are wrong.
The city, the county, the state, and the nation’s body politic is coming to an awareness that the price of industrial farming is exacting too high a cost: on the environment, on the animals, on our health.
The current farmer is not the Marlboro Man of our youth with the sun at his back and the wind in his face.
He doesn’t represent the “American Gothic” painting any more than the planning commission represents the Enlightenment.
Oh, Hancock Planning Commission, be advised: you have not served the people well. Yours will not be a legacy worth remembering.