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Subject of Apex ad content unaware about wind controversy; applications sought to replace Orr

Darrow said he had not completely understood from an email that the ad would be used in print and social media. He said he would not have gotten involved if he had known it was controversial, and he did not want to involve himself with negativity. Darrow said the last thing he wants to do is hurt anyone. He said he believes in renewable energy but can empathize with the non-leasing landowners. “Both sides are right,” he said.

Developers of a planned wind-powered electrical generation center in southwest Neosho County said statements by an opponent before the Neosho County Commission were not true.

During Thursday’s commission meeting, opponent Dale Jeffery said statements attributed to an electrical contractor in a paid advertisement were not what the contractor said.

The March 26 advertisement featured a photo and quotation attributed to Lawrence Darrow of Darrow Electric. The advertisement came from Apex Clean Energy, the developer planning to build Neosho Ridge Wind, a 300-megawatt generating facility with 139 windmills on 44,000 acres in southwest Neosho County.

At the meeting, Jeffery questioned if the advertisement was fraudulent because he said he had spoken with Darrow and Darrow denied any involvement.

Darrow confirmed to the Tribune on Friday that he asked his son Ira to submit a photo and quote to Apex. After the ad appeared, Darrow said he spoke to Jeffery and one other Neosho County resident, and he had not known the project here was controversial.

A representative of Apex said the ad was designed and prepared by a marketing firm, and Darrow said the firm did nothing fraudulent.

Darrow said... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Developers of a planned wind-powered electrical generation center in southwest Neosho County said statements by an opponent before the Neosho County Commission were not true.

During Thursday’s commission meeting, opponent Dale Jeffery said statements attributed to an electrical contractor in a paid advertisement were not what the contractor said.

The March 26 advertisement featured a photo and quotation attributed to Lawrence Darrow of Darrow Electric. The advertisement came from Apex Clean Energy, the developer planning to build Neosho Ridge Wind, a 300-megawatt generating facility with 139 windmills on 44,000 acres in southwest Neosho County.

At the meeting, Jeffery questioned if the advertisement was fraudulent because he said he had spoken with Darrow and Darrow denied any involvement.

Darrow confirmed to the Tribune on Friday that he asked his son Ira to submit a photo and quote to Apex. After the ad appeared, Darrow said he spoke to Jeffery and one other Neosho County resident, and he had not known the project here was controversial.

A representative of Apex said the ad was designed and prepared by a marketing firm, and Darrow said the firm did nothing fraudulent.

Darrow said he had not completely understood from an email that the ad would be used in print and social media. He said he would not have gotten involved if he had known it was controversial, and he did not want to involve himself with negativity.

Darrow said the last thing he wants to do is hurt anyone. He said he believes in renewable energy but can empathize with the non-leasing landowners.

“Both sides are right,” he said.

“It is really a shame that Mr. Jeffery and those supporting his effort have decided to take the path of continuing to subject their neighbors to this kind of behavior,” Apex representative Brooke Beaver said.

When contacted Tuesday, Jeffery said he was dealing with a family issue, said the Tribune was stalking him and declined to answer any questions.

During Thursday’s meeting, commissioners announced that Commissioner Jennifer Orr resigned her position. In her letter, Orr said her family had been harassed, which she attributed to Neosho Ridge opponents because she might support the project.

“Jennifer Orr’s description of her experience was deeply upsetting,” said Beaver. “We hope this kind of behavior does not ultimately rob the community of the best economic development opportunity to come to the county in years.”

Another Apex representative, Project Manager Jade Scheele, said the company is evaluating what impact Orr’s resignation will have.

Apex and county officials currently are negotiating a road use agreement and other agreements. Commissioner David Bideau said he wants to have three voting members to consider the agreements. Having two could mean a split between Bideau and Commissioner Paul Westhoff.

Construction of the project was anticipated to start in August or September.

Scheele thanked Orr for her leadership.

“We share the disappointment of many in this community who believe that the uncivil behavior that forced her departure should never have been allowed to take place in Neosho County,” Scheele said.

Accepting applications

County Clerk Randal Neely said that usually when a commissioner resigns in mid-term, the governor receives notification and then notifies the ex-commissioner’s political party. That party has 21 days after receiving notification to nominate a replacement. The governor then has seven days to appoint the  replacement,  and is not obligated to name the party’s nominee.

In this case, Orr ran as an independent candidate and soon after changed her affiliation to Democrat. The last time Neosho County had a commission vacancy was in 2013.

Residents of the Neosho County 2nd District interested in filling a commission vacancy have until the close of business Thursday to submit a resume and cover letter.

Scott Allegrucci, Director of Appointments for the Governor’s office, said qualified applicants who wish to be considered for appointment should send a resume and cover letter, including current contact information, to boardsandcommissions@ks.gov marked “Attention Neosho County Commission” by the close of business Thursday.

Neely said that under normal circumstances, the Governor’s office would contact the local party to nominate a replacement. The party would have 21 days from notification to submit a nominee.

But Orr was not affiliated with a party when she was elected. Neely said once the local party submits a nominee, the Governor has seven days to make the appointment, but is not obligated to appoint the nominee.

Since Orr affiliated with the Democratic party after her election, Elizabeth Fehr, chair of the county Democratic Party, said she hopes the Governor finds a good candidate.


Source: http://www.chanute.com/news...

APR 7 2019
http://www.windaction.org/posts/49713-subject-of-apex-ad-content-unaware-about-wind-controversy-applications-sought-to-replace-orr
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