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Not satisfied with solar power committee

EDITOR:

At the Escanaba Township Zoning Board meeting Monday night, Nov. 4, 2019, a ad hoc committee was chosen. Out of 17 applicants, only 14 were present to be interviewed, one of the people chosen has never been to a meeting dealing with the issue and was not in attendance Monday evening for an interview but we were told she had been on a previous board. That board did not deal with anything even closely related to the issue at hand. The chair of the zoning board said he had spoken to her on the phone, but we were never informed of her other qualifications. I fail to see how being on a board totally unrelated to the subject begins to qualify anybody. There were applicants so qualified, over qualified, experienced, knowledgeable on so many levels and issues involved in this industrial solar project and who would be living in close proximity, I would think it would of been advantageous to the township board and the members on the ad hoc to select the most knowledgeable, experienced, and educated applicants instead of a landowner who will personally benefit, a representative from the developing company from California and a representative from UPPCO from Marquette and one from Escanaba. I see this as a conflict of interest or discrimination in the sense that it is “action or policies based on prejudice or partiality, “ according to Webster dictionary. Out of eight selected only five live in the township, pay township taxes, own homes/land in the township. Other than financial gain or pride, why would anyone want to be involved in something of this scope which will affect all the township residents in one way or another.

At this juncture we see no positive benefit; the power will not stay here, the farmland is lost, the fire danger and issues dealing with fighting a fire in a industrial solar setting, wildlife, aesthetics, noise, glare, green space, property value and most importantly our water. This is no small issue to be taken lightly, this will affect the whole township and that is my basis for not grasping the reason for not choosing the most qualified, knowledgeable, educated and informed people to serve on this committee.

I have to applaud the zoning board members for their service thus far. I am sure the stress and time spent doing research, and might I say it is very evident who does and who does not do research informing themselves on each issue, is very demanding.

These are life changing decisions for a whole community, the very best thing we can all do is pray.

Ada Knauf

Escanaba Township