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As with most central planning projects, the people directly affected by the project aren’t taken into consideration. That’s certainly the case with Blaine’s rejected solar energy proposal. As with most projects, this was a power play built on the premises that central planners know best and that the uppity peasants should just listen.

That’s certainly the message that comes through loud and clear when it’s written “From the start, City Hall threw its clout behind the proposed field of solar panels with a capacity to power about 760 homes, giving the project an aura of inevitability. ‘It’s an alternative energy and limits the use of coal, which everyone wants,’ Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan said at a December public meeting. ‘It limits the carbon footprint.'”

Nowhere is it written that the neighborhood’s wishes were taken into consideration. Nowhere did the central planners think that renewable energy wasn’t a high priority of the neighborhood. That’s what happens within a bubble.

Homeowners determined there’d never been a big solar farm placed so close to a residential neighborhood anywhere in the country. When residents spot checked zoning regulations in other jurisdictions, they learned that none of the nine cities and three counties allowed big solar farms near residential neighborhoods like theirs.

Yet residents got the feeling city officials were more interested in rubber-stamping the project than in listening to their concerns over safety, aesthetics and property values. “Cities should put their citizens first because that’s who they are there to serve,” said Chris Hildrum, a Blaine resident who led the opposition. “They should not put energy companies, government entities or anything above the people they are there to serve. And when they do that, they create problems for everybody and everything.”

Mr. Hildrum’s statement is blasphemy to central planners. People are subjects unworthy of consideration with central planners. The people aren’t their concern. Here’s proof of that:

Days before city officials were set to amend the city code to allow solar farms in Blaine in late December, residents finally got through to City Councilor Julie Jeppson.

“I’m guessing this is not the last time we’re going to hear about it. So let’s prepare ourselves so when the right opportunities come up so we’re ready for them,” said Jeppson, a supporter of prudent solar development. “So we don’t have these huge miscommunications with neighbors and make them feel like we’re sneaking something under the radar with them. Have it out there, this is our policy, this is how we’re going to uphold it.”

Nothing in those statements indicates that she’s listened to the people.

2 Responses to “Central planners ignore the people”

  • Chad Q says:

    So called environmentalists crack me up. On one hand they say that urban sprawl is taking up too much farmland and that we need to live in 400 SF apartments so we can grow enough food to feed the world and then on the other hand, the build solar farms that eat up farmland by the 10’s and 100’s of acres at a time. Same with wind farms but that’s another waste of money. I think the government needs to get out of the business of subsidizing utility companies and HO’s for using so called green energy and see where it all plays out.

  • JerryE9 says:

    I’m still waiting for the power company to justify that solar farm south of here based on “return on investment.” The last I heard, the electricity produced by these hazardous-waste-filled sheets does not pay for them for something like 100 years, and they only last about 25.

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