Today we all owe a big thank you to the citizens of Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert Counties for waging a courageous fight to defeat incumbent Ohio Senator Tony Burkley, sponsor of HB 190 to allow County Commissioners to shorten setbacks for industrial wind turbines and facilitate collection of more PILOT money. Of course, Burkley would have never come to an end without a terrific candidate, Craig Riedel, who had to fight against massive expenditures by wind and the Ohio Republican Caucus who underwrote slick TV ads for Burkley. Also cause for celebration in Van Wert County was the defeat of vocal wind proponent, Staci Kaufman, Superintendent of Vantage Career Center, who was seeking election as Van Wert County Commissioner. Just this past November, Kaufman testified in the legislature in support of HB 190 by saying:
“Wind energy is established and now starting to grow here, but Ohio has a major policy barrier that blocks this growth: wind farm setbacks. Fortunately, this can be easily resolved at no cost to the state or our community. House Bill 190 addresses this barrier, enabling communities that want wind farms the opportunity to have them. If counties would like to see additional wind development, they can make the choice to do so. Vantage Career Center wants to choose “yes”.
We have seen the positive contributions of the wind farms in our community: new money for farmers and local government. Increased dollars in the hands of community members stimulates our local economy, making our county more attractive for new businesses desiring to move to Ohio. That’s why last summer’s change to the setback requirements was perplexing. This regulation goes too far by taking away the property rights of those who want to see wind development on their land.”
Well, the voters made a choice all right. And they chose not to elect Staci Kaufman. Letters to the Editor, yard signs and constant outreach to elected officials in the area WORKED. The real winners are the families trying their hardest to provide the best environment for their children. Maybe an appreciation of nature and all of creation beats a new laptop paid by taxpayer subsidized wind money….
…Wolfrum nearly doubled the vote count on challenger Staci Kaufman, superintendent of Vantage Career Center….
The race for county prosecutor was much closer, with challenger Yarger garnering 3,380 votes to 3,311 for Kennedy…
In somewhat of a surprising result, incumbent State Representative Tony Burkley could have been hurt by his opponent’s labeling him as a “career politician,” as well as his stance on wind energy and his co-sponsorship of House Bill 190. Burkley lost to Riedel in Van Wert County 3,610 to 2,772….
Source: The VW independent