The Wind Farm Debate


I have not educated myself on the positives or negatives of wind farms, nor will I do so at this time.  I don’t need to.  There are several good individuals on both sides of this debate that have strong opinions and have taken the time to ensure they have been heard through meetings, conversations, newspapers, television and social media.  If you would like to learn more about wind farms, there is plenty of information to read and decipher what is true and/or false.

I have been in various leadership roles over the past twenty-two years in the marketplace and in churches.  I also have multiple degrees in leadership.  I do not normally engage with anything political.  However, the wind farm debate in Henry County has become a volatile circumstance for the future unity of our community.  For several weeks, my concern has shifted from wind farms to the process and the leadership.

I have heard words of conspiracy and conflicts of interest.  I have heard of leaders using words of disrespect and profanity toward their constituents.  I have heard of fights in meetings.  I have heard of people sneaking around to take pictures that could be used against others.  This list could continue, but you might have heard the same things also.  It appears the process has become driven by emotions, business and revenue.  This doesn’t sound like a process that has the unity of New Castle and Henry County as a priority.  Certainly, I do not know every detail and there are always two sides to a story, but this process appears to be broken and does not look good for the future growth of Henry County.  Leadership should always strive to protect the reputation of a community, especially if potential families should consider this county as a future home.

There are four reasons why the discussions about wind farms should be postponed FOR NOW.

First, the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.  Could wind farms be positive for Henry Country?  Possibly.  Could wind farms be negative for Henry County?  Possibly.  However, mistrust and disunity will kill any well-intentioned leadership effort.  Poor leadership has turned right things into wrong things in many areas of the economy over the last century.

Second, unbiased leadership will always make the right choices.  I do not know the leaders who are in the wind farm discussion.  I don’t need to know them because a “conflict of interest” inquiry should be enough to pause the wind farm discussion.  Allow the inquiry to happen, make sure the right leaders are exploring wind farms, let the air clear and resume discussions.

Third, emotional leaders stop viewing the big picture.  It happens to every leader.  At times, our emotions get the best of us.  Coaches have been ejected from games.  Employers make horrible decisions.  Parents need to apologize.  There are moments when all of us should stop speaking long enough to process what is really happening around us.  If the leaders in the wind farm discussion cannot remain emotionally stable, they will not see how wind farms might affect the big picture.

Fourthstrategy and the right development stops when revenue drives decision-making.  It doesn’t take long to find a business that has deflated because of a sharp focus on revenue and a lack of focus on strategy.  Do you remember Palm pilots and Polaroid cameras?

Commissioners of Henry Country, please consider postponing the discussions concerning wind farms until the right people are sitting at the table.  I am sure you would like the county residents to be unified and going in the same direction as much as you would like them to trust you will make the right decisions for the county.  Wind farms might be right, but the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.