Dear Editor,
Why am I not surprised that State Representatives, Todd Huston, Chris Jeter, and Chuck Goodrich voted in favor of stripping Indiana’s local governments of their ability to enact/enforce local ordinances on the installation of commercial wind turbine and solar panel ‘farms’. Representatives Huston, Jeter, and Goodrich represent metropolitan areas (Fishers and Noblesville) not rural areas of Hamilton County. Realistically, only the northern half of Hamilton County has any open land suitable for commercial wind turbine or solar panel installations. It is unlikely that Representatives, Huston, Jeter, and Goodrich, will raise the ire of their constituency by voting in favor of such a thoughtless piece of legislation. I use the word ‘thoughtless’ because I can’t fathom how supposedly “conservative” legislators think it is appropriate to strip local governments of their ‘home rule’; essentially, the local government’s ability to govern locally. I would contend that Representatives, Huston, Jeter, and Goodrich have taken a “liberal” stand and feel that the State government knows far better what is best for the citizenry of Hamilton County. If each of these State Representatives were quoted accurately by the local paper, then they feel that our local government’s Representatives, such as town, city, and county councilors / commissioners, do not understand nor care about creating jobs and growing the economy. According to State Representative Todd Huston, "Rural communities could have the opportunity to experience economic growth as a result of this bill”. I would take that quote to mean that the State government is the only entity that truly understand opportunities for economic growth and that local governments have no clue nor experience. Shame on you, Representative Huston; local governments are the only ones that truly understand the diverse economic dynamics, development, and opportunities of their community and county.
I applaud State Representatives, Tony Cook, Donna Schaibley, and Jerry Torr, for voting “no” on House Bill 1381. They seem to understand that ‘bigger brother’, in other words, a more intrusive State government, does not make things better. Local governments know how to govern locally and understand what is best for their citizenry including “growing the economy”. Hamilton County Commissioner, Mark Heirbrandt, stated it effectively, “It is disturbing to continue to see bills like this against Home Rule. Local land use decisions should be made locally and not at the Statehouse.”
Now that House Bill 1381 moves on to the State Senate, I implore State Senators, Scott Baldwin, J.D. Ford, Jim Buck, and Fady Qaddoura, to vote “NO” on this thoughtless bill.
Parvin Gillim
Sheridan