There’s a well-worn story about a business man who meets a woman at a bar.
The man asks the woman, “Would you go to bed with me for a million dollars?”
The woman blushes, but realizing what she could do with a million dollars, she sheepishly says, “I would.”
The man asks a second question, “Would you go to bed with me for ten dollars?”
The woman’s face turns beet red and shouts, “WHAT KIND OF WOMAN DO YOU THINK I AM?”
The man calmly responds, “We already established what KIND of woman you are. We’re just negotiating price.”
Landowners in southern Allen and northern Auglaize counties have been courted by a man at the bar named Lightsourc bp / Birch Solar LLC. Most of these landowners are farmers and have been members of the community for many generations. These are the types of folks you generally want for neighbors.
They are ones who usually have a deep appreciation for the land, wildlife, and their communities because they live here too. Their livelihoods and reputations are in plain view of everyone. Most of them, will give the shirt off their backs to help you out.
They usually try to do the right thing.
Yet, when the man at the bar with lots of money approached them about doing something unthinkable like leasing their land to install miles and miles of solar panels that will be an economic and environmental nightmare to everyone around them … they lost their way and took the offer.
Landowners, if you change the woman’s question to: “What kind of neighbors do you think we are?” You, who have signed the lease with Lightsource bp / Birch Solar LLC have already given your answer. Those of you who haven’t, there’s still time to do the right thing.
Meanwhile, there are lots of good neighbors spending countless hours raising awareness and trying to undo the works of the neighbors who lost their way. If you think this doesn’t involve you, think again.
If there is an open field close to your property, it involves you. If you take a drink of water from a well or from a municipal source, it involves you. If you believe that community and elected officials should have a say in a project of this magnitude, it involves you. If you pay property taxes, it involves you. If you like to hunt or simply enjoy the beauty of the countryside, it involves you. If you have health concerns, it involves you.
In short, if you’re still reading this letter, it involves you! Take time to educate yourself. Take time to be a good neighbor. A good place to start is to visit regulateohiosolar.com.
Mark Chambers is a resident of Shawnee Township