By JAY MCCARTHY
For The Vista
Rep Cameron Sexton paid Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition a surprise visit.
This past Thursday CMPC had its planned meeting and was told that Sen. Paul Bailey would address the crowd and answer any questions that residents had in regards to the Bill HB 1021/SB1336.
To everyone’s surprise accompanying Sen. Bailey, was our very own Rep Sexton. It was a packed house at the Fairfield Glade Multi-Purpose Building as everyone was excited to hear the details of this bill (reported in an earlier issue of The Vista) that will impact the Crab Orchard wind project.
Sen. Bailey explained the meat and potatoes of the Bill and Rep. Sexton outlined for us the process that the Bill goes through until it is bought up on the floor for a vote.
It was educational for many of us that had no knowledge of how the system works at the State level.
There was a little back and forth about some of the technical issues of the bill but over all it was well received by everyone present.
Members from the Crab Orchard and Homestead contingent along with what I now call the “loyal guard” of Fairfield Glade, expressed their full support of what they heard from Sexton and Bailey.
Both Sexton and Bailey assured us that they were both very excited about the prospects of this Bill passing. They both commented that many leaders in Nashville expressed their sentiment that, not only was this important for Cumberland County, but the entire state of Tennessee, against any future Wind Farm projects.
We must continue to let our leadership know of our concern that the bill get a good reception in the State House and Senate.
Please keep a lookout for information requested on this bill, as it will coming down the pike very soon. Stay informed by going to our website: www.saveourcumberlandmountains.com.
You also can sign up to be on our email list and receive updates as we receive them. You can do this by also going to our website.
This bill not only addresses the Crab Orchard project, but all wind projects throughout the State of Tennessee.
Folks, everyone has put a lot of hard work into stopping this project. It is coming down to the wire, so again when the call to action comes, please help us get this across the finish line to save Cumberland County from this unwanted and unneeded project. There is only one beneficiary — the wind industry.
On a local note, our commissioner Woody Geisler, who was also in attendance, reported that even though many of the County commissioners have come over to our side, the Mayor and County attorney have ignored the recent statute that was cited to them by Jim Martin.
As pointed out to every one in attendance, the County Commissioners along with the Mayor have a shared responsibility to all Cumberland residents to not allow anything that would, per the Bill, be “detrimental to the health, morals, comfort, safety, convenience or welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality” and this law specifically authorizes and empowers the County to proceed with this suggested prohibition.
To put it simply, these elected officials have the power and the duty to stop anything that falls under this description. The law that allows the County to address this is contained under TCA section 5-1-118 subsection “C” and TCA 6-2-201 sub-section 22-23.
In fact, many think that the very County leaders that have been telling us that they “didn’t have the power to do anything” have known all along but simply ignored taking action and protecting the residents of Cumberland County — many of them being children, veterans and senior citizens. Not to mention the untold damage to our mountains and environment.
If this project had been vetted properly and public input was allowed, this would have been pointed out to the Mayor and Commissioners.
We continue to attend the County Commissioners meeting each month and encourage all concerned Cumberland County residents to join us.
The next commissioners meeting is Monday March 20th at the County Courthouse located on main street downtown Crossville.