Letter to the Editor: Why is meaningful feedback not welcome?
As of last Monday, county commissioners do not intend to allow for public review of the agreements with NextEra, even after the county’s hired attorney, Mr. Neeld, stated earlier in the meeting that he welcomes meaningful feedback and does not have a problem putting the agreements out for review. Mr. Neeld also indicated at the public meeting on July 31st that the plan was to allow for public review of the agreements before they are approved. So why is meaningful feedback not welcome from the commissioners? An updated term sheet was released mid-July, which had gone through “multiple eyes” including many attorneys. I communicated 35 errors, omissions, and concerns to the commissioners and attorneys. Seven items were renegotiated and changed in the final term sheet that was voted on. Charity Henry and I spent multiple hours on the phone with Mr. Neeld and commissioner Dennis Henry in late July. We were told our feedback was meaningful and well-thought out, and that our detailed and professional review of this legal document was appreciated. Items that were changed as a result of our review included typos – one that originally had NextEra’s engineer as the deciding engineer when there was a dispute, and another that allowed a minimum of 60 days for an engineer to review a complaint rather than a maximum of 60 days. Clarity was added to define how the reviewing engineer was to be chosen. Omissions were corrected, such as structures other than turbines not being included in decommissioning. The concerns that were brought up in these conversations and emails were genuine. They were not intended to delay or shut down the project. They were brought up to prevent loopholes that a billion dollar corporation and its many attorneys, accountants, and engineers could take advantage of. They were brought up by genuinely concerned citizens who have every reason to get the best deal and best protection for Nemaha County, unlike the hired attorneys that sit in an office in Kansas City and will never have to deal with the repercussions of not getting these agreements right. We, the citizens of Nemaha County, may not all have law degrees, but we have the best interest of our county at heart which might make us the most qualified people to review these agreements. So I ask you again, commissioners, won’t you please allow time for meaningful feedback and review of the agreements?