From: Cassie Perry
To the editor:
I attended the Bartholomew County Zoning and Appeals (BZA) meeting on Jan. 27 regarding the Gelfius conditional use request to build two buildings, on top of farmland, to host 8,800 hogs at any given time.
This means they will be a hosting site for over 24,000 hogs a year. Some folks within a half-mile radius were given only 10 days to research and prepare for this meeting and to explain to the board how this would impact them and the community, while Bill Gelfius had been researching, for years, how to be a hosting provider for hogs.
Anyway, the conduct of this public meeting was terribly biased toward the applicant. The chairman is the one who conducts the meeting. While I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinions and thoughts on any given subject, I also feel that when you are appointed to an office/position where you are representing and speaking for a community, you are no longer just voting or speaking on behalf of yourself.
You are evaluating all factors, considering all effects and weighing all costs that impact, not you, not your agenda, but the community or group of people you represent.
What seemed to be clear at the BZA meeting is that this conditional use request was supposed to be pushed on through regardless of what the public had to say or concerns they shared during the meeting.
There were at least two hours of testimony (with a 3-minute limit per person) with valid concerns from the public, and at the end of all that there was an immediate motion to approve the request. Without pause? Without care? Without thought?
Praise the Lord for the board member who said, wait a second, there is an awful lot for me to take in, and I am going to need some time to do just that.