Solar opponents continue to try and create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about Utility-Scale Solar. Our Mason County school superintendent certainly has, as a private citizen, the right to express his personal opinions in any way he believes will serve his personal goals. However, he does not have the right to use taxpayer resources for personal benefit.
Here is a copy of an email Mr. Ross sent to media in Maysville, Lexington, and Cincinnati. The email asks the reader to draw conclusions based on Mr. Ross’s many false charges supported by misrepresented or false claims.
Mr. Ross must have realized his direct violation of KDE’s “Best Practices for Appropriate Use of Technology ‘ as over the night of July 2/3 he blocked access to them on google drive. However, I downloaded copies before he took the originals documents down.
His claims are wrong on so many levels, I will not, at this time, attempt to correct all of his misrepresentations. Instead, I ask you to review his own words and decide if it is an appropriate communication to send from the official mail server account of the Mason County School System. The question is especially relevant when we remember that Utility-Scale Solar on 6,000 acres (less than 4% of Mason County’s farmland) will over 30 years increase school tax revenue by $8,300,000. (I was amazed when deep in Mr. Ross’ email, he bizarrely suggest that Mason County Schools should NOT want increased tax revenue because of SEEK funding)
Mr. Ross’s Email to the Media
From: Rick Ross <email@example.com>
Date: July 2, 2021 at 9:32:41 AM EDT
To:firstname.lastname@example.org, Christy Hoots <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject:FW: George Larger e-mails
Happy 4th of July,
I wanted to let you know that the George Larger e-mails have been sent to television stations in Lexington and Cincinnati. The google link below will provide you access. He has been colluding with solar companies for at least a year and half and promises they will be “100% satisfied” with the mason county solar ordinance. This includes placing 1.6 million solar panels across at least 6,000 acres of prime farmland. He would like these panels as close as 50 feet from neighboring properties and turn farmland into industrial solar complexes. I’ve contacted Matt and Owen. Matt was more receptive and shut down the draft George was using provided by the solar companies. He won’t remove George from the zoning process, even though he is clearly bias. Owen just gets upset and defends George and sees nothing wrong. The proof is in the e-mails. I understand very influential people would not be happy with this being exposed. They have been paid already by the solar companies and wish for more money. In full disclosure, farmers on two sides of me are looking to sell their land directly to the solar companies so we are looking at day and night inverter noise (at levels the EPA deems hazardous), razor wire fencing, and 20 foot tall panels.
I wanted to give you the same opportunity we are giving the TV stations.
Email sent to county officials
Subject: George Larger e-mails
I wanted to send you a link to e-mails I acquired under open records regarding George Larger. Upon suspecting he is very much an advocate of industrial solar on farmland in Mason County, I decided to go after the evidence. You will find that he promises the solar companies will be “100% satisfied” with any ordinance the zoning commissioners produced. In fact, the initial draft which insisted on just 50 ft. separation to adjacent property owners was written by the solar companies! George explained that away as a mere matter of convenience since he didn’t have adobe acrobat. He demeans anyone opposed to industrial solar constructed near them and praises those for it. In fact, he helped Bill Marshall create his pro-solar webpage. He states “I am for solar but can’t give that impression”. You’ll see he plays off eight foot tall fences with razor wire as something normal in farming. Once you read these, you will see he has been working hand-in-hand with these companies for months. In spite of all of this, I am told by both of George’s bosses that he is somehow still capable of leading this process. What an embarrassment to the County it will be when these e-mails become public.
They are looking to place about 1.5 million solar panels in Mason County, encompassing 6,000 acres and counting. This includes across the street and next to me. I would have this on two side of me in a currently rural setting with no proposed property value guarantee or protection from the visual impact of 20 foot tall panels and the constant noise which as you will see in the link below is at a constant level just below what the EPA deems harmful. This noise occurs day and night!!!! https://photos.app.goo.gl/afmK812scBo7tLbQ7 (from the fleming project hearing)
This project is nothing like the power plant on the river. That project was of a much more limited scale and did actually create jobs. This project does not. Only some temporary jobs during construction which will be mostly filled from outside contractors and laborers. They hope to create the largest industrial solar complex not located in the dessert. This is not good for Mason County!
The tax benefits they claim are bogus. Any increase in property value taxation created will result in LESS money coming in from the schools from the state. Chay Ritter (Kentucky Department of Education) just this week stated that the “under the SEEK formula, when property assessments increase in a county, the amount of state funding to schools decreases. That usually means districts are forced to increase the local effort (raise taxes).
We have found that the leases these landowners are signing gives mineral rights and right to remove topsoil for sale! These leases are kept confidential and they can’t share or risk losing the money already flowing. We’ve also discovered that many of the landowners are creating a zone around their homes (15-20 acre) which is free of solar panels! Why do they feel they should get a buffer but not the rest of us?
Our only hope is that we have zoning. I pray any ordinance approved will include a setback greater that the state minimum 1,000 feet. This setback was created for industrial settings, not where people have to live. Please understand that a zoning considered favorable to the solar companies will invite more land owners to sign leases and sell to these out of state/country companies. My family loves where we live but will be forced to move outside of this county immediately if this is allowed. That is, if we are able. I fear my home will be unsellable. I won’t raise my kids around razor wire and constant noise.
Thanks for listening. I’m sure you have been inundated from both sides. It’s sad these companies have signed people on PRIOR to letting the zoning ordinance play out. This has created a neighbor against neighbor environment. Please research what I have shared and read these unfortunate e-mails of George’s.
——– End of Rick Ross’s Email to media ——-
Google Files Ross referred to in email but took down over the night of July 2/3 2021
|Another Perspective||Another Perspective||Another Perspective||Appears to be – We hope to work in Mason County. Let us tell you about ourselves.|
An explanation of SEEK the funding mentioned by Mr. Ross