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Piedmont councilman faces recall election Tuesday

A Piedmont city councilman faces a recall election Tuesday after he drew the ire of local residents by meeting with a wind energy company that has shown interest in erecting giant turbines in the fast-growing town.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: August 10, 2013 at 12:58 am •  Published: August 11, 2013

“I was talking with Apex, but it wasn't a secret,” the councilman said. “I was talking to Apex about building them in northeast Piedmont, where nobody lives. That was it.”

Woods claimed that some residents of the rural section of Piedmont actually were interested in having the turbines on their property.

Suttles said wind turbines, which can reach heights of 500 feet, are not regulated by the state of Oklahoma “until they've been up for 15 years.”

She also said they lower property values and can be a potential safety hazard when tornadoes strike.

“They usually put them in areas where nobody lives,” Suttles said. “Canadian County is the fastest-growing county in Oklahoma ... why do they want to put them here?”

Woods said Suttles and other Piedmont residents are demanding the recall election because of a “personality issue with me,” not because of the wind farm development.

“They are just using this ... windmill thing to come after me,” he said. “It's really not about that all.”

Woods, who won re-election last year after grabbing nearly 70 percent of the vote, said he is the third Piedmont council member to be recalled in the last two or so years.

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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