Solar panels can be a good neighbor
Good Morning AnnaCia-
I tried to leave this as a comment, but got too wordy. So here it is as a hub.
Sometimes its hard to understand all of the moving pieces that underlie govenment actions and policies. In difficult economic times, particularly, there is a delicate balancing act that governments must gauge between available services and the cost (and necessary supporting revenues) of these services.
Though governments rarely sell their lands or buildings, in some cases it is maybe the best option, or maybe the only option, to meeting the financial requirements of its constituents (citizens).
In the case of solar panels, folks may not understand the land use and planning related to them. In planning, there are greenfields (parks) and brownfields (blighted). There is also a third, brightfield. A brightfield is clean electronic (typically), non polluting equipment and is a more preferred (higher) use that a brownfield. Solar panels meet the requirements of a brightfield.
With solar panels there are many levels of financial and environmental benefits. The energy produced is essentially free (no fuel cost). There are federal, state and county rebates, there are tax credits, there are renewable energy credits, there are utility rebates, and there is also depreciation.
Solar electrical generation is pollution free (air, water, soil) and consumes no water. All of the coal and oil typically used (and mined and transported) to fire utililty plants is conserved. This project also reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthens our electric grid with its distibuted generation. From a community standpoint, this is solid leadership by example. This type of project also has direct instructional benefit to school children.
Taking the common NIMBY (not in my backyard) approach is easy, but does nothing to meet any of the very worthy goals listed above or the issues facing your town. Would you rather have a recreation center, library, city dump, firehouse or other government facility next to you? The solar project has no traffic, no noise, and no lights, all the while representing a money-saving, pollution saving and natural resource saving endeavor.
Oh, and yes, I have put my money and reputation where my mouth is. As the Director of Utilities for a large western city (until my retirement a few years ago), I was responsible for the placement of many megawatts of solar panels on government buildings and lands. And, yes, I have them on my house too.
I would urge you to take pride in, and not offense to, your community's energy conservation/management efforts.