Elmer Underwood of Indian Valley believes the best way to deal with elected officials is to threaten them.

During a public hearing two years ago, Underwood told the board of supervisors that the best way to treat them for raising real estate taxes “involves tar, feathers and a rail.”

“I got rails out on my truck,” he told the board.  “I got enough for each of you and I know what to do with them.”

At this week’s public hearing on a proposed ordinance banning development on the county’s ridge lines — a move that would stop construction of proposed wind turbine generators on Wills Ridge and other places in the county — Underwood issued another threat:

They way I look at it, if I want to put one (a wind generator) in my field or something, that’s my business and it ain’t none of y’all’s business.  As long as it’s legal and all, I think I ought to be able to do it.  But if y’all can stop me on that I’ll tell you one thing.  If any one of you ever come over there to me and jump on me about something, I’ll bust your nose.

In public hearings in some other county, town or city, a threat like that can lead to arrest, handcuffs and time in front of a judge.  But this is Floyd County and, shucks, everyone knows Elmer and we’re all used to those sorts of things.

Yeah, everyone knows Elmer and those who know him best say that if you get in his face he will bust your nose…and a few other things.

Which may explain why candidates for office, as a general rule, don’t drop by his farm to ask for his vote.

Elmer Underwood: Consider yourself warned