Taxpayers and municipal council members don’t always agree.
That’s a given.
Residents in North Perth, however, can feel assured and even proud that during a recent council meeting, their elected officials stood strong for their people.
North Perth council chambers were full to overflowing with members of the public and protestors opposing the proposed local wind turbine development here by Invenergy Canada. These folks effectively communicated their anti-turbine stance as Invenergy Canada director of business development James Murphy presented a delegation to council.
While Mayor Julie Behrns insisted on a certain level of courtesy during the proceedings, there was no mistake to be made — she and the rest of North Perth council have heard what the people are saying.
Council members actively participated in the delegation, questioning Murphy on everything from health issues to contract concerns to land disturbance to simply — why here?
It was clear from the type and sheer number of questions council presented that they have listened, in detail, to ratepayers’ concerns and are making attempts to get answers.
Most outspoken on council that evening was indisputably deputy mayor Vince Judge. Judge unabashedly told Murphy that he would defend his community. He stated in no uncertain terms that didn’t like what Invenergy Canada was doing in this area and the company should “go someplace else.”
If there was any doubt at all as to how the crowd felt, the applause and cheers emitted following Judge’s statement erased them all.
Local council members are in a tough spot when it comes to wind development projects. They know the final outcome rests in the hands of the provincial government. But that didn’t deter local councillors from fighting the good fight anyway. They have already passed a resolution against wind turbines. They made clear their opposition during the aforementioned council meeting.
Coun. Warren Howard has been speaking with The Banner and working on a regular basis for quite some time on this very issue, trying to sort out the health concerns and provide educated leadership on council. None seem satisfied with the answers Invenergy Canada has provided thus far and appeared to present a civil, though unified, line of defence for their community and its members.
There’s no doubt council members will continue to fight for and alongside North Perth residents.