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Cape Air president, wind farm foe among six named to Patrick's work groups

Gov.-elect Deval Patrick has named six Cape notables to working groups to develop state policies in areas like economic development, transportation and innovative industries.

The working groups will hold public meetings soon and lay the groundwork for the new administration’s agenda.

Andrea Silbert of Harwich, who lost the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor in September, was named co-chair of the Economic Development working group. She is the co-founder and former CEO of the Center for Women and Enterprise. Elliot Carr of the Cape Cod Business Roundtable was also appointed to the Economic Development working group.

Susan Nickerson, the executive director of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, will serve on the working group for the Energy and the Environment.
Transportation working group members include Dan Wolf, the president and CEO of Cape Air, and Margo Fenn, the executive director of the Cape Cod Commission. Wendy Northcross, the CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, is on the Creative Economy working group.

Patrick named Democrats, Republicans and independents to 15 different working groups, which will send their recommendations to him by Dec. 15.
The working groups could see conflict, as well as conversation. Nickerson, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, leads the major organized opposition to the Cape Wind project.

Patrick strongly supports the Nantucket Sound wind farm. He also named Susan Tierney, who was secretary of environmental affairs under former Gov. William Weld, to the same Energy and Environment working group that Nickerson is on. Tierney strongly endorsed the wind farm after chairing a state task force that recommended the state develop an ocean management plan.

Patrick said he was seeking different viewpoints on state issues.

“During the campaign, Tim Murray and I made it very clear that we will be seeking good ideas from Democrats, Republicans, independents, and anyone else, and we will listen to those ideas and pick the best the ones to help move our Commonwealth forward,” Patrick said in a statement. “These community meetings are the first step in the process.”

Earlier this month, Patrick named Yarmouthport resident Gloria Larson a co-chair of his transition team. Larson is working with Patrick to fill his administration and set policy.

She was a member of the Weld administration and a long-time Republican, but is now registered as unenrolled.

Other working groups named by Patrick included Budget and Finance, Education, Higher Education, Health Care, Housing, Human Services, Local Government, Technology, Public Safety and Security, Civic Engagement, and Workforce Development.

The dates of the community meetings, where public comment will be accepted, may be announced this week.

“This series of community meetings is just the beginning of our effort to bring people back into civic life, to re-engage their interest and to get some fresh, new ideas about how we tackle challenges and take advantage of opportunities,” Patrick said.

By David Kibbe

Ottaway News Service