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Wind turbines an issue in Fairhaven race  

Selectman candidate Brian K. Bowcock has come out in favor of a proposed wind project in town, the issue of the day before Monday’s town election.

Mr. Bowcock said the two proposed turbines by a private developer working in partnership with the town behind the wastewater treatment plant near Little Bay are worth exploring, and that the area is the best location in town for them.

“We have had studies done,” he said at the West Island candidates night this week.

His opponent, Ann Ponichtera DeNardis, opposes the turbines and urges that the town put up its own at a different location.

Yesterday, Mrs. DeNardis denied Mr. Bowcock’s suggestion that a Proposition 2½ override or tax increases would be needed for the town to erect its own turbines. “I would not suggest a 2½ override,” she said. “That’s ridiculous. There are monies available (from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative) to fund these types of things.”

Mrs. DeNardis recently helped form the WindWise Fairhaven group opposing the turbines. Mr. Bowcock said the group is welcome to present its views.

“I think it’s a good idea that people raise issues,” he said.

During the candidates night, Mr. Bowcock touted his 25-year record in town politics. He said supporting education and public safety is essential, but added that “we must live within our means.”

Besides raising concerns about a possible revenue shortfall related to the end of the town’s rubbish contract, he also called for cost savings through a natural gas consortium and finding cheaper ways of insuring the town’s workers.

Mrs. DeNardis, who promised to be the “new voice” for residents, expressed concern about global warming and called for an energy consortium and for the formation of an alternative energy committee.

Otherwise, she promised independence and diligence. “I won’t be a rubber stamp,” she said.

In the School Committee race, the four candidates seeking two seats focused their discussion on the maintenance of the town’s schools and full restoration of programs affected by 2005 budget cuts.

“A great education system serves every child and the whole child,” said candidate Stasia A. Powers.

Candidate Pamela R. Kuechler called for “outside the box” solutions for the school’s financial problems and defended the neighborhood school concept, as did all the other candidates.

“I think there’s a solution for the small school buildings,” she said.

Padraic W. Elliott also raised concerns about problems at Hastings Middle school lingering from the fiscal crisis, such as long study hall periods.

Incumbent Stephen R. DesRoches explained that funding for maintenance issues is being sought at Town Meeting. He also said the School Committee has instructed Superintendent Robert N. Baldwin to develop a master plan for the town’s schools.

“I want to make this the best school system in the area,” he said.

By Joao Ferreira
Standard-Times staff writer

southcoasttoday.com

30 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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