So, a year’s worth of research into an ordinance on wind turbines for East Meredith is thrown away by the town supervisor. No one who has followed this sorry saga will be surprised by this, as it appears that democratic accountability stops at the town line.
To my knowledge there has yet to be a public debate involving the town board on this subject. Listening to comments allowed at the April 23 meeting was deeply troubling. Local residents were trying to come to terms with the prospect of living with these industrial turbines on their doorsteps with no explanation as to why they should have to.
Mr. Bachler cannot be allowed to ignore the weight of local opinion, which puts the anti-wind turbine voters in the majority. I have three questions for him:
1. Where did the idea come from that performance standards for the wind companies should replace setbacks?
2. How will these performance standards be policed? Big business has an appalling record on honoring these kinds of agreements, and the costs of enforcement could be ruinous for the town.
3. How much will it cost for the town attorney to do this work? Will she read the research unearthed by the many people who have spent hundreds of hours finding out the things we need to know to make an informed decision? If she does, the cost to the town will be big. If she does not, we will all pay the price for years to come.
I am sure there are many other questions. For example, it would relevant to the debate to know if the members of the town board intend to stay in this area to live with the consequences. Someone needs to remind Mr. Bachler that we pay his salary and expect some answers.
14 May 2007
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