To the 98 Town Meeting members who voted “no” to the wind turbine project, I applaud you. If you came undecided, let me tell you that the cards were already stacked and the die was cast.
For the record, Moderator Brian Bowcock appeared biased, Wind Wise was not allowed to set up their video ahead of time, and developer James Sweeney with his panel was allowed to give a lengthy, redundant hour-and-a-half presentation which wore out the listeners. In comparison, Wind Wise had very little time to state their case. If a voter was hoping to hear both sides equally, it was not going to happen.
What bothered me most was that residents who were directly affected by the turbines were just not given the chance to have a voice. Members voted to allow three Fairhaven residents to speak about their neighborhoods and how they would be directly affected. Only one resident was allowed to speak. At that time, mob rule took over, and the moderator did not silence them.
Another member was trying to remind people that they should give these two women the chance to speak as they had originally voted.
Someone then motioned to take the vote, and the rest is history.
I have been doing hours of research and I am still convinced that this is a bad plan for Fairhaven. Even with the noise factor aside, it is not a good financial plan if you study it carefully. I believe that many members voted because of their fear of global warming, or they were influenced by skewed and erroneous information given to them by the developer and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Developers could be looking at more areas in Fairhaven to put turbines. Perhaps the center of town will be targeted next, or land in East Fairhaven where Selectman Manzone lives, or maybe the state forest on West Island. Maybe Atlas Tack land will be rezoned, or they will look at Fort Phoenix.
Developers should get the support of our selectmen who live in these neighborhoods since they are supportive of industrial wind turbines. Even more money would be brought into the town, and as we’ve been told, noise and shadow are not a factor. Don’t worry if the turbines will be too loud when they come to your neighborhood. After all, like the Little Bay residents and those two women who were not allowed to speak, you will “just have to get used to it.”
3 June 2007
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