Cape Vincent is usually a quiet town with little conflict, but that was not the case at Tuesday night’s emergency town board meeting.
The meeting was called by Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey in response to the office of Andrew Cuomo, New York State Attorney General, request of all documentation pertaining to the wind farm development project.
The town of Cape Vincent has been divided on the issue of wind turbines being developed on privately owned farm land.
The biggest issues now are the contracts that have been proposed to certain council members or their families. A heavy debate into the ethics of the town council and their agendas, are what prompted the review by the Attorney General.
A temporary halt on all discussion, and further forward movement on the wind turbines project, was to be the issue at hand at the Tuesday night meeting. But with two council members, Mickey W. Orvis and Marty T. Mason, absent from the meeting no such decision was reached.
Mr. Hirschey and Councilman Brooks J. Bragdon were in favor of the resolution to halt further wind discussion, with Councilman Donald J. Mason abstaining from voting.
Mr. Mason said that more time would be needed to consider the resolution and that he would need to consult a lawyer on the matter.
“The meeting could have happened this week or the next,” said Councilman Mason. “It didn’t have to happen tonight.”
But Supervisor Urban Hirschey wanted to hold the meeting as a work session.
“I expected this to be a work session,” said Hirschey. He continued that he didn’t expect the amount of media and community members to have attended the emergency meeting.
“It was pretty evident this morning that everybody knew that everybody was going to be here,” Hirschey said. “I met with staff today, all day today.”
He said that the council members present had worked out a system of collections for all the documents requested by the Attorney General’s office.
“For instance how do we want to present this to the public? How we can make it amicable? How we can put a positive light on it?” Hirschey said referring to the early day meeting held by members of the council.
John L. Byrne, Chairman of the Wind Power Ethics Group in the Thousand Islands Region, saw the meeting as a necessary step in the right direction.
“It would be advantageous to pass the resolution as soon as possible. If the Attorney General thinks there is a problem, then they shouldn’t be moving forward with these projects.”
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