A meeting between the city’s new mayor and a group opposing a proposed wind farm was just lunch, say both the group and mayor elect.
The sit-down, held at the Neebing Roadhouse Thursday afternoon, with Keith Hobbs and members of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection committee was a way for the group to congratulate Hobbs on a successful campaign, the mayor-elect said.
“Just having an informal chat about that issue and, you know, I was congratulating them basically for the homework that they did on this project,” Hobbs said. “They came forth to city council with some very compelling arguments as to why that project shouldn’t go ahead on the Nor’Wester range.”
NMEPC member John Beals said he called Hobbs earlier this week to invite him to lunch so the group could congratulate him on a successful campaign and show its support. While Hobbs said some of the group’s concerns were raised, Beals said NMEPC didn’t try to influence Hobbs on the issue.
“If we tried to influence the city or influence (Hobbs) that would be wrong on our part, so the conversation didn’t move around any of that. I’ve got too much respect for the city and for him to influence them,” said Beals.
Beals said the group hasn’t been trying to influence the city to stop the project, rather the group has been trying to convince them to have proper consultations before deciding to move forward with the controversial Big Thunder Wind Park.
“We believe that the city would not have been in this position if proper due process and public consultation had been used,” he said.
Hobbs said in light of the $126 million lawsuit the city faces, he is meeting with city manager Tim Commisso Friday to help get up to speed on the city’s position.
“Seeing as we are facing a $126-million lawsuit, I’d like to get some inside information from the city side of things,” he said.
Hobbs added that he would also like Ken Boshcoff and Paul Pugh to join him so that the new councillors can also have that information.
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