The Ocean Gate windmill folly is an example of small-town politics at its worst. Mayor Paul Kennedy and self-proclaimed windmill advocate Jim Fry conned the Borough Council into approving $250,000 of taxpayer money to buy a windmill. They claimed the windmill would save 80 percent of the electric bill for the municipal building.
Since the windmill became operational in November 2009, I have reviewed the actual electric bills. After the first nine months, the total electric bill was $15,582.
For the same nine-month period before the windmill, the total electric bill was $17,212. The windmill did not save 80 percent as claimed but only 9 percent, or $1,629.
The council would not have wasted $250,000 of taxpayers’ money to save $1,629. The only reason the council approved the project was because of the claim of an 80 percent savings presented by Kennedy and Fry.
Was their data false on purpose, to justify the windmill, or false by accident? There was no independent cost analysis presented to the council – only Kennedy’s and Fry’s data.
In their haste to be the first town in New Jersey to buy a windmill, not one person from Ocean Gate observed this type of windmill in action, there was no cost analysis and voters did not have the right to vote.
The Kennedy/Fry alliance has cost the taxpayers of Ocean Gate $250,000 for their 15 minutes of fame – or in this case, failure.
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