December 9, 2010
Letters, New York

Corruption on Cape Vincent boards

Watertown Daily Times, 8 December 2010

The Cape Vincent Planning Board and Town Council have majorities with contracts with either British Petroleum or Acciona altogether worth around $200,000 per year for 20 years. These contracts include loyalty oaths swearing “to help in all permitting processes.”

In September the Planning Board (Richard Edsall, Tom Reinbeck, and George Mingle) voted to accept the Environmental Impact Study from Acciona as complete. This study includes a totally discredited sound study from the developer Acciona, which is at odds with a study commissioned by the Town Council.

The Cape Vincent Planning Board was required by law to inform the Lyme Planning Board of all proceedings. Lyme was ignored on all accounts by the Cape Planning Board.

On Oct. 27 a special work session to discuss Criteria for Site Plan Review was shut down by protesters. Mr. Edsall, Mr. Mingle, Andrew Binsley, and Mr. Reinbeck chose to spitefullly vote and accept with no discussion all of Acciona’s suggestions.

It was an illegal vote in that there is no voting in a work session, the meeting was not called to order, the criteria were written by Acciona, and no one knew it happened. It them took 45.6 seconds.

This criteria includes barring all people (except landowners) from the properties under contract with Acciona. No hunting, no snowmobiling, no walking, no bird watching. Since Acciona sets precedent, BP will also bar people from their properties. Imagine that.

Meanwhile, British Petroleum is usurping Cape Vincent’s right to determine local zoning laws by doing “archeological surveys” placing turbines 1,300 feet from houses and property lines. Cape Vincent has never publicly agreed to 1,300 foot setbacks.

The Planning Board, when informed, shrugs and says “not our business.” Mr. Edsall, as chairman, has denied for five years and continues to deny the public the right to speak at meetings. This is contrary to the First Amendment and the board’s own bylaws.

For the last six years we have all had to learn and give board members the chance to understand and do the honorable thing (not re-signing contracts with BP or Acciona, true recusal or resignation).

However, the evidence makes it clear that the Planning Board, with the approval of the Town Council, is riding roughshod over the citizens of Cape Vincent. They should all resign.

The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. today at the town offices and Town Council at 6 p.m. Thursday at the recreation hall. The corruption in Cape Vincent is crawling off the plate, and it seems important to keep the public informed.

Hester Chase

Cape Vincent

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