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Orangeville, the new Invenergyville?

There’s something wrong with government in Orangeville when Invenergy’s representatives have been seen before, during and after town meetings entering the Town Clerk’s office. Most recently Michael Mulcahey, Invenergy representative, was seen at the February 2011 Orangeville town meeting using a computer with no town officials present in the office but with their full knowledge since they are all in attendance at the town meeting while he walked freely in and out of the office. We the taxpaying citizens and residents of Orangeville are granted no such special privileges.

Is Invenergy the new Town Board, we ask? Will they rename Orangeville GE Invenergyville?

Since Invenergy slithered unobtrusively into the back door of the town of Orangeville in the early 2000’s during the Glosser administration as research into past town minutes will confirm, the extent to which they would take over the town has become more apparent with each new shenanigan that the Town Board condones.

Town Councilman Andrew Flint said in the presence of an Orangeville resident that he “can’t wait until town meetings are held again at 7:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. as it’s too hard to make it to the meetings at that time.” He further commented that “The meeting time was changed to 6 p.m. to accommodate lnvenergy.”

You see, the town meeting comment period takes place as soon as the meeting starts at 6 p.m., many residents can’t get home from work early. It’s been well over a year since the meeting time was changed, however, the sign in front of the Orangeville Town Hall still reads “Town Meetings 7:30 p.m.”

What is also disturbing are the amount of taxpayer questions directed to the town Supervisor that go without an answer or are channeled to the corporate representatives or the town lawyer. Evasive answers are the usual normal response. This is our town and we pay some of the highest taxes in New York State and we receive no representation for the money!

We ask questions because of deep-seated concerns for our health and safety. These concerns are because of the largest proposed change to Orangeville that could forever destroy the quiet atmosphere and allow an industrial turbine electrical zone to be built in our beautiful countryside. Questions about the effect on the wildlife and their habitats destroyed by the clear-cutting of thousands of trees that has been started already. The effect on the wetlands and our lives that will ever be changed if we’re not allowed to ask questions such as: “If we can’t stand the sound of these 40-story oil-filled industrial wind turbines, or if Invenergy LLC (Stony Creek (shell company) LLC) destroys the quality of our water, or we can’t sell our property and thus stand to lose our life’s savings because our homes are located in the middle of high-voltage underground and overhead transmission lines, will Invenergy be forced by Orangeville Town Board to put into escrow enough money to buy us out at an amount that makes it worth losing our homes and pays us to re-locate? Or, of course with all the town officials getting money because of their financial considerations with lnvenergy are we screwed?”

This is why we need to ask questions now, before it is too late, before this process which we as citizens and taxpayers of Orangeville have the right to ask people elected to protect us.

The Buffalo News (March 12, 2011) in “For Open Government” by the Editorial Board (Sunshine Week) says it best: “Democracies function best if the people know what the government is up to. They are likely to have more confidence in an open government rather than one that shrouds its operations and treats its citizens, taxpayers and voters like outsiders or even enemies.”

So what happened to government by and for the people? Not in Orangeville, the new Invenergyville.

Mary Perry