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Citizen group says it met arrogance, intimidation in wind bylaw hearing  

Credit:  Bourne Courier, www.wickedlocal.com 25 April 2011 ~~

The spokesman for Concerned Citizens for Responsible Energy last week publicly slammed the Bourne Planning Board for the way it conducted a formal hearing into their citizen-petition article, which seeks to amend the zoning bylaw governing turbine review.

James Potter of Buzzards Bay told selectmen that the planning panel is “a renegade board” in need of ethics and procedural training by Town Counsel Robert Troy.

Potter called for planning board chairman Chris Farrell to publicly apologize for the way in which the citizen group from Buzzards Bay and Bournedale was treated at the hearing, where planners tabled discussion of the bylaw revision article.

Potter said the planners “violated due process, the state open meeting law, the town charter and reasonable public hearing procedures. He said the group met with “arrogance and intimidation.”

Farrell said on Wednesday that he would not comment about Potter’s remarks. He said his focus at the start of the hearing was to not continue it in lengthy fashion, notably to 11 p.m.

Selectmen Chairman John Ford said the open meeting law violation, in terms of process, should be directed to Town Clerk Barry Johnson and then the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Any charter violations should be reported to the charter compliance committee, he said.

The planning board tabled the group’s citizen petition zoning change request that would revise the review of turbines in town. The vote derailed the article being considered at the May 2 Annual Town Meeting.

Selectmen, however, have called a May 9 Special Town Meeting to hear the request. But the article must again be heard by the planning board. This hearing is set for May 6.

Town officials spent most of last Wednesday considering ways the citizen group could be accommodated at town meeting after the planning board vote. The procedural review of options included Johnson, Troy, Moderator Robert Parady, Ford and Town Administrator Thomas Guerino.

Guerino said the effort was warranted because the citizens “had followed the rules and deserved redress of their grievance.”

The citizen petition article encompasses 16 pages. It is the only item in the warrant.

Source:  Bourne Courier, www.wickedlocal.com 25 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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