- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Sumner Wind Committee formed to draft ordinance

SUMNER – The six members of the Sumner Planning Board and 10 more concerned citizens were appointed to a wind-power committee tasked with drafting an ordinance regulating the construction of wind farms.

Planning board members Daniel Perron, Lawrence O’Rourke, Edwin Hinshaw, Jeffrey Pfeiffer, John Allen, and James Durfee were the first to suggest the 180 day moratorium that voters overwhelmingly approved on June 6.

The other ten members were appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Of them, four approached the officials at the town office, two were nominated by Selectman Mark Silber, and four by Selectman Glenn Hinckley.

Allen accused members of the board of seeking out people with pre-existing agendas on the topic. He said that Silber and Hinckley had approached and solicited participation from the people they nominated, rather than waiting for individuals to volunteer.

“I was told by one of the people solicited that the selectman asked them if they were pro or con,” said Allen.

Silber and Hinckley acknowledged that they had sought out people to serve, but saw no problem with asking their opinion on the matter.

“In establishing this committee, one of our goals was to have a balance,” said Hinckley. “They only way I know to have a balance is to ask people what they think.”

Of the 10 appointments that did not come from the planning board, two were subjected to scrutiny.

Silber suggested that Lana Pratt ought not to be on the committee because she is already involved in a number of other committees in town.

Selectmen also raised questions as to whether Jacqueline Dwinal, who is not a Sumner resident but owns a home there, should be appointed to the committee.

Ultimately, selectmen voted 2-1, with Silber dissenting, to approve all 16 appointees. In addition to the six planning board members named above, Pratt, Dwinal, Thomas Obear, Jessica Doe, Russell Chesley, Stephen Perry, David Bragg, Kathy Emery, Craig Andrews, and Diane Todd were approved.