SUMNER – Selectmen in Sumner were criticized by a resident who felt he had been excluded from the wind committee based on his views.
The town established an Industrial Wind Ordinance Committee (IWOC) following a town vote in early June to establish a six month moratorium on wind turbines. One week later, selectmen appointed 10 people to the committee, whose task is to write an ordinance governing any industrial wind installations in the town. The 10 joined six planning board members who also serve on the committee.
Resident Ted Dawicki said that he approached Selectman Glenn Hinckley following the special town meeting, one week before the selectmen made their appointments, and asked to be appointed to the committee.
According to Dawicki, he told Hinckley that he wanted to be on the committee, and that he was opposed to windmills in Sumner. Dawicki said that Hinckley told him there were enough people against wind power already.
“Right after the [special town meeting] I went to Glenn and I said I would like to be on the committee as a person against windmills,” said Dawicki. “He said the committee already has enough people against it. I said OK, put me on as someone for it. He said, the committee already has enough people.”
Hinckley did not respond directly to Dawicki’s allegations, but when contacted following the meeting, said that he did not remember talking to the resident.
Hinckley did, however, say that he and other selectmen had sought out people who were in favor of wind power when making their appointments. He said that the board wanted to balance out what they perceive to be a bias against wind power amongst the planning board.
“We looked for people that were pro [wind] to try to balance it out,” said Hinckley. “As it is now, it’s pretty unbalanced still, with all the people who are against [wind power]. They would tell you that they want to be objective, and I hope they would.”
Similar disputes surfaced at the meeting on June 14, where members of the planning board accused selectmen of appointing individuals who were biased in favor of wind power. At that meeting, both Hinckley and Selectman Mark Silber defended choosing committee members based on their views on wind power.
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