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The fate of Article 9  

Credit:  By Mark Cool, Falmouth Patch, falmouth.patch.com 1 November 2011 ~~

After listening at last night’s board of Selectmen’s meeting, I am left with a sense that three Selectmen haven’t been given accurate and thorough wind turbine shutdown impact information to render competent decisions.

Mr. Murphy recited inflated financial costs involved with terminating town turbine operations. Those being his 975,000 mis-informed reasons for not supporting Article 9.

Ms. Freitag, unaware of the revised wording of Article 9, said her non-support was because absolute proof of no harm from wind turbines would be impossible, which could ultimately mean the turbines could never be turned on ever again.

Ms. Flynn was genuinely sympathetic to the suffering of neighbors, but agreed with Mr. Murphy that the financial burden of shutting down the turbines was too costly for the rest of the community to absorb.

A more accurate and detailed accounting that should have been parleyed is that the article seeks to suspend town turbine operations ONLY until Spring Town Meeting 2012. The financials should focus on profit loss and penalties for ONLY six months. The discussion was a comedic alarm to town meeting members, that turned into a parity of “Chicken-Little” and the Sky Was Falling. $375,000 versus the assistant Wastewater Manager’s report of $975,000 is still a large sum, but citizens are not entertained by being misled. Show us facts!

It’s not so much the cost as it is the intended consequence of manipulating non-pertinent dollar amounts. The acting town manager, being the “handler” of reports received by the board, should have caught and corrected this oversight. Town Meeting members instead have a bogus explanation of Article 9 non-support, based in large part, on exaggerated and inflated costs that weren’t checked for periodicity application or accuracy.

Ms. Freitag is not to be blamed for not being aware of the article wording revision, however, the conclusion drawn concerning the turbines never being able to operate is illogical. The original article, as well as the revised, have benchmarks that will determine the fate of turbine operations. Instead, Ms. Freitag, by her judgement, removes these qualifying studies and reports and replaces them with unfounded “Chicken-Little” antics.

The article petitioners only ask that the fate of the turbines be dictated by science, not Selectmen’s subjectivities and falsified dollar amounts. It is hoped, the identified benchmarks and a Board of Health requested epidemiological Falmouth study, will be complete for review by spring Town Meeting. Until then, all Article 9 asks is that public protection be enforced.

The basic obstacle, as Ms. Flynn pointed out, is the enormous monetary burden it will cost the town to restore a neighborhood’s health and quality of life. I would ask the Reader, the Selectmen and Town Meeting members: if the town turbines had been presented to the community allowing one, two or more neighborhoods to have been subjected to possible health risks and threats to quality of life, would the town have continued to fund and build these two industrial power plants?

Does an initial unintended poor decision, and then last night’s most recent, become a decision we tolerate, only because it costs too much to fix? In other words, will two wrongs somehow make everything right in Falmouth?

Mark J. Cool

Fire Tower Rd.

Falmouth

Source:  By Mark Cool, Falmouth Patch, falmouth.patch.com 1 November 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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