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We are growing weary of the issue. We are weary of the accusations of conflict of interest and incompetence of town officials, the silence of town officials. The problem at this point could not be clearer: the town’s wind turbines have intruded on the lives of residents in that area. The community must now find a solution. More bickering, more accusations of unfairness, of conspiracy will do nothing, nothing whatsoever, to help get to that solution.
We understand the distress of the residents in the neighborhood of the turbines. Some are so distressed as to feel ill. It is clear something has to be done. A consultant for the town has outlined a number of options having a range of price tags. The goal now should be to work toward a consensus as to which option is best. Some of the affected neighbors of the turbine scoff at the idea of consensus building. That is most unfortunate. It will lead to harm in the end. A standoff could mean the turbines will both be operational in the future. It could mean that the town will incur a great deal of expense in shutting the machines down. In that case, the burden will only be shifted from the neighbors of the turbines to others in the community, many of whom cannot afford the expense.
We believe a consensus is possible, and we believe the best solution is to move the town’s turbines to the Mass Military Reservation. It is the most expensive option, but it should be considered that state energy officials support renewable energy and we believe it is within the realm of possibility that state money could be found to move the turbines. We also believe that without a consensus, without the community’s full support, there is less hope of procuring state funds. We don’t know any of this for a fact, but we believe it is worth pursuing. We hope for a solution, but with each accusation of incompetence and conflict of interest, our hope fades.
The months-long silence from town hall erodes our hope. Surely there is something to report on this issue. Selectmen this week enlisted Consensus Building Institute of Cambridge to facilitate a consensus-building process. We very much hope this group can lead all sides of this issue to a unified front. A solution, we believe, depends on it.
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