DUXBURY – Alternative Energy Committee membership will remain the same, at least for the time being.
Selectmen are encouraging the AEC and the citizens group Duxbury Wind Wise to work together to settle their differences before ultimately deciding whether or not to consider appointing group members to the AEC.
On the agenda recently as a result of la previous week’s discussion of changes to the town’s wind facilities bylaw proposed by citizen petition, the conversation turned from discussion of AEC membership to differences of opinion between the two groups.
AEC Chairman Jim Goldenberg and Duxbury Wind Wise member Mark Sherman represented the two viewpoints.
Sherman said plans to move toward adoption of the Green Communities Act are also a cause for concern. He said becoming a Green Community would permanently impact the community for decades to come. He said the AEC has been deficient in educating the public, and a different approach is needed.
“In the interest of doing a better job educating the town, educating various boards, I think it is incumbent on you who appointed and established this committee to ensure it’s serving the town properly,” he said.
Sherman said the committee should not just be a committee of experts but represent the whole community. He said it should be expanded at this point in the process of investigating Green Community status, not afterward.
Selectmen Chairman Shawn Dahlen said the committee already has 11 members, and adding two more would make it even more unwieldy. He said he prefers the two groups meet first before selectmen take a vote to make a change. He said it might be best to wait until there are openings.
Goldenberg said he has concerns about increasing the size of the committee but also concerned that discussion of wind turbines would dominate the discussion although the committee has no plans to pursue a wind turbine project.
He said he also questions the fairness of adding Duxbury Wind Wise members to the committee when there’s already a wait list of residents interested in joining the committee if there were to be an opening. He said he doesn’t object otherwise to having opposing viewpoints on the committee.
“We’re kind of battling about this bylaw, and that seems to be the issue that is bringing this whole point appoint,” he said.
The rift between the two groups needs to be closed, Selectman Ted Flynn said. Selectmen asked that the two groups meet and report back to the board in a few weeks.
“The time for healing and moving on is now,” Flynn said.
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