May 14, 2012
Letters, Massachusetts

Equal protection for abutters

Falmouth Enterprise, 12 March 2012

The key condition made by selectmen in the turbine operation policy is that under no circumstances will curtailed operations result in a fiscal deficit. The board since voted May 7 to eliminate the harm imposed upon residents at night (Turbines 1 and 2, off from 7 PM to 7 AM) while allowing full exposure of harm during the day (removing the 23 mph wind velocity cut-off). This measure is supposed to meet abutters halfway, selectmen alleging it is being done in “a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.” Plainly, the benefit remains primarily bound to money and not residents health.

In response, abutters and impacted residents presented selectmen with our key pre-condition policy that we have been pressing 23 months, since June 2010. Simply put, health preservation and protection enjoyed by all in Falmouth is expected to be afforded equally to me and my neighbors. In essence, spring Town Meeting urged the board to uphold this fundamental town-held principle of societal decency by passing Article 23.

I fear the opportunity consensus-building offers will be lost if selectmen ignore the direction and encouragement provided by residents and Town Meeting. I worry that a deterioration of a meaningful dialogue, as well as an acceptable wind turbine resolution, is gravely threatened. Our community cannot afford, once again, to patronize town officials who stand in the path of a necessary march toward collaborative community problem-solving.

Mark J. Cool

Falmouth, MA

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