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Two selectmen sign election warrant, two do not

DIXFIELD – Two of four selectmen voted to sign the election warrant Monday, leaving some to believe that whatever votes are taken could be open to a legal challenge.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said Selectmen Malcolm Gill and Bob Withrow signed the warrant that has three local issues on it: a Board of Selectmen contest between Norine Clarke and Norman Mitchell, whether the town should begin proceedings to withdraw from RSU 10 and whether to approve a wind turbine ordinance.

Selectmen Scott Belskis and Hart Daley voted not to sign the warrant for the Nov. 6 election because they believe the wind ordinance should not be on it.

Belskis said Tuesday afternoon that several parts of the proposed ordinance should have been changed, including one that identifies Sugarloaf Mountain as a scenic resource and not Colonel Holman Mountain.

Colonel Holman Mountain and two adjacent mountains are being considered for 10 to 13 wind turbines by Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass.

“It’s better to have the correct ordinance,” Belskis said.

He also objected to what he called “no actual research of the pros and cons” of a wind project, adding that a similar wind ordinance was removed from the ballot in June.

The wind issue has been a major factor in municipal activities during the past year or so. The selectman seat race is between two candidates who have widely divergent opinions on the construction of a wind farm.

Clarke believes the project would provide much-needed revenue for municipal projects while using virtually no municipal services. Mitchell opposes the project because he believes it would increase the school budget and raise electric costs, and he believes an impartial ordinance has not been written.