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Warnings too late?

The editorial “A Contrast in Balance” in last Friday’s Enterprise was provoking. But what is the actual contrast, in Montana or Falmouth, of being harmed on the balance scale?

The idea of the editorial shouldn’t be lost on the “digs” directed at those who would call the project what it is. The original concept, (to power the waste water treatment facility with only a single wind turbine, a third the size) might have been a good idea. Who knows at this point?

What we do know, wind energy advocates strongly recommended “super-sizing” the original project, and convinced unassuming volunteer boards, Town Meeting members and citizens alike, that placing 400-foot commercial wind power plants in our neighborhoods was a balanced, resourceful and revenue-making approach.

We know that nine months of Wind Turbine Options Process (WTOP) has made no one the wiser in figuring a way out of this mess (not for lack of effort). It’s all too clear that we know with certainty that the expert state and private consultants grossly underestimated the “balance.”

The onus of the mistake belongs to those who touted their advice in terms of the allure of dollar signs while glossing over reasons to exercise caution. Knowing what we know, as well as what the WTOP has examined, whether in Montana or Falmouth, we all were sold a heap of cow dung.

Too well known, and giving reason for, and definition to words like “debacle” and “fiasco,” is that town decision makers, fully aware of the growing health concerns as far back as spring 2010, appropriated projected wind energy revenue into proposed annual town budgets.

The editorial mantra “there is nothing good here; there is no equation to be balanced” brings vivid new meaning in the budgeting context. Where were the editor’s warnings to town budget planners and managers then? There was certainly enough controversy there: there was just cause not to include the uncertainty of a threatened revenue stream into the equation of balancing the budget.

And so goes the public trust in government. With it goes a damaged and divided community. And with it goes many more citizens than I (ill-affected or not), willing to call it what it is: “A Huge Contrast in Balance.”

Mark J. Cool
Fire Tower Road
West Falmouth