KINGSTON – Minutes after voting to shut down Kingston’s wind turbines, the Board of Selectmen reneged on that vote with a motion to reconsider on Tuesday night.
The motion to shut down the Kingston Independence Turbine until testing is complete, as well as three turbines owned by Mary O’Donnell, was made by Susan Munford and seconded by Sandy MacFarlane.
Before the vote to shutdown the turbines was taken, Jay Talerman, Kingston’s Town Counsel, told the selectmen, “My guess is we’d get sued for breach of contract.”
Munford asked Talerman if the selectmen had the authority to shut down the turbines before voting. “Our jurisdiction is thin under nuisance protection. We would need a specific bylaw, under which you would have direct authority,” Talerman said.
The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Joe Casna, called for a vote after Talerman spoke.
Munford, Casna and MacFarlane voted to shut the turbines down on Tuesday night.
Seconds after the vote was taken, Casna attempted to move to the next appointment on the agenda but was stopped by Talerman.
“Respecting the vote with my extreme caution that we are walking into a hornet’s nest of liability, we need some direction on the grounds on which you are shutting down the turbines. I’m not sure, ultimately, that you have that equitable authority,” Talerman said.
“You don’t have the power, under a statue that I’m aware of, to issue that order,” Talerman added.
Talerman then asked the selectmen if they wanted to void the contract with the wind turbines.
“I don’t want to void the contract,” Casna said to Talerman.
“Well you just did,” Talerman responded.
“The Board of Health has equitable authority. You have zero, which means you can’t issue an order to take the turbines down,” Talerman said to Selectwoman Munford after the vote to shutdown the turbines.
Talerman instead suggested that the Board of Selectmen make a recommendation to the Board of Health to shut the turbines down.
Almost 10 minutes after voting to shut down Kingston’s wind turbines, Casna made a motion to reconsider the board’s vote.
The vote to reconsider passed. Ron Gleason, Dick Arruda and Casna voted to reconsider the earlier decision to shut the turbines off.
Both Gleason and Arruda voted against shutting the wind turbines down on Tuesday evening.
Next Monday on December 17th a Board of Health meeting is scheduled to discuss how to proceed with the wind turbine complaints.
Casna is the Chairman of the Board of Health and told KingstonJournal.com after the meeting, “In my twenty years of public service this is the hardest issue that I’ve ever had to make a decision on.”
“I’ve been to houses in town to hear the noises from the turbines at 2 a.m., I’ve made new friends and I want to get this right,” Casna said.
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