After all the pubic airing, the Town Meeting discussions, the extensive meetings of the turbine options group, and the letters to the editor, one might have wondered what the selectmen could learn from yet another public comment session on Wednesday night. But it was, in a way, revealing. There can be no doubt now that there is strong public support for taking the town’s two turbines down. There is also, clearly, concern about the cost of doing so.
The selectmen have a clear path, however, and that is to put the question to voters in the way of a debt exclusion that will be necessary in order to pay the costs of taking the machines down. If the board feels uncomfortable taking that initiative on their own, they could wait until April Town Meeting.
Kathryn Elder has filed a petitioners article asking Town Meeting to advise the selectmen to put the question to voters. But they might as well act soon and get it done with. It is easy to look back, but such a request to voters probably should have been decided upon months ago when it was clear that the turbine options group was coming to loggerheads and would never reach a consensus on one solution.
Ultimately, it will be best to put it to voters who, in the privacy of the voting booth, can register their opinion on the matter without fear of judgment from others on either side of the issue.
Mistakes were made, to be sure, but it was good intentions that led us to where we are today. Nonetheless, some have and will continue to issue blame. That is unfortunate. It would be best to solve the problem and move forward, with hope, in a healed community. The best chance of getting there will be if there is a vote. We are quite sure the result will be to fund the removal of the turbines. But either way, it will be best to allow the community to decide as a whole and accept the consequences as a whole.