Frustration boiled over several times at last night’s Board of Health (BOH) meeting when the tone of the town’s lengthy debate about wind turbines became a point of contention during the later stages of Monday’s assembly.
Former-Selectman Paul Gallagher (pictured) was succinct in showing his disgust with the Kingston BOH last night and addressed many of his comments towards BOH Chairman Joe Casna.
“It’s at a crisis level and it needs to be addressed as a crisis situation,” Gallagher told the BOH on Monday evening. “Having voted to hold a public hearing and missing the deadline to get it out is not addressing [the turbines] as a crisis situation.”
Gallagher said it was “unfathomable” to imagine that the BOH missed the publication date for a board approved public hearing on shadow flicker.
Casna said the oversight was accidental and noted that Health Agent Henny Walters was absent when the mistake was made.
“All I’m saying Joe [Casna] is that you’re at a crisis level. It needs to be dealt with as a crisis,” Gallagher responded.
The former two-term selectman told the BOH that he is speaking up to show that others in the community, besides the BOH and the residents impacted by the turbines, care.
“The town needs to know that this is beyond anything that’s acceptable,” Gallagher said as he discussed flicker and noise complaints about Kingston’s wind turbines, adding that he was not there to “berate or Monday-morning quarterback.”
Leland Road-resident Doreen Reilly followed up, saying she agreed with Gallagher. “We have been requesting the BOH to help our families because we are all suffering from noise and flicker…none of us can take it anymore, we’re tired.”
Reilly said the BOH could shut down all four of Kingston’s supersized turbines until proof is offered that the turbines do not cause ill-health effects “because I can guarantee that [the KWI Turbine] is effecting all five of us in my house.”
BOH-member Dan Sapir also added his support of Gallagher’s comments. “My god Paul [Gallagher], I agree with you,” Sapir said–before Breen interrupted.
“I hope everybody in this room heard exactly what he said,” Breen said as he pointed at Gallagher. “This is not like the national criminal decorum that’s taking place.”
Breen acknowledged that the BOH was not giving citizens “what they want” but said it would be “equally damaging if we told you go home.”
“Sometimes the speech [at BOH meetings] is directed towards members as if they don’t care, simply because we’re not accommodating certain requests,” Breen continued. “I cannot take just what you folks said and make my decision based upon that.”
Sapir then interjected, once again advocating for the hiring of a “special counsel” for the BOH, citing an alleged conflict of interest from Kingston Town Counsel. “We can’t use and we shouldn’t have used Jay Talerman for any of these matters. Not because he’s a bad guy, he’s a bubula.”
Sapir maintained that Talerman was so directly involved in the contracting of the KWI Turbine that he cannot be trusted as legal counsel.
“I’ve read some negative things about maybe me,” Sapir said. “Grandstanding, doing this doing that. Not the case, I’m only trying to look at this and present a prospective that makes sense.”
Sapir said the BOH needs an attorney that represents the BOH exclusively.
Gallagher then spoke to clarify his comments after they were paraphrased by Sapir. “I want to just clarify. Obviously Dan [Sapir] thought it was good that he and I agreed, but I do have to disagree with his continued comments.”
Gallagher referenced his experience with Talerman as a selectman. “One thing I can thing say about Town Counsel is that he represents the Board of Selectmen and the best interests of the town.”
“I don’t want to continue what appears to me…is that there’s some kind of conspiracy between town counsel, maybe some of the members of the BOS and the people who have anything to do with the windmill,” Gallagher said. “I do not believe that is the case.”
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