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Elected officials are servants to the public, not corporations  

Credit:  The Berlin Daily Sun | 12 August 2013 | berlindailysun.com ~~

After reading letters to the editors in several Coos County newspapers the week of August 5th, I would like our residents to ponder several questions and facts.
Having been opposed to the proposed Northern Pass project since the first meeting in Colebrook in 2010, as a private citizen, I have had to put my personal opinions aside as an elected public servant. I must now consider all arguments, reasons and my constituents’ concerns regarding the benefits and harm that this project, as proposed, will cause.
Questions to ask the few supporting this proposed project are…… Will this project be at the expense of many others?……Also, will the benefit from the project to private corporations outweigh the benefits to our entire state?
If this proposed project absolutely had to happen, burying the line on state OR TOWN ROWS and paying a royalty to the state AND TOWNS would be most beneficial. Why pay UP TO $100,000,000 to $200,000,000 a year OR MORE to PSNH(an entirely private entity) for rental of their ROWS?
One should ask Mayor Grenier why he is so willing to support a project that MAY ruin the last economic plus for upper Coos County. Berlin has 2 prisons, a bio-mass plant, Jericho State ATV Park and the Gorham mill. Now he supports a project that he and Berlin will not see or suffer any negatives from.
Mayor Grenier was a commissioner that supported the Coos Wind Park, the Pilot agreement and the decommissioning agreement. We are now learning that the lack of due diligence has, is will and may continue to cost our residents lost revenue.
I have attended and continue to attend all the meetings both in support of and in opposition to Northern Pass. Northern Pass officials continue to avoid a direct dialog with the opponents of the proposed project. Opposition members have repeatedly asked for that opportunity to discuss and or debate. Northern Pass meetings are restricted because Northern Pass pays for the venues instead of using public facilities.The money paid for land, confidential contracts and the huge disparity of price leads one to ask, what other secretive deals have been made?
The Coos Wind Park forced on Dixville, Millsfield and Coos County has opened the door to large corporations destroying our scenic beauty, way of life and our ability to be good stewards of our county Northern Pass and Wagner Lands’ 5-year contract for 20 miles of ROW on Wagner land is one more piece TOWARD allowing Wagner to install 40 or more wind turbines on the north side of Rt. 26 in Dixville and Millsfield. Is there a plan for Phillips Brook also?
The use of outdated technology by private companies for billions of dollars profit at the expense of our land and environment is not the answer. Honest common sense solutions will benefit all, not just a few.
Most opponents have attended presentations by both sides when allowed. Proponents have not attended many of the informational meetings opened to all regardless of where you are from.THESE are hosted by opponents.
In the end, could PSNH or PSNH’s ROWs be sold to a Canadian firm if Northern Pass succeeds in their plan? The Coos Wind Park is now owned by Brookfield Power from Canada and they were given a sweetheart deal by career politicians.
Do we , as residents of NH, fully realize the extent of Canadian OWNERSHIP of OUR state’s energy producing facilities? This is due to the fact our state lacks a comprehensive energy policy and allows these things to happen.
Elected officials need to be reminded that they are “PUBLIC SERVANTS” serving the public not serving lobbyists and corporations.
So, next time you drive to Pittsburg to get ice cream or go snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing or kayaking remember you are passing dams you no longer have any control over. Pittsburg is not the only place in NH this has happened. Remember, New Hampshire—- NH is about the size of land Hydro Quebec has thus far flooded in Canada, simply for THEIR PROFIT AND GAIN.
In conclusion—- This proposed project is not about the 40 miles of new ROW or even the 180 + miles total, it is entirely about our state from Pittsburg to Nashua and Salem. It’s about all the people having a say in the future of our state, its heritage, its beauty and its independence. New Hampshire residents aren’t quite like everyone else……the Old Man of the Mountains may be gone form the face of the mountain but his strength remains in HIS PEOPLE.
We elected officials need to be reminded, we are “PUBLIC SERVANTS” serving the public, not lobbyists and corporations.

Rick Samson
Coos County Commissioner District 3

Source:  The Berlin Daily Sun | 12 August 2013 | berlindailysun.com

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