The Falmouth Board of Health meant what it said when it announced in October it would no longer take verbal public comment related to wind turbines at its meetings.
The board does continue to accept comments in writing.
At its meeting last night, board of health member John Waterbury acknowledged the receipt of nine letters relating to the wind turbines, and then began to move on to other topics.
J. Malcolm Donald, a vocal wind turbine abutter, was present in the small audience. He raised his hand.
Dr. Waterbury called on Mr. Donald.
“Is there any public input?” he asked.
“We’ve said that we’re only taking comments in writing,” Dr. Waterbury answered.
Disappointed, Mr. Donald asked if the board was going to take any action related to the letters. “Other than we’re going to include them in the public record, no,” Dr. Waterbury said.
One of the letters was from Mr. Donald, citing information on the websites of various institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control, indicating that children require 11 to 13 hours of sleep. In his letter, Mr. Donald asked the board to reconsider the current eight-hour-off operational mode of the turbines. The board debated this at its last meeting, and elected not to order a decrease in the operating hours of the turbines.
“It’s unbelievable,” Mr. Donald said, after the exchange with Dr. Waterbury over the letters.
“How can they not be moved,” he asked, “by six prestigious institutions that offer recommendations on sleep,” all of which exceed the current eight-hour sleep concession granted to turbine abutters?
At previous meetings, board members have cited insufficient scientific evidence that turbines cause health problems related to lack of sleep.
Another letter to the board accused Dr. Waterbury of having a “long-standing relationship” with Daniel H. Webb, who owns the wind turbine at Falmouth Technology Park that is biasing his judgment as a board of health member.
The letter, from Neil P. Anderson, states: “The question is out there, John. Maybe you should have disclosed your long standing relationship with Mr. Webb 3 years ago. This certainly explains why you have fought against us so hard all of this time.”
At the end of the meeting, when the board reviewed minutes from a previous meeting, Mr. Donald asked that a verbal exchange that took place related to Dr. Waterbury’s “relationship” to Mr. Webb be included.
“I’m happy to respond to that,” said Dr. Waterbury. “Dan Webb grew up next door to me. The Webb seniors are neighbors,” he said.
Dr. Waterbury said that since Daniel Webb has grown up and moved away from home he sees him “infrequently” but he sees his father often. “I see absolutely no conflict in that,” Dr. Waterbury said
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