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S.O.S. backs three in Yates

YATES – A group that formed out of opposition to a proposed wind energy project is putting its weight into next month’s elections.

Save Ontario Shores has endorsed six candidates for town offices in Yates and Somerset, a move that endorsee John Riggi of Yates says is about more than wind.

“(S.O.S.) is focused on more than just turbines,” Riggi said. “(The wind energy issue) underscores the dearth of development in the town, there doesn’t seem to be a real focus on the quality of life, in making Yates a great place to live.”

Riggi said the organization’s board of directors suggested making endorsements to a 30-member steering committee, which agreed unanimously on both involvement in town elections and the candidates to endorse.

In Yates, the support is split across party lines, with backing being given to Conservative nominee Glenn Maid and Republican nominee Riggi for two town council seats and to write-in Supervisor candidate Jim Simon.

The organization has put a survey out to residents on the wind energy issue, the results of which are to be announced Oct. 19. Riggi said they also wanted to have their feelings known on the town elections.

Somerset Supervisor Dan Engert and Councilmen Randy Wayner and Jeff Dewart have S.O.S.’s backing in their re-election campaigns.

“In Somerset, the town board saw the light a long time ago, and a couple of the candidates are being challenged,” Riggi said. “We wanted to make sure we are clear in our support for the incumbents.”

Riggi said the relative delay by Yates in researching public opinion on wind energy was part of was caused he and other candidates to run for the town council.

“Yates is continuing to gather information, and S.O.S. decided to go ahead with the survey to see how the townspeople felt,” Riggi said.

“It’s important to have our voices heard on the board.”