DIXFIELD – The contentious issue of developing wind power on the Col. Holman Mountain ridge took another turn Monday night when Board of Selectmen Chairman Hart Daley read a statement in response to comments made by the developer’s project coordinator.
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 last month to place an amended wind energy facility ordinance before voters June 14.
The ordinance was written after Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass., approached town officials in October 2010 about constructing wind turbines on the ridge.
Daley said that during the March 28 selectmen meeting, he stated in a conversation with resident Peter Holman that he believed Tom Carroll, project coordinator, was playing a strong part in bringing wind turbines to Dixfield when he “said he wouldn’t.”
“I clarified to Tom Carroll that residents were bringing information to the board that they got from him, and he said, ‘No, they’re not. That’s a lie,’” Daley said. “He stated during the meeting that I lied, that he hadn’t talked to anybody, and that if I thought his company was spending more than two seconds putting turbines in Dixfield, I was more deranged that he thought I was.”
“He said he would have an attorney here if I said the wind company was buying people off, or pulling strings,” Daley said. “I did not say that. I was simply asking Peter Holman if he was leasing his land to the wind company, and he told me that it was none of my business.”
He added, “As an elected public official, and as an employee for the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, my integrity was called into question when Mr. Holman and Mr. Carroll called me a liar at the public meeting, and that I was somehow influencing this board. I just want to state that I was not lying, and that I don’t hold any sway over the board. My vote is my vote, and their vote is their own.”
Daley later showed the board and members of the audience two video clips: one from a March 28 selectmen meeting, and another from a March 3 public hearing on the latest wind energy ordinance draft.
In the March 28 clip, it showed Daley telling Holman that he believed that Patriot Renewables influences Holman with money, which Holman vehemently denied.
Daley asked Holman if he was leasing his land to Patriot Renewables, and Holman said it wasn’t anybody’s business.
Later in the clip, Daley said Carroll was “playing a strong part in all of this, when he said he wouldn’t.”
Carroll quickly interjected, saying that he was not playing a strong part in anything.
Daley replied, “These people are coming back to us with questions from you.”
“No, they’re not,” Carroll said. “That’s a lie. I have not spoken to any of these people.”
After showing the March 28 clip, he showed the video from March 3, which showed Holman providing the Board of Selectmen with information about wind turbines at a public hearing.
After providing the information, Daley asked Holman if he had spoken to Tom Carroll, and Holman said he had.
Daley said Monday that, “The reason I’m addressing the board and public is that I wanted it on record that I did not lie in that meeting, as accused by Tom Carroll.”
“It’s clear to me that either Tom Carroll is not telling the truth when he said he did not speak to people, or Pete is not telling the truth when he said he spoke to the wind company, specifically Tom Carroll,” Daley said. “I want to know who is telling the truth.”
Daley turned to Holman and attempted to ask him if he was telling the truth. Audience members spoke out against, pointing out that the town’s public comment policy prohibited him from asking a resident such a question in a public place.
Resident Aaron Jamison said that by asking the question, he was attempting to “throw Holman under the bus.”
Daley said he wouldn’t ask the question, but added “when someone comes to me and accuses me, in public, of lying, I have the right to address it if it’s not factual. The video clips don’t lie.”
Resident Sue Holmes pointed out that the video clips Daley was showing were a small portion of the entire conversation that occurred during the March 28 board meeting.
“We are at such odds with all of this,” Holmes said. “They are sound clips of a larger conversation. I would be willing to sit here and listen to 15 or 20 minutes of the conversation to get the entire picture, instead of just pinpointing a specific line in the conversation.”
“I’m not pinpointing a specific thing, Sue,” Daley replied.
“We did not convey messages from Tom Carroll,” Holmes said. “You’re acting like there is a great conspiracy here. Me and Tom have spoken, but did he ever advise me on what to say? Absolutely not.”
She added that it was not accurate that Holman spoke with Carroll and relayed information from him.
“Well, I think the video clip speaks for itself,” Daley said.
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