GRAFTON – An opponent of the Iberdrola wind project was elected to the Select Board on Tuesday, shifting the power dynamic in this small town that is grappling with a wind development that would be the largest in the state.
John Turner, the retired principal of the Grafton Village School, defeated Don Dougall by a count of 170-108. There was one blank vote, said Town Clerk Kim Record, who oversaw the counting Tuesday night in the Grafton Town Hall.
Neither Turner nor Dougall were at the hall to hear the results.
Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish company, wants to build a 28-turbine wind project on a ridge between the towns of Grafton and Windham, with most of the turbines in Windham.
The issue has caused a lot of controversy in both towns, and until Tuesday’s election, the Select Board was deadlocked 2-2 on wind issues.
Now the opponents hold the majority on the board.
Al Sands, acting chairman of the Grafton Select Board and a supporter of the wind project, said he wasn’t surprised that Turner won, but declined further comment.
Fellow Selectman Skip Lisle, who is on the opposite side of the issue from Sands, said he was surprised at the result. He said he didn’t know whether the town board would reorganize and elect a new chairman with the new majority.
Turner replaces former board chairman Gus Plummer, who resigned in May after receiving what he viewed as a threatening message involving his cousin.
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