HOPKINTON – Ethical issues and conflicts of interest over not allowing a town council member to vote resulted in a tie in an attempt to appoint Wind Advisory Board members.
The Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board would still be involved if the North Ridge Wind Project happens. “They would review, along with the code officer, any variances, et cetera,” Hopkinton Town Supervisor Sue Wood said. “Although the town board has final say on any revisions, they would still be the board to recommend any needed changes to the town board.”
Avangrid plans to build 27 turbines in Hopkinton and says it would bring about $30 million to the town.
This board will be used to review any potential conflicts of interest among the town.
There are currently three remaining members. The town has advertised for more members for several months.
“I have a list of names but the board could not come to any agreement on them,” Wood said. “The two previous members had informed me that they would be willing to serve again. Thinking this was a good solution, I brought their names forward; however, it ended with a 2-2 tie.”
Councilman Steve Parker nominated two other people, with Susan Lyon backing him, but again the vote ended in a 2-2 tie, bringing them back to tabling the decision, Wood said.
Councilman Gilbert Sochia continues to try to vote on wind-related matters even though he previously agreed to abstain because his father signed a lease with the wind company planning to build a 27-turbine farm in Hopkinton.
Sochia was not allowed to vote, Wood said.
“Mr. Sochia remains convinced that he can and will vote on matters relating to the wind,” Wood said. “I continue to remind him, in public, that our attorney says he cannot. I do not acknowledge his vote nor his objections. He did mention something about a judge but I moved on to the task at hand.
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