My Letter to the Falmouth Editor
by Mark J. Cool
Nov. 2, 2011
Two profound impressions after Monday’s Selectmen’s meeting - the Board hasn’t been given accurate Article 9 impact information to render competent decisions. And some Selectmen feel their public expression of sympathy is enough for suffering Citizens.
One Selectman recited 975,000 misinformed reasons for not supporting Article 9. Another explained it was because proof of no harm could mean the turbines could never again be turned on. The last member, pandered a more sympathetic theme for the town's financial burden.
A more fitting discussion of parley should have noted that the suspension of town turbine operations is limited ONLY until Spring Town Meeting 2012. The financials should have focused on cost liabilities limited ONLY to 6 months.
The Article 9 portion of the meeting was a sorry parity of “Chicken-Little” and the “Sky was Falling”. The Assistant Wastewater Manager’s report for lost revenue if town turbines do not operate for 1 year (Oct. 20, 2011) of $975,000 runs contrary to the report provided to the Zoning Board of Appeals by the Wastewater Manager’s Feb. 8, 2011 address of only Wind 1. The numbers, Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t add up! My calculation from the Feb. 8 report, came to $375,000. Still a lot of money but, is Town Hall's “tail trying to wag the dog”?
The Acting Town Manager is accountable for the reports authored by her department personnel that provide information to the Selectmen. The irresponsible oversight, instead, sends Town Meeting members a bogus Selectmen’s explanation based on exaggerated costs. I’m left to wonder, who’s checking the checker?
The concern of the turbines never being able to operate if the article is adopted, shows a disconnect with the intended scope of the article. The article identifies benchmarks that will determine the options to be considered. Instead, by a Selectman’s misunderstanding, these qualifying studies and reports are removed and replaced with a Selectman’s unfounded opinion forged from “Chicken-Little” antics.
The article petitioners are only asking that the fate of the health and welfare of residents be dictated by newly emerging science, not the subjectivities of Selectmen or the falsified fiscal threats propped up by Town Hall administration. The benchmarks and the Board of Health’s requested epidemiological Falmouth study, will be complete and provide a collective data pool for review by spring Town Meeting. Until then, Article 9 only asks that health protections, currently enjoyed by most in Falmouth, be enforced in the neighborhoods around the town turbines.
Three Selectmen are satisfied that the Board’s sympathy is enough. I, for one, do not want your pity! Your pity does nothing to remove The Harm. The Harm, the board knows, is hurting people! That Harm caused the Board to take measures of relief by adopting wind curtailments. The Harm is obvious to the Board of Health which seeks to have an examination through a site specific health analysis!
Not enforcing the public protection sought, makes the Board accountable. Not supporting Article 9 announces to all - Money is valued more than the personal health and well-being of families and friends in Falmouth. Don’t give me Sympathy! Sympathy is a cop out! Sympathy is a sell out! Give me protection!
If the Falmouth wind project had been presented to Town Meeting allowing a neighborhood or three to have been subjected to possible health risks and threats to quality of life, would the town have continued to fund and build these two industrial wind power plants so close to homes?
Does an initial poor siting decision, and the decision to offer only sympathy, become decisions we are forced to live with, to tolerate, because it costs too much to fix?
In other words, will two wrongs make Falmouth right?
Mark J. Cool
Fire Tower Rd.