Wind power 'poll' is one-sided
Editor of the Reformer:
We received a letter that was a bit confusing the other day. It was a copy of a letter sent to the Grafton Select Board from Jud Hartman, dated Jan. 18, asking the board to consider the opinion of non-resident taxpayers. There was also another letter to "non-resident taxpayers ... who pay over 60 percent of the taxes." informing us that there will be a poll taken to get our opinion on the Iberdrola wind project.
Well that got my interest. So I set out to do a bit of research. I found that it was easy to find all of the opposition's information but it was like pulling teeth to get any information on what the original proposal from Iberdrola contained and what benefits they had proposed. I still have not seen the original proposal, even after a visit to the town hall and The Grafton Woodlands Group. I understand that there could be some financial benefits to the taxpayers but, that has not been made readily assessable.
I still have so many questions. What was the original proposal? What did they offer as benefits? How will the towers effect local ecology, the global warming issue, the local economy, state economy, and what will I be leaving for my grandchildren to benefit from or deal with? Why is the opposition getting all the talk time and when will those in favor of the project start putting out some data (for every fact that was backed up by a study there are three that counter it)? How much is this poll going to cost and will the town be hiring an independent group to create a non-bias poll and to calculate the results so that everyone knows it's fair?
If I am to fill out a poll on my opinion I would like all the information not just one sided. I would like to weigh both sides. I know that the board feels like they are doing the right thing opposing the towers, however, the way that they are going about it by squashing dialog actually weakens their argument, because it appears to be obstructive politics. I have begun to think that the Select Board in Grafton is as broken as the United States Congress.
I was extremely active (against) when the state of Vermont wanted to locate a prison in Rockingham, and recently I followed closely as some other citizens fought against a jail that the Windham County Sherriff was trying to locate, first in the village of Bellows Falls, and then on the outskirts of Rockingham. I feel very fortunate that our Select Board invited the people and organizations making these proposals to multiple question and answer sessions. While the board members had their own "opinions" they gave the voters every opportunity to get all the questions asked and answered before the votes took place.
I would rather my tax dollars went toward education of the children than this fruitless activity. It is a waste of my tax money to conduct a "poll" just because we pay 60 percent of the taxes when the results of the poll won't count at all.
I would also like to add a bit of good old Yankee wisdom I received from my father: Careful what you ask for you might get it (that poll may might turn out the way you think it will); shut up and listen because you might hear something you can use later (if you don't listen to the other side of an argument you can't argue against it successfully or intelligently); and opinions are like ...
Susan Hernandez, Cambridgeport. Sept. 1