Sunday, April 1, 2012

County Legislator defends us against Lake Ontario industrial wind.

During the winter of 2009-2010, the meeting room of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators was humming.

In the dead of winter, in the absence of many Jefferson County and Oswego County seasonal residents, Richard Kessell of the New York State Power authority snuck into Watertown, NY and tried to convince our County Leaders that the eastern end of Lake Ontario should be crapped up with wind turbines as far as the eye could see. 

Weeks before, The Jefferson County Board had already narrowly approved a PILOT for an Upstate Power proposal that would lead to the bulldozing of Galloo Island and the turning of it into, not only a giant industrial wind factory, but a staging area, maintenance headquarters and recreational playground for Richie's offshore turbine dreams. 

Several weeks before, it took the Jefferson County Legislators about three minutes after the end of their meeting to realize that their Galloo Island PILOT approval was a huge mistake.

During Richie's presentation, when he told the County leaders and the public that Lake Ontario Turbines would be a huge tourism draw, the large audience broke out into a chorus of loud "boos". Very un-characteristic of an evening in the distinguished and beautiful old courtroom where our Jefferson County Legislators meet.

Richie and his turbines were denied, he was run out of Jefferson County, then Oswego County, then Wayne county. The rest of the lake view counties threw him out, too.  In brief, Kessell was shuffled off to Buffalo and Orchard Park where he sought refuge under the desks of the IBEW union bosses who wanted to use the crapping up of our Lake as an excuse for part time jobs that come from elsewhere.

Richard Kessell's attempts to screw up Lake Ontario and those living along its shores had failed and he was soon fired by the NYPA board.

But, Governor Cuomo in a joint partnership with President Obama have now struck a deal to once again try to shove the idea of Great Lakes turbines down our pie holes. Our Governor who knows full well that industrial wind tears communities apart and destroys home values of wind turbine neighbors want bragging rights to white towers of testosterone  not to mention the wind industry dollars that he hopes will blow him into the White House.

Jefferson County Legislator
Barry Ormsby
District 9
But locally, as well as across the Lake Shore to the Niagara Frontier, the Cuomo-Obama idea will meet strong resistance.

Immediately after the announcement,  Jefferson County Legislator Barry Ormsby, District 9, started defending Lake Ontario and  its present uniqueness and future potential. And my personal experience has been that he has a lot of support from his fellow members.

Ormsby has told us that the Cuomo-Obama Lake Ontario turbine proposal demonstrates our federal government's insensitivity to our unique area. Barry pulls no punches in saying that the turbines will have effects on property values, the view shed, and the quality of life that generates our tourism dollars. All good reasons to preserve what God has blessed us with.

Thank you Mr. Ormsby and all the other Jefferson County Legislators for defending the Lake Shores of Jefferson and Oswego Counties.