The Town Crier

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Overruling Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Laws in favor of siting industrial wind would be very embarrassing for New York State and the Energy siting Board.

During a Jefferson County Community college symposium, New York State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill told a packed auditorium that one of the major reasons why there was a need for Article X to replace local community rule in industrial wind and other energy siting was that some New York State communities being targeted by industrial wind developers were corrupt.

Kevin Cahill told the audience:

What I started to perceive, particularly when it came to wind, was that promoters of wind development across the New York State were town shopping. They were municipality shopping. And we saw a number of examples where town governments, in my view, were corrupted by wind development. (Audience applause.) And, there was no general mechanism to allow the town that was passed over, because they either had stricter regulations or a more honest board, to get back engaged in this process.

One such example of an industrial wind corrupted New York State Town was my town of Cape Vincent, NY. In fact, it was the only town that former Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's current New York State Commissioner of Agriculture lives in the town of Cape Vincent, NY. He is a former Assemblyman, State Senator and a wind lease holder who would not admit to voters of having those leases during his campaigns and did not disclose the money he was being paid by the wind developers.

While running for governor, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was telling the New York State citizens that he was going to clean up New York State and his campaign was all about ethics. 

Meanwhile, back in Cape Vincent, Governor Cuomo's present Commissioner of Agriculture, Darrel Aubertine had already encouraged the industrial wind lease conflicts of interest of three board members and the corruption of the Town Board of Cape Vincent by writing this letter:

June 15, 2006

Cape Vincent Town Board Members
P.O. Box 680
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Re: Abstaining from Voting on the Location of 
      wind Turbines in Cape Vincent.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I regret that I was unable to attend the public hearing held on June 3rd. at which time the above referenced subject was discussed and I appreciate the opportunity to share my thought with you now.

Specifically, I would like to comment about the issue of whether a board member should abstain from voting on an issue.  As elected representatives, we are responsible to make decisions for the benefit of our constituents and community. This project, which affects thousands of acres and dozens of property owners, has the potential to positively affect every resident. Whether through a reduced property tax rate or new economic opportunities, Messrs. Wood, and (2) Masons (three members with wind contracts) will certainly not be the sole beneficiaries should the project move forward.

This sign greeted Andrew Cuomo when he came
to Watertown, NY to give his campaign "ethics" speech
promising to clean up New York State government.
While some may feel that these elected officials should abstain from voting on this matter-my belief is that they should not. If they are restrained from voting in this instance, then shouldn't the community decide now what the guiding principle will be for future abstention in different matters and with different representatives? i.e. voting on a tax rate that affects their personal property.

Healthy and positive discourse is mandatory in a democracy; however, governing by referendum is unwise. After careful reflection, I feel that it is ethically proper that in this case all board members should vote on the issue at hand. In fact, I believe it is their responsibility to do so.

Darrel J. Aubertine.

The documented evidence that leads most Town of Cape Vincent Citizens and Jefferson County to believe there was industrial wind development corruption in the Town of Cape Vincent is overwhelming.

Any attempt for a New York State Energy siting board to strip the Town of Cape Vincent of its right to protect the health and welfare of its Citizens by enforcing zoning laws that regulate industrial wind would be met with very angry and noisy resistance.

If I were a member of a siting board, I think I would go shopping for a town of less resistance and free of a history of corruption. A place where Article X siting would become less embarrassing for New York State's elected officials.