5/6/12

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.

Sincerely, 
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. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read Cahill's remark you quoted differently. He is saying that towns which had corrupted boards were passed over by the developers. Now A X gives those towns a second chance to get in the game. The state's assumption is still that we all want wind.

RWiley said...

No, My quote of Cahill's statement is right from the transcript I prepared exactly as he said it.

Cahill was saying the towns that had more honest boards and strict regulations were passed over by developers because they knew they could not put them there because of those regulations and that their boards did not have any lease holders on them.

Cahill even clarified it later when questioned.

Cahill meant that the wind developers were shopping for towns like Cape Vincent that would be less strict and with dishonest boards who would use their conflicts of interest to be sure that nothing would stand in their way to get their wind and their personal money and use their position in town government to do it.

Like serving on the town board and being chairman of the planning board for example. Or a town that had a State Senator who also had leases, for example.

Those towns that had the more honest people and laws that prevented a lot of turbines would get a second chance under Article X only because the State was going to take their local rule away from them. For them, a second chance is not necessarily a good thing because, that second chance is for wind developers and not the impacted citizens.

Anonymous said...

5:23

You would like to think that the State's assumption is that we still all want wind.

Absolutely wrong. If the State's assumption was that we all want wind then they would not have passed a law that takes away the right of the town to say they don't want wind.

What they wanted was to be able to plan wind to fit in where they need the power and it could be a good fit close to the energy highway.

The north country has a glut of power and it is an out of the way place to have to put very expensive delivery systems for a very expensive power generation system just to produce power for New York City Area.

The energy highway is basically a one way street with everything going to the eastern corridor.

Putting turbines in an out of way place like your town would be like carrying coal to newcastle.

Anonymous said...

Here is why I think JLL was right on this one, 5:23

Addie Russell has said repeatedly that "because of Article X, we are not going to get wind power here."
Remember, she voted against Article X.
Addie Russell also said there are already more wind projects proposed in New York State than we need.
Now, with Article X the State will look at a master plan for wind done the most efficient and economical way.

Cape Vincent does not fit into that scheme and because of the corruption and the conflicts of interest Cape Vincent is far to controversial for State people to want to come in here and try to force it. Especially with Bp who was here already, well aware of the corruption, and was knowingly taking advantage of the corruption and the people in town who were overlooking and even promoting the corruption.

Sorry, I think wind in Cape Vincent is dead.

JLL is right in saying that Bp should not be allowed to apply for Cape Vincent because of their knowledge of the corruption.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rick

Cahill was admitting that before Art. X, the only way you could easily get wind in a town was by corruption or finding a town where the real impacts could be avoided.

Cape Vincent is the perfect example of how hard it is to properly place wind as your majority has
come forth and is now regulating wind properly to protect all the people against their impacts. Real impacts that the developers spend millions to deny and hide from the towns.

Remember, Cuomo found that he needed a wind code of ethics. He didn't have the balls to make it a real law, so he made it voluntary. But the developers actually complied by publishing and documenting the actual conflicts.

They did that because they knew damn well it was going to cause them trouble down the line.

But just the same, Cuomo also launched an investigation of your town. As far as I am concerned that is enough to say you are corrupted there until your AG announces that it was OK for people with conflicts of interest to make decisions while in government that enhanced their own wallets.

But that is not going to happen because the SCOTUS ruled against a conflicts of interest because a conflict free government is the age old backbone of democracy and the same code of ethics has been around for over two hundred years.

A very similar kind of conflict like yours was happening in a town in Nevada and the SCOTUS ruled against the local board member and his conflict because he had a business partner that would benefit from his vote. Not a close family member, like your town, but only a business partner. And, that was only one board member compared to your multiple conflicts.

Good luck to Cape Vincent.

Anonymous said...

Lyme does not fit into it either because we don't want wind
or the power line.
The state's assumption is that no town wants power facilities, although necessary to us all.
And in reality, the state has a better picture of the master plan for all of our energy needs.
Cape Vincent and lyme wind was a misguided effort to place a wind energy facility in a town where it never should have happened in the first place.
The decisions there were based on secrecy, corruption, greed and influence by a State senator. Putting them in Cape Vincent had nothing to do a good state decision on proper location and need.

Anonymous said...

All of a sudden everyone's an expert on what the state "s motivations are. If its such a bad idea for wind power in Cape Vincent, why is BP still hanging around? The town better be prepared to fight a challenge to their new zoning law by BP.

REAliasso said...

Darrel Aubertine was an embarrasment to the NY Senate, his district and his constiuents. But juts like the life long liberal sucking from the teet of taxpayers, he was given at Ag and Markets job. Now he is dishing out taxpayer money for small turbines for farming practices ot lower their energy bill (READ AS SUBSIDY). This is not the most eggregious portion of his actions - his Ag and Markets bypass NYS SEQRA law by declaring a wind turbine for farming use as Type II - they claim no effets to public health, safety and welfare. What a pompous ass he is to spread this crap - I guess thats as close to real farming he can get.

Anonymous said...

7:21

And voters for wind and the wiley/kings had better be prepared to be dragged through the dirt on legitimate corruption charges when the corruption stories and the Ag Commissioner's involvement with the corruption becomes more and more known.

Remember, the Atty General investigation is not over and the highest level of State Government is watching Cape Vincent at the same time they want a peaceful solution to NY wind energy.

And Russell, Owens, Blankenbush, and Ritchie had better be prepared to defend why a wind developer who was overlooking corruption and taking advantage of it should have the right to take local rule away from the communities in their constituencies.

All of the above have been defending local rule by the towns. A Bp law suit would be counter to our local political leadership both republican and Dem.

Russell and Blankenbush voted to support local rule which is a constitutional right of New York State Citizens.

If Bp wants to be real bastards and drag this town though an expensive and costly fight in a town that has already been designated as a corrupt town then so be it.

Now the question is will the industrial wind people want that kind of publicity as they try to provide a peaceful and rational solution around the entire state?

We will all see about that.

Anonymous said...

7:21

The reason why some are experts on what the State motivations are is because they have discussed it all with higher ranking state officials and have been politically active in coalitions.

Why do you think Aubertine lost?

Even Aubertine knows that his wind corruption did him in.

There is a reason why Frank G. got pissed at a Coalition meeting and attacked an anti-wind guy.
Frank is a smart man and suddenly realized that the coalition was bigger than he imagined and Cape Vincent and their wind was screwed.

Voters for wind have only relied on an out of town, very rich and selfish foreign corporation which only cares about the money they can get from the welfare that the taxpayers give them if they put a wind farm in Cape Vincent.

If Bp was so interested in your welfare, why the hell would they make you sign an agreement that takes all of your rights to complain if anything goes wrong.

Hint: Bp knows that a lot of things go wrong with turbines, so they make you sure you keep your mouths shut when you find out later that you gat screwed.

Anonymous said...

Some of the people in Cape Vincent have comments to the PSC that they do not like rich elitists from out of town making decisions for your town.

many of the people who serve the State on siting boards, NYPA, energy commissions, the Assembly and Senate are very rich and highly educated.

That would make them rich elitists from out of town.

Now do you really think they want to come to Cape Vincent and get messed up with a bunch of voters for wind who hate their kind?

And, yes Mr. Alliasso, the Cape Ag Commissioner is an embarrassment and that is why the farmers of Oswego County helped do their part to remove them. Getting him back as Ag commissioner was a joke played on us by Mr. Ethics, Cuomo.

Anonymous said...

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

JLL- what I am saying is that Cahill said that "honest" towns were bypassed by wind developers, and that A X is a mechanism for those "honest" towns to get on the wind bandwagon.
Why would the state want to make it easier for honestly-governed towns to get wind developments if they don't want them? The only explanation is for Article X to bypass local regulations by letting the developer lawyers complain about restrictive zoning.


523 a m

Anonymous said...

Not one single democrat in the Cape has the courage to come forward and give us a primary and a fair party.

Anonymous said...

Not one single democrat in the Cape has the courage to come forward and give us a primary and a fair party.

Anonymous said...

I am a registered Repuplican, but have voted Democratic probably 30% of the time, incuding governors. I vote for the person instead of the party. The problem with the Cape is that the conflicted have hidden behind the Democratic Party and controled it for their personal greedy self centered interests.
If the local (Democrats) would take the same initiative as the Republicans did, WOW, we could have some top knotch candidates. The farmers have worked so hard, they haven't had time to realize other people work hard also. The farmer is like other professionals and hard workers "out standing in his FIELD"