The following letter to the editor was sent in by Leslie Cadwell.
Statement of Leslie Cadwell, Kidder Hill Community Wind, in response to the outcome of the Irasburg special selectboard meeting on October 1, 2015:
Regrettably, the outcome of this vote comes as no surprise. It represents a rush to judgment at odds with basic notions of fairness and fact-driven dialogue. From the start, the Irasburg Selectboard has stacked the deck against informed and thoughtful conversation about this project.
First, it held a meeting where it prevented the Irasburg homeowner and project developer from speaking. Then, on just two days notice, it called for this special meeting and “vote” without making any attempt to provide project representatives lead time to prepare a presentation.
If the Irasburg selectboard was truly interested in informed discussion, it could have waited until there was a fleshed out proposal to serve as a starting point for conversation.
We all know we need electricity: not just to power our homes, but increasingly to provide petroleum-free transportation and affordable, efficient home heating for Vermonters. Well-developed, locally-owned clean energy projects like the two-turbine community-scale project being contemplated for Kidder Hill can help meet those pressing societal needs while providing substantial tax revenues to the local community.
We look forward to finalizing our proposal and still hope to work with community members in a cooperative fashion to make this a project they can be proud of. Residents and elected leaders in Lowell, Milton, Georgia and other wind-hosting towns, have proven that Vermonters are willing to do their part for a cleaner, more energy-independent future.
We hope Irasburg residents will eventually follow their lead.