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Dietrich walks out of meeting in protest

Arkwright Councilman Jeff Dietrich couldn't get a second to his motion Monday to have Horizon Wind Energy and the town sign with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's ethical standards regarding wind energy development. ...When he and Councilman Roger Cardot began discussing their opinions regarding this issue, Supervisor Fred Norton closed them down ...Dietrich said a wise teacher once told him "Stand by your principles or stand alone; I guess I stand alone." He then walked out of the meeting.

ARKWRIGHT - Arkwright Councilman Jeff Dietrich couldn't get a second to his motion Monday to have Horizon Wind Energy and the town sign with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's ethical standards regarding wind energy development.

"I want to keep everyone honest," he said.

When he and Councilman Roger Cardot began discussing their opinions regarding this issue, Supervisor Fred Norton closed them down and called for a continuation of the meeting.

With that, Dietrich said a wise teacher once told him "Stand by your principles or stand alone; I guess I stand alone."

He then walked out of the meeting.

Norton responded to Elizabeth Booth's comments at the June board meeting asking that the board and Horizon sign the attorney general's ethics standards.

He noted that Noble Environmental Energy and First Windholdings, LLC have signed the ethics standard agreement.

Norton said these agreements were the result of investigations of the business practices of Noble and Windholdings in the development of wind energy farms elsewhere in the state.

"No other wind energy developer has signed such an agreement," he said.

Furthermore, Norton said, "Arkwright has its own ethics code... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ARKWRIGHT - Arkwright Councilman Jeff Dietrich couldn't get a second to his motion Monday to have Horizon Wind Energy and the town sign with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's ethical standards regarding wind energy development.

"I want to keep everyone honest," he said.

When he and Councilman Roger Cardot began discussing their opinions regarding this issue, Supervisor Fred Norton closed them down and called for a continuation of the meeting.

With that, Dietrich said a wise teacher once told him "Stand by your principles or stand alone; I guess I stand alone."

He then walked out of the meeting.

Norton responded to Elizabeth Booth's comments at the June board meeting asking that the board and Horizon sign the attorney general's ethics standards.

He noted that Noble Environmental Energy and First Windholdings, LLC have signed the ethics standard agreement.

Norton said these agreements were the result of investigations of the business practices of Noble and Windholdings in the development of wind energy farms elsewhere in the state.

"No other wind energy developer has signed such an agreement," he said.

Furthermore, Norton said, "Arkwright has its own ethics code established in 1970 and the town's ethic board oversees its implementation and the state's general municipal law," he said.

Both cover the same issues the attorney general's agreement covers, he added.

When there is a violation of the ethics code, whether it be the town's or the general municipal law, there is a possible penalty of the town official's vote being voided.

"In fact, any contract resulting could be made void. This could be much more serious to a developer than a fine," he said.

The town's ethics code and general municipal law cover gifts, compensation for services, contingent compensation, easements or leases and confidential information.

"In conclusion, we believe there is nothing to be gained in requiring the developer to enter into the attorney general's agreement in its present form," Norton said.

Further more, he said, "We already have an ethics code and the provisions of the general municipal law which meet or surpass the provisions of the attorney general's standards."

During the community comment portion of the meeting, Larry Wilcox, the co-chairman of NICE, an organization whose members promote the Arkwright wind farm, said he has never attended a municipal meeting where one of the members walked out.

"I think the attorney general's oversight of the wind farm development is just another Albany money grab and will cost the local municipalities," he said.

Horizon project manager Tom Stebbins said he knows of no complains leveled against his company for the Arkwright project.

Stebbins also said the final work on the Environmental Impact Statement is nearing completion.

This is one of a series of requirements Horizon must meet before the project can get underway.

Asked when the EIS would be presented to the Arkwright Town Board, Stebbins said, "As soon as possible."

In other business, the town board approved a resolution presented by Norton which calls for a referendum vote this fall to increase the supervisor's term of office from two years to four years.

If the referendum passes, the new term will take effect with the 2011 election.

Norton said this would bring the supervisor's term in line with the town's other office holders which are four year terms.


Source: http://www.observertoday.co...

JUL 15 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21182-dietrich-walks-out-of-meeting-in-protest
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