Barre survey was biased and done to further anti-wind agenda

Posted 14 August 2020 at 9:10 am


This is a response to George McKenna’s survey about the proposed wind turbine project in Barre.

Please check only one response:

  • I do not want a hamburger no matter how hungry I am
  • I would like my hamburger with pickles but no mustard
  • I would like my hamburger with one slice of onion and two squirts of ketchup
  • I would like my hamburger with mustard and one half of the bun toasted
  • I would like my hamburger with an egg over easy with mayonnaise, but I don’t want to pay for my hamburger
  • I would like my hamburger cooked over an open flame of 10-year-old seasoned apple wood obtained ethically from a forest where happy people live
  • I would like my hamburger with one slice of cheddar, one tomato, and no relish
  • I would like my hamburger with no hamburger, but with lettuce
  • I do want a hamburger, I’m hungry, the consequences be damned

Does this survey look familiar? It reminds me a lot of Dr. George McKenna’s survey regarding wind turbines in the town of Barre.

I don’t know about you, but I thought the choices given were very confusing. I chose to not check any boxes because none of the options reflected my opinion. Many of my friends and neighbors shared the same sentiment.

Several comments on the Orleans Hub article revealing the survey results indicated many residents did not fill out the survey, and many did not even receive it. Surveys should come from an unbiased third party.

Dr. McKenna included a cover letter with the survey, which described all the reasons why he is opposed to the turbines. If someone did not do proper research on the subject and took the claims in that letter as fact, they were more likely to side with Dr. McKenna.

Dr. McKenna claims that with 176 respondents checking “we don’t want the turbines,” the survey shows that 70% of the town is opposed to the wind project. I am not sure how he arrives at that conclusion.

The survey was sent to all 735 households in the town of Barre. By my calculation, 176 out of 735 is about 24%. That is just simple math. Numbers can be made to fit whatever they need to fit; one needs to look at the total picture, not just a person’s interpretation of the statistics.

Dr. McKenna also claims that his survey is fair and reflects the true feelings of Barre residents. I don’t see how this is true, when Alice Mathes shared a letter at the August 12 town board meeting, signed by 203 Barre residents and taxpayers, stating they support the wind project and do not believe George’s survey should be used to reflect the residents’ opinions.

This survey was extremely biased. I don’t believe Dr. McKenna’s intention was to obtain an accurate survey, but to further his anti-wind agenda.

Christine Loss and Alice Mathes