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New Yates officials oppose new survey, saying community has clearly shown opposition to wind project

Posted 16 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Editor:

At long last, the election is over and a new day is dawning for the Town of Yates. A note of thanks to Mr. John Belson for his long years of service as Yates Town Supervisor.

We look forward to working and serving with Mr. Wes Bradley, Mr. Brad Bentley and Mr. Jim Whipple as we move Yates forward into a positive and meaningful future.

To our comments:

The most unique and important component of a democracy is the ability of the people to make their wishes known via the voting process. The vote is a precious right of all US citizens and our only systematic way to truly ensure our voices are heard and change effected.

Gentlemen of the Yates Town Board, the voice of the people has been heard loud and clear. Yates is opposed to the APEX Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Project known as Lighthouse Wind.

The people’s opposition to this project has been heard at least three times prior to the Nov. 3 general election and once after the election:

Survey Performed Opposed In favor No Opinion
Somerset Town Board June 64.0% 35.0% 0.0%
SOS October 77.9% 19.5% 2.6%
Batavia Daily October 72.0% 28.0% 0.0%
Buffalo Business First November 71% 29% 0.0%

 

These results show a clear, consistent, massive and ongoing opposition in Yates and Western New York that must be respected and acted upon.

We understand that the Town Board does not perceive any of these results as valid and continues to push forward with yet another survey. All while APEX continues with their unwarranted, unwanted efforts to impose a project on this town that is immensely destructive to our environment, wildlife, personal health, property values and yes, the very social fabric that makes Yates such a special place.

APEX is also trying to take from us that which we hold most dear Our very quality of life. Is Yates a better place for APEX’s presence?

We think not and Yates voters agree as is evidenced with the results of this most important election.

If the Board does not value the results of multiple surveys which trumpet opposition to this project, surely the election results must speak to the Board and direct said Board to stop this survey and immediately oppose the APEX project. The will of the people has been made clear. There is no need for further surveying.

THE PEOPLE OF YATES ARE TELLING YOU TO OPPOSE THE APEX PROJECT!

In addition, as an incoming Town Supervisor and Town Councilman, we are extremely concerned about the cost of upward of $4,000 that this survey is going to cost the Town.

That $4,000 will need to be covered with tax dollars that are clearly in short supply right now. To spend these tax dollars on this survey project brings little, if any, value to the Town and leaves the Town with a deficit that must be made up with additional revenue.

In fact, any actions taken now taken by the Board on the APEX proposal between, now and the end of the year, will clearly be perceived as actions taken to impose the Board’s personal will and policies contrary to the expressed desire of the people as expressed in the recent election.

We call on the Board to respect the election results, curtail all activity on the survey, immediately oppose the project and leave a positive legacy for the Town of Yates.

In addition, we would like ensure we are clear with the citizens of Yates regarding direction for the town. A contention was made during the Yates Town Board meeting of Thursday, Nov. 12, that the newly elected candidates are only concerned with wind turbines. To ensure clarity, the following platform goals are, again, communicated as follows:

Pass resolution by Town of Yates of formal opposition to Apex Lighthouse Wind industrial zones.

Seek immediate town declaration against New York State Article X law which removes home rule.

Form Yates Renewable Energy Task Force with interested residents and clean energy experts.

Develop, enact, assess and refine a comprehensive, 5-year strategic plan for Yates.

Attract people to Yates to live, raise their families, go shopping and start businesses.

Seek opportunities to collaborate with Lyndonville, neighboring towns, the county and the state.

Lead with transparency, crystal clear ethics, data-driven analysis & collaborative decision making.

In order to achieve these goals, we will need your input and help. We urge you to get involved as we begin to move forward.

We are excited to begin working with the citizens of Yates in January and are delighted to begin the process of meaningful development for our Town.

Jim Simon – Town of Yates Supervisor-elect
John Riggi – Town of Yates Councilman-elect