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Yates town supervisor candidate doesn’t support wind farm

Posted 11 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Editor:

I am Jim Simon, and I am running for the Town of Yates Supervisor position in the upcoming Republican Party primary nomination scheduled for Sept. 10.

I have lived in the Town of Yates for over 10 years, and for me and my wife and 8 children, it was love at first sight. I love everything from the Christmas holiday parties at the Yates Community Library and picking apples, blueberries and strawberries at local farms, to dipping a fishing line and taking in the sunset at Shadigee.

I am an Air Force veteran and I work in local higher education as an administrator. I have grown to appreciate the hard-working and friendly people of our community.

Alas, this community is now being bitterly divided by Apex Clean Energy.

I am adamantly opposed to the Apex Lighthouse Wind Project. I am for transparent, collaborative and inclusive economic development for the betterment of our entire community – including green energy – yet that is precisely the opposite of what is happening in Yates. Let me explain.

Apex Clean Energy, a Virginia-based company, has yet to sign the New York State Wind Ethics Code and has demonstrably failed to conduct itself in an open and honest manner. Why should any of us accept industrial zone planning of 60-70 massive 570-foot wind turbines through secret negotiations with select landowners, even before our town officials are aware of the proposal? If given the opportunity, I would immediately cease all discussions with Apex until it signs and proves it is abiding by the NYS Wind Ethics Code.

The 2011 Article X state law covering large-scale energy production proposals is controlled by a 7-member state “siting board” that will only have two representatives from the affected towns or counties. This law all but takes away local home rule and places the final decision in Albany. If elected, I would immediately partner with the Town Board of Somerset and support their July 7, 2015, resolution against the Apex proposal and the Article X law.

This proposal is not economically feasible. It involves payments to a handful of land owners and it promises a payment in-lieu of taxes to the town, the school district and the county. However, this limited funding does nothing to offset the proven negative impact on property values.

Recent peer-reviewed medical research increasingly points to significant health concerns- including sleep disturbance and vertigo caused by sound, infra-sound and flicker effects – for citizens who live too close to industrial wind turbines (see July-August 2010 Audiology Today journal).

This “green” proposal threatens to degrade our environment and wildlife – from the impact on our migratory bird population to the attractiveness of our rural landscape.

I will be a voice for the citizens of the Town of Yates who are not being heard regarding the Apex industrial wind turbine proposal.

I am for seeking the advice and ideas of all residents, strengthening our small farms and businesses, preserving our natural resources and leveraging county and state support for improving our infrastructure. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my neighbors to make our town better than it already is.

Jim Simon
Town of Yates