Richardson has shown she is a tough watchdog for Barre on Town Board

Posted 5 November 2023 at 4:08 pm


This past week I sent a letter to the residents of Barre asking for their support for my daughter Kerri in this upcoming election. I described her attributes and why I felt she was not only the best candidate for councilwoman but also the best councilperson presently that Barre has, including myself.

At the end of the letter I stated that if anyone had any concerns or comments, I would happily address them. This response is my obligation to happily address the opposition’s comments, and to turn the other cheek after being called a liar, desperate and shameful parent!

A lot of what was shared, Kerri has already responded to (see her letter to the editor where she factually corrects the misinformation from the postcard). There are however a few additional comments and clarifications that I would like to add.

The opposition states my claim that the Heritage Wind proposed funding continues to go down is totally incorrect. The fact is the host community agreement is based on the nameplate capacity which at the time of signing was 200 megawatts. Technology or not the nameplate capacity that is being proposed has gone down. Now they are proposing 168 to 173.6 MW which also decreases the amount that we as a town would receive.

The opposition states that I was wrong in saying Kerri is harassed and insulted at meetings and in fact it is Kerri who is disrespectful!  I can only say if you view the recordings and you see Kerri being disrespectful, I will donate $100 to PAWS Animal Shelter per incident. Don’t worry PAWS just for using your name Iva and I will make a donation.

Kerri does have to speak assertively to sometimes get her point made and understood. A perfect example of this was when Kerri emailed and requested the estimated column in the tentative budget, Sean said he wouldn’t. She again requested this information at the workshop.

Sean condescendingly asked her how long she has served on the board, and expressed that there has never been a column like that. Kerri stated that she would pull up the previous year’s column and show him. Quickly, Kerri had the 2023 budget pulled up on her computer showing the estimated column!

Sean walked over, looked at what she was talking about and then blamed the accountant! Saying he didn’t know why she would not have included it! No apology was given.

While I have your attention, I would also briefly like to address Sean’s letter to the editor. First, I find it interesting; that he actually does not address or comment on any of Kerri’s points in her letter to the editor, because it is the truth.

Second, you will find that all of the candidates are actually integral community members and avid volunteers, and this was never anything that was brought into question. In this particular matter, however, I believe (this is not fact, simply my belief) that the Heritage Wind project was the catalyst for everyone running in this year’s election to run.

There are two big differences. First, one side, Kerri Richardson and Scott Burnside, are not accepting funds from a national corporation that would like to be in our community. While two of the candidates on the other side are, and everyone who has publicly endorsed these candidates as well (Ronald Harling, Chris Loss, Michael Van Lieshout are all leaseholders and are encouraging you to vote for these candidates as they believe they provide the best opportunity to ensure that this project comes to our community to their financial gain without hiccup).

Can you rest assured that they will be a watchdog and ensure that the company is doing what they have said? Or that the modifications are appropriately vetted? Second, Kerri and Scott want to work with others, and will listen and reach out to ensure that they understand everything that is brought before the board, and are making well-informed decisions.

Wouldn’t it have been nice for the whole town to have a vote on the Heritage Wind matter?  Pogue was part of the reason you didn’t get a say on the matter. The reason that was provided by the town board to change the wind ordinance in favor of the developer was that it “aligned with the comprehensive plan.”

However, the most recent comprehensive plan had zero questions about industrial wind, so in their mind there was no objection to industrial wind (Kirk Mathes was on the planning board during this time, who facilitated the comprehensive plan).

I will end this editorial by sharing how disappointed I am in being accused of lying in my letter by Pouge, Mathes, and Swan, and this incorrect postcard being sent not just to the residents of the Town of Barre who can vote, but sent to Town of Albion residents as well (which brings me to question their financial responsibility even with their campaign, and or what their goal was with their postcards).

I want to say I forgive you. I also want to state that Iva and I are unabashedly proud of all of our daughters. That is a great word Iva suggested and it fits perfectly in this case.

Thank you,

George McKenna DVM