Richardson responds to mailer that she says misrepresents her actions on Barre Town Board
The Town of Barre residents recently received a letter from my Dad, Dr. George McKenna, endorsing myself, Kerri Richardson for Town Councilmember. I am grateful for his kind words, and expression of appreciation for the work that I have put in and continue to do for our town. Yesterday, in the mail Barre residents (and apparently Albion residents) found a rebuttal that I would like to take the time to address.
Kirk Mathes is a financially conflicted candidate in regards to the Heritage Wind project. Sean Pogue was also listed by Heritage Wind as being financially conflicted (but no longer is).
Kirk has and will continue to receive money directly from Heritage Wind LLC personally, or to his business and Sean had a direct family member who received money from Heritage Wind LLC.
Check the link to Heritage Wind’s website where they have a list of financially conflicted town officials listed as stated by their agreement with the NYS Attorney General’s Office – Updated list as of January 11, 2023.
Kirk Mathes, the first individual listed (currently serves on the Town Planning Board), receives $5,000 to under $20,000 per year during development phase. If the project goes to operation he would receive $20,000 to under $60,000 with inflation per year during operation.
Sean Pogue was removed by Heritage Wind as having a financial conflict of interest when Heritage Wind terminated a contract with his future mother-in-law. However, he was previously on this list while he served, voted and discussed in favor of the Heritage Wind Project. If you would like documentation on this I would be happy to provide it.
NYS Office of Renewable Energy Sitting (ORES) is the one making the decision for the Heritage Wind Project. However, the town has intervenor funds that are intended to be used to review and argue any concerns that the Town has with the modified project.
This process will provide opportunity for discussion, review and quite possibly voting on how to respond. We have as a Town Board voted even this past year. It is logical to me that there will still be voting, discussion and use of intervenor funds by the Town in regards to the Heritage Wind project.
The Town of Barre agreed to receive $6,750 per installed megawatt capacity as a Host Community Agreement, starting from the Commercial Operation Date (when electricity is generated and sold on the grid).
Heritage Wind Project was approved by ORES without the 6 turbines nearest the Iroquois Wildlife refuge, or if they wanted to keep any of those turbines higher environmental monitoring standards would be enforced. Heritage Wind argued that this condition made the project unfeasible.
Heritage Wind has since submitted significant modifications to ORES which have not been accepted by ORES, one of reasons that ORES listed for not accepting the modifications was that the State was not interested in overruling the local laws further than what they have already permitted (the modifications included siting turbines closer to non-participating properties than our town law allows).
The Town Board was told that the project will once again be changed to correct this, and we were provided a tentative map, but a further redesign has yet to be submitted to the state.
Reality is that this project is still changing; and there is still no guarantee as to if it will in fact be built in our community.
What we can say is that the numbers have been going down and not up.
Here is a statement that was in the postcard from Sean, Kirk and Margaret: “Kerri Richardson was not the great overseer of funds that George (father) had suggested. One of the first items she pushed through was to fire the Town Attorney and hire another one at three times the cost.”
I was elected in 2019 and I was installed at 2020, previous town attorney was voted by the board in 2022 not to be reappointed (I had been serving for 2 years).
We, as a Town Board, unanimously voted at the beginning of this year 2023, including Sean and Margaret, to continue with our current Town Attorney, at her current rate; because we felt that she does a high quality job, although her rate is higher (not 3 times higher; I am not sure where that number came from).
From February 2023 Town Board Minutes: RESOLUTION #10 Appointment/Town Attorney Margaret Swan made a motion to authorize Supervisor Pogue to sign the 1 year Retainer Agreement for the position of Town of Barre Town Attorney, seconded by Kerri Richardson. Vote 5-0, passed.
I believe in saving the town money, and sometimes that means investing in high quality that will save the town money over time.
The postcard stated that I am not harassed at “every” Town Board meeting, and that is correct. However, that is a misrepresentation of what was written in the original letter. Here is the direct quote: “Kerri also doesn’t relent when numerous insults and harassing remarks are thrown at her by the current Barre Supervisor, Sean Pogue, in an attempt to belittle her. This can be seen time and time again during the board meetings. She holds firm. She isn’t seeking personal financial gain but rather diligently seeks to bring the truth to light. This is the kind of person Barre needs in office!”
The example that best stands out of the hostility that I have seen as a board member was our meeting February 2021 where at about 10:15 p.m. (the meeting started at 7 p.m.) I made a motion to adjourn the meeting and reconvene the following week to be better able to think clearly, and due to a personal physical condition that the rest of the Town Board was aware of. I could not get anyone on the board to even second my motion (including Margaret), and Sean shared that going above and beyond was part of being an elected official. Click here to an Orleans Hub article documenting this occurrence.
I believe that the Town of Barre has a bright future, I love the Town and the people, and I hope that you can see that I care and want what’s best for the Town as a whole. I know that Scott Burnside (Town Supervisor candidate) feels the same way, which is why I ask for you to vote the conservative line on November 7.
Please feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.