BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Supervisor Hirschey introduced Resolution #28 that would place a temporary moratorium on wind development in the town

updated 9/10/2010
Video added
Supervisor Urban Hirschey introduced Resolution #28 that would place a temporary moratorium on wind development in the town until the Attorney Generals investigation is complete or until March 1, 2011, whichever comes first.
The voting
Marty mason was absent~
Donald Mason abstained; reason given was that he had a wind contract.
Mickey Orvis voted no. Mr. Orvis said that the Attorney General could put a hold on the projects if he thought it was necessary.
Urban Hirschey voted yes, he said that breathing room was needed in light of the AG’s investigation, plus he said something about not putting any more money into the process at this point. "It is not going to slow down the work the developer has to do, but it will give us peace of mind."

What I find remarkable are the reasons that Brooks Bragdon gave for being in favor of a temporary moratorium on wind development.

Mr. Bragdon's comments on ~Resolution #28

Reasons why I believe the Town should place a hold on Wind Projects during the investigation by the NYS Attorney General.
The Office of the NYS Attorney General Bureau of Public Integrity has commenced an investigation. The Town should work with the NYS AG on a common good level and not insist on its right to go forward despite the investigation. A sense of sincerity and cooperation with high governmental authority on the one hand and of handling right a large development that will affect the history of the community are points of integrity that I believe the community has a right to expect from the Town Board . This is particularly so in as much as the dominating physical size of the project is such as to affect a broad regional area and not just the township itself.
On a practical level, if there are questions from law enforcement authorities these should be answered before a project is formally authorized. How could there even be a question on this? The Planning Board may approve the St. Lawrence Wind project at a special meeting scheduled for 15 September. Should the project be approved and thereafter the AG should challenge certain aspects of the way the SEQR has been handled the Town would have on its hands an ongoing project that the State itself questions. It would be better to go slow now and make any adjustments or corrections that may be required and then authorize the project.

Brooks Bragdon

Cape Vincent ~ A Concerned Citizen Urges Investigation into Planning Board Secret Meeting

Tonight at the Town Board meeting a citizen of Cape Vincent filed a complaint. The complaint is about a secret meeting that Mr. Byrne witnessed of a full quorum of the Town Planning Board as well as two town councilmen, the zoning officer and the wife of the Planning Board Chair: John Byrne read a letter describing what he had witnessed. As Mr. Byrne was reading a woman in the audience spoke out – she sounded angry, she said “I WANT TO ASK YOU SOMETHING”! Mr. Byrne replied “excuse me Miss I have the floor”. Then the woman said - I’ll HAVE IT WHEN YOU’RE DONE! As Mr. Byrne read the part where he urges an investigation Rienbeck piped up with “somebody oughta investigate him”. After the letter was read the woman that interrupted Mr. Byrne challenged the legality of his actions. There were a few tense moments, but everything seemed to simmer down, and the Town Board continued on with other business.

Mr. Byrnes letter.

September 9, 2010

Mr. Andrew Heffner
Assistant Attorney General
NYS Office of the Attorney General
615 Erie Boulevard
West Syracuse, NY 13204

Ms Cindy Inyschert
Jefferson County District Attorney
175 Arsenal Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Mr. Urban Hirschey
Town Supervisor
Town of Cape Vincent
1964 NYS Rte 12E
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Dear Mr. Heffner, Ms Intschert and Mr. Hirschey:

At the June 10, 2010 meeting of the Cape Vincent Town Board I notified Supervisor
Hirschey and the Town Board of a meeting of the Planning Board that was in violation of
NYS Open Meeting Laws. The meeting, with a quorum of Planning Board members
present, occurred the previous night in the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer
Alan Wood after the regular monthly meeting was adjourned.

Since 2008 I have routinely video recorded Planning Board and Town Board meetings.
On June 9, 2010 I video recorded the meeting, and when I was outside in my car ready
to leave I noticed the private meeting in ZEO Wood's office. I set my camera on my car's
dashboard and video recorded meeting participants moving about the room.

I then left my car shortly after setting up my video camera and went back into the town
offices. I moved down the hall near the Zoning Enforcement Officer's office and
listened to their discussion. I heard them discuss not only town business, but wind business. The conversation was not limited to but included:

[TR]...she's the one that said that that money goes...agency account. [RE] Where
do you guys have it? [TR] It's in two separate checking accounts... [CE] It would
have to be approved by them. [TR] Yes, you cannot draw on them... [TR] You
have the money in the account, I use to fax anytime the bills come in, the legal bills, made copies of whatever it was, fax and return. [TR] He'd go over it,
Madden would approve it and fax it back to me. [TR] Soon as I got that
approved... [TR] Can't put it in another account here... [TR] You can't to call Jim
Madden anymore and write a check out to Trust and Agency, you don't have to
call Jim Madden to write out a check... [CE] Well is there more known... [RE]
Wind turbine company... [RE] If they don't like it where they got it placed... [TR]
Well I think you better get the meeting... [??]I cannot be there I'm out of town...
[TR] I'm cancelling tomorrow night so I'm coming back to a call...

[NOTE: TR = Tom Rienbeck, RE= Richard Edsall, CE= Cindy Edsall]

Based on my understanding of the history and current status of the Acciona wind farm
proposal currently under review by the Cape Vincent Planning Board, these
conversations addressed an auditor's report, a trust account for deposits from Acciona
to the town and the Planning Board's budget account; escrow accounts in connection
with the Acciona project proposal; approvals for check writing from these accounts,
including approval from BP's project manager Jim Madden; conveyance of bills to
developers and approvals required for such bills; and arrangements to have someone
attend the following nights Town Board meeting. Clearly, the matters discussed involved
official town business

When I finished listening I returned to my car and repositioned my video camera in
order to record the officials as they exited the town offices. Those leaving
included Planning Board members Rich Edsall, his wife Cindy, Karen Bourcy, Andy
Binsley, and Tom Rienbeck. Other exiting attendees include Town Councilman Mickey
Orvis and Donny Mason as well as Zoning Enforcement Officer Alan Wood.

During the Town Board meeting the following night, Councilmen Donny Mason and
Mickey Orvis both admitted they attended the meeting, and both denied they discussed
any town business. I have a video recording of their responses at this meeting as well.

At the next scheduled Planning Board meeting on July 7, 2010 each of the members who
attended the June private meeting were asked if they had discussed town business.
Chairman Rich Edsall, members Karen Bourcy, Andy Binsley and Tom Rienbeck all
responded that they did not discuss town business. Their responses are also a part of
my video recording record.

These officials not only lied about discussing town business at their June 9, 2010
private meeting, but they all lied publicly in their official capacities as elected and
appointed officials of the town. Furthermore, according to disclosures made by wind
developers Acciona and BP, Rich Edsall, Karen Bourcy, and Donny Mason all have
potential conflicts of interest with wind developers seeking town approvals.1.
When these officials were elected and appointed to their positions they all took an oath
to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and New York State and to faithfully
discharge the duties of their offices. I do not believe meeting in secret and lying to the
public on important matters, especially the controversial wind issue in Cape Vincent,
constitutes faithfully discharging their duties.

I am urging each of you to investigate and these officials and to restrain them from acting on wind project proposals pending before them in their official capacities pending the outcome of your investigation.

Sincerely yours,
John Byrne
2892 Ontario Shores Dr.
Cape Vincent, NY 13618