BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Sunday, July 24, 2016

 Lyme ~ Aubertine Relinquishes
Home Rule

Supervisor Scott Aubertine was quoted in the Watertown Daily Times as saying, “If they come in,we will use any revenue that they give us,and if they don’t come in we’ll continue to operate under budget as we have always.”  Link to original WDT article

Aubertine’s apathy about the Horse Creek wind farm proposal is the equivalent of Lyme relinquishing home rule, contrary to what Article 10 tried to preserve. Article 10 is quite clear that local laws remain in force until the developer, in this case Iberdrola, makes a case, and is supported by the Siting Board, that Lyme’s local law should be supplanted and set aside. Remarkably, Aubertine has made Iberdrola’s job so much easier, in fact Iberdrola’s representatives are probably doing high-fives after reading that Lyme has quit.

Whether Aubertine and Lyme are for industrial wind or against it they are required by Town Law to protect the health, safety and general welfare of their constituency, Lyme residents. In the Article 10 process if the town doesn’t look after their citizens then the default goes to Iberdrola.  Are there any health and safety issues related to industrial wind development? Absolutely! Contrary to Aubertine’s apathy, Lyme officials should be lining up experts to help them argue their town law regulating wind is reasonable and timely. That is what intervenor funding was designed to do, to help municipalities defend their land use regulations from deep-pocketed developers.

To not take a more active role in the process Aubertine’s view is much the same as a chicken farmer leaving the henhouse open and saying if the fox doesn’t eat my chickens I’ll continue to harvest the eggs and if the fox eats the chickens then I won’t have to buy as much chicken feed.  Either way the farmer should be doing more to protect his chickens and not rely on the fox to determine their outcome.

Clif Schneider


Gunther Schaller said...

Cliff, you are dead on! The official posture of Lyme officials has been "our wind law is too good for them", meaning, "we don't have to do a damn thing to try to stop them". They showed the Town of Clayton and Orleans Supervisors the door, when they came knocking to ask for coordinated defense. The facade of smug confidence that their local zoning will be invulnerable may be just a pretext to squash any attempt to actually do something constructive. Lyme may actually be as bad as Brownville, who at the last Town Board meeting suggested that they may actually need to work on a wind law. I kid you not! For either Town not to participate in the article 10 process by applying for party status amounts to gross negligence. Are they counting on the Hillary defense? They won't have the Department of Justice hogtied. The age old battle of ingrained "natives" suspicious of the newcomers continues unabated. Lyme's tax base is 59% seasonal properties who pay the bulk of the property and school taxes and yet have no say in the conduct of this town. One day they may decide that enough is enough and apply for local voter registration. It won't take much to sweep the incestuous local aristocracy out of office and establish local governments that act in the best interest of all their constituents.

Anonymous said...

Gunther, I think the apathy is a way to avoid controversy. I just wish town officials would view their role as not picking sides in the wind fight, but ensuring that residents within the bounds of the proposed industrial wind development are adequately protected from excessive noise and potential harm from flying debris, if any turbines fail. Aubertine can be apathetic about deciding if he is for or against wind, but he should be adamant as hell that he will protect the health, safety and general welfare of Lyme residents, even Iberdrola's lease holders, and to do that he has to become active, apply for intervnor funding and line up experts to fight for Lyme's local zoning law.

Dave LaMora said...

Clif, that's a very clever analogy, but allow me to expand on it to give the readers a more distinct picture of reality.

Suppose New York State Agricultural and Markets proclaims a statewide edict that chicken eggs are suddenly claimed to cure cancer.. The legislature adopts a mandate to increase the number of egg producing chickens in the State to benefit society, In order to protect farmers from overproduction , pricing instability, and general mayhem from too many eggs.. The legislature passes a regulatory law that establishes a committee chaired by the New York Meat and Poultry Assoc. to decide how many chickens any farmer can keep and designates the fox as the agent to do the deed and guard the henhouse. The fox's owner is required to pay the farmer upfront( at (20 cents on the dollar) for any chickens that may disappear, but is guaranteed double market price if he agrees to sell any "found chickens" at the poultry market. The farmer is not allowed to sell his chickens because they are egg layers. The farmer declares this is a fair and balanced process and writes a letter to the Ag and Markets to thank them for letting him help contribute to the States admirable goal of using chicken eggs to cure cancer. His jaw drops in awe several days later when he discovers his henhouse is empty, and the money he received upfront is not nearly enough to replace his chickens. Suddenly he laments his decision not to hire his own security guard, and wishes he had trained his chickens to peck out the eyes of the fox, and poop on the shoes of the Ag and Markets guy when he showed up on the farm.

Art Pundt said...

Clif...you said:

“Aubertine’s apathy about the Horse Creek wind farm proposal is the equivalent of Lyme relinquishing home rule, contrary to what Article 10 tried to preserve. Article 10 is quite clear that local laws remain in force until the developer, in this case Iberdrola, makes a case, and is supported by the Siting Board, that Lyme’s local law should be supplanted and set aside.”

I believe that statement is very inaccurate. Art. 10 was NOT intended to preserve home rule, or that local laws remain in force. Art. 10 has ALREADY preempted many procedural wind zoning regulations in any municipal law whether or not wind development is entering that municipality or not.

In virtually every local wind ordinance I have read (including the one you helped draft and pass in Cape Vincent) has clear definitive language outlining requirements as to the details of when, where, and how a developer will make an application for a permit in a town in question and how that process will be carried out. Application, permits, special use permits, fees variances, site plan reviews, which board reviews the project etc. etc.

The Art 10 law preempts all those procedural requirements right now. You don’t have to wait till any wind developer asks for provisions in your law to be set aside.

How so?? Well ask yourself, in the Art. 10 law where is a developer required to apply for a permit to construct a large wind project? Where did Iberdrola apply? Clayton? Lyme? Brownville? No. Despite all the procedural language in your law, the developer is required to bypass all of it and apply with the state siting board...NOT THE TOWN zoning process. And you know that Clif!

In fact the Art 10 law very clearly states the town (and other jurisdictions) are prohibited from issuing any such permits or carrying out any other such related requirements or procedures to site a large electric energy project.

That in fact is almost the entire point of the Art. 10 process. Take the siting process AWAY from local authority.

As such your wind law in the critical procedural requirements has already been preempted by state law right out of the box! THEN, the siting board has been granted the authority to, at the request of the developer, to waive your wind regulations if they see fit.

Under these circumstances how you can honestly conclude Art.10 was intended to preserve home rule is beyond me! That is simply state propaganda!
And your other statement is equally as baffling indicating that if Aubertine or Lyme does not actively participate in the process or defend his community, that the default is whatever the hell Iberdrola wants???

So you are saying the 5 state agencies all of which have clearly defined responsibility to the state citizens in protections for their welfare regarding electric generation siting and the environment, and health, are just going to completely ignore those responsibilities and let Iberdrola go hog wild?. YOU worked for one of those agencies!!!!

So if Lyme doesn’t speak up, Iberdrola will be given a permit to rape the community and sacrifice its citizens and environment at whatever cost?

Do you have any understanding of the implications of what you are saying???
If the state would be so willing to sacrifice a community that doesn’t say much for the integrity of the process, it shows how rigged it is, shows how despite a community’s objections it would likely get its law overturned anyhow, and begs the question why in God’s name you would want to participate in it and enable it in the first place!

Gunther Schaller said...

It appears that the gentlemen Art Pundt and Dave LaMora have at last gotten traction with their opposition to article 10 and State mandates. Scott Aubertine has added his comment to the Horse Creek site of the PSC, not opposing the project on its dubious merits or because it might constitute a threat to the way of life of residents in his community. He complains about the power of the State. I give him credit for not caving in to the critics who faulted him for not opposing the project by rescinding his "confession" of a few years ago in which he came clean as to his allegiance to the locals at the expense of the majority of his constituents. Mr. Aubertine still appears to support the efforts of Iberdrola and Apex and his comment may fool some critics. Lyme has the red carpet rolled out for industrial wind. Mr. Aubertine's comment to the PSC is as meaningful and sincere as a complaint about the weather.

Dave LaMora said...

Mr. Schaller, you are absolutely correct, Mr. Aubertines's comment to the PSC is meaningless. The PSC comment format is not intended to solicit or address opinions about the legality or propriety of the ART.X process. His comment should be directed to the Legislature, and Governor Cuomo's office. What a joy it would be if only folks would see the entire issue with the clarity you have exhibited on this single point.