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.