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VN 9/4 - It's Election Year!

This fall Cohocton voters will have their first chance to express their opinion about UPC Wind’s $250,000,000 windmill project at the polls, even if it’s indirectly. So far, our incumbents have carefully kept the whole matter out of the hands of the electorate, refusing even a nonbinding referendum. Local leaders in Webster, NY, on the other hand, recently put their town’s proposed $15 million community center proposal before the voters, only to see it defeated. Webster Town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt responded to the vote by saying, “Scaling down the project may be the best bet to gain the public's approval.”

Do our incumbents want the public’s approval?
- They sure do! But their tactic is to say YES first and then wave money at us all without even giving us a chance to look at the carefully crafted promises that are behind all this supposed money.
- In the meantime, we’ve been told that construction is going to proceed, even though valid building permits haven’t been issued, fees haven’t been paid, bonds haven’t been secured, the PILOT agreement hasn’t been ratified in Bath, etc., etc.
- Yes, they would like you to approve a project after they’ve gotten us all so deep into the building process that there isn’t any way out but to try to clean up the mess. This is the YES way.

Even if cleaning up the mess is all we’re left with, however, it’s a task that’s going to need new leadership, people who will trust and respond to the electorate. We need a new group of people who can ask UPC Wind the tough questions and hold the line with them, not the same YES folks that got us into this pickle in the first place.

Elections in Cohocton have been traditionally decided in September’s Republican primary races, which are coming up very soon. Examine the qualified slate of candidates being put forward by Reform Cohocton, come out to the Public Meeting being held on September 11 from 7-9 pm at the Cohocton Elementary School, then pray with us for wisdom and justice to prevail and let your voice be heard!



for this post

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

You don't live here, you can't vote here--why don't you stay in Webster if that's where everything is done better-

Blogger Bill Says:

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for reading our articles letting us know how you feel. Let me answer your question.

We don't live in or even near Webster, and I have no idea whether "everything is done better" there. We do spend a lot of time on the 100+ acres of land we own and pay taxes on in Cohocton, however, and will be effected very significantly by the political decisions that are made in town. And, as you can see, we care enough to have been an active part of the local debate for the past year and a half.

When the Webster's leaders put their $15 million proposal up for a vote, what they were saying to the voters was, "We're responsible to you, and we trust your judgment." The current administration in Cohocton, on the other hand, has done everything it can to keep a project that will cost over 10 times as much away from the electorate.

Now, let me ask you a question? Who are you, and why do you choose to remain "anonymous"? If you have the courage of your convictions, I challenge you to respond on this website and let our readers know who you are. And please don't snipe at neighbors who are honestly trying to contribute constructively to the serious debate going on in our (yes, our) town.


Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Dear Bill: Why is it that whenever something which might help a small community occurs. There is always a group of people who want to stand in the way and try to prevent it. Windmills will bring money and employment into the community along with opening other areas. The comments about them killing and interferring with wild life. How come noone has said anything about the wild life which are killed by motor vehicles or hunters every year? Why is the small group of people who are againist it only live in the community part time? Can you answer these questions please
George C. Buss

Blogger Bill Says:

I'll be happy to answer your questions, George.

I think there are lots of times when good economic opportunities come to communities and everyone lines up behind them. When a large industrial project is proposed for a previously undeveloped rural area that many people have chosen for its peace and quiet, however, you can expect a lot of questions and possible opposition. Our form of government "of the people, for the people, and by the people" was designed to handle situations like this. The problem in Cohocton is that the current leadership has taken a $250,000,000 project, the largest thing Cohocton may ever see, into its own hands, instead of bringing it honestly before the electorate.

Windmills may bring money and a few jobs, but at a significant cost in lost property values, change in town character, and corruption of local government. Many people in town think the overall pricetag is too high and that windmills aren't the best deal for Cohocton.

I'm more concerned about property values, noise, visual impact, and corruption than I am about bird and bat loss. Perhaps I should be more worried about the wildlife. We can't do much about road kill, and hunting is carefully regulated to control wildlife populations that are growing too rapidly. Killing thousands of bats and hawks and eagles a year - creatures that were otherwise safe - with windmills is a side effect that bothers many sincere conservationists.

I think you'll find that "part time" members of our community (are these second-class citizens?) make up only a small part of the opposition. You need to judge matters like these on their merits, not try to run down those who have raised legitimate questions.

Thanks for your interest!

Blogger formosa Says:


I have a question for you. Why is it that some Cohocton property owners tax bill doubled this year and some other's went down? How is that possible in a small town community? Would you be in favor of a full public disclosure of all the tax changes? You do know what normally happens when people's tax bills are so high that they cannot pay them?



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