Cohocton Wind Watch: Camera tries to keep the record straight at Cape meetings
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Monday, August 31, 2009

Camera tries to keep the record straight at Cape meetings

By now many people have seen the You Tube video of Cape Vincent Town Supervisor Tom Rienbeck attempting to have John Byrne arrested for video-recording a town meeting. People have weighed in on both sides. Bob Chapman in a recent Watertown Times letter criticized a Cape resident for a personal attack and outburst directed at Mr. Rienbeck during the meeting. I agree with Mr. Chapman. He also has called for the resident to apologize.

However, let's have some perspective. A day later at town offices in front of a TV reporter Mr. Rienbeck, the top representative of the town of Cape Vincent, shouted at John Byrne and me, calling us "scumbags." So there's plenty of blame to go around. I guess we should call for an apology as well. But with all hoopla, the important question has been lost. Let's not lose focus. Why is the camera at the meetings?

First, you have the fact that Mr. Rienbeck and Mr. Edsall, the planning board chairman, have tried to blame the Wind Power Ethics Group (WPEG) along with former Town Councilman Clif Schneider for defeating the 2006 wind law. Let's just say, that would not be telling the truth. Mr. Rienbeck called for and voted yes on a resolution to kill the 2006 wind law. It's all in town records. And Mr. Edsall wrote a letter to the town board telling them to abandon their 2006 wind zoning law efforts, and that is in town records also. Edsall is not telling the truth as well. They also tried to blame WPEG for the fact that wind turbines were declared utilities by the town Zoning Board of Appeals — another thing that can be disproven in town records.

But most importantly, six town officers, including Mr. Edsall, have some type of conflict of interest with the wind companies which they didn't disclose as required by law until four or five years after the fact.

You have conflicts of interest, and a repeated stretching of the truth to smear any opposition and distort the record. You can see why a camera in their meetings makes them uncomfortable and they are willing to violate someone's rights by having them arrested for trying to keep the record straight.

So through all the name calling let's not lose focus on what's actually important here, and why the camera is there in the first place.

Art Pundt
Cape Vincent

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