Below is my latest letter to the Somerset County Commissioners regarding First Wind. Since First Wind is asking the County for millions of dollars in tax breaks, I believe that it is the Commissioners duty to look into the questions that have been raised, and to publicly report the findings.
Attached is a letter that I would like for you to give serious attention too. It relates to the matter of First Wind, the requests they have made of the people of Somerset County, and what I believe are their less than ethical practices.
Also attached is a flyer for a public Meeting/Forum that I am hosting in Bingham on Wednesday, November 24th. People are hungry for answers, and they want to talk about the issue of Wind Development. This meeting will give them a chance. I would like to take this opportunity to personally invite each of you to attend.
As always, if you have questions or comments for me, please don’t hesitate to contact me, at anytime.
And the letter that was attached, on company letterhead:
TO: Somerset County Commissioners;
Robert Dunphy, Gerald York, Lynda Quinn
CC: Larry Post; Somerset County Administrator
RE: First Wind Meetings
As you know, many people were planning on attending the First Wind meeting in Bingham last night. At your last meeting, you yourselves said that you would all be there. We also expected to see Bill Dale, as he is representing both the Town of Bingham, as well as Somerset County in this matter.
I am sure that by now you are also aware that First Wind changed the time of the meeting, and then failed to send out the promised notifications. Not only did they fail to send out the original, and then the modified notifications, but then they failed to notify anyone that the meeting had been canceled.
I personally called the Bingham Town Office on Tuesday, around 2 p.m., and was told that the meeting was definitely a go for 4 p.m. on Wednesday. I consider myself to be as well informed on this matter as any other member of the general public, and more so than most, yet the first I heard of the cancellation was when Commissioner Dunphy announced it at the opening of your meeting, at about 4 p.m., the very same minute that it was supposed to be beginning…….
Something isn’t right with this whole process. First Wind promised to have a room full of experts there, and Bingham should have had their Attorney there as well. These people get big money for their time, so I am fairly certain that they were not allowed to show up [and send a bill] for a meeting that never happened. So the question is; when was the decision actually made to cancel the meeting [it had to be early enough to notify all of these big money people], and why was no attempt made to notify the public?
This is a question that I believe you, the Commissioners charged with looking out for the interests of the Citizens of the County, should be asking, and demanding public answers to.
I personally believe that First Wind did this on purpose, to discourage people from seeking information; information that they don’t really want to share.
As I said above, something isn’t right with this whole process. First Wind and their affiliates have a long history of questionable business practices, including arrests for fraud, and investigations of criminal activity by the State of New York. There are many in Maine, currently living in the shadows of First Wind Developments, who believe that the company is in violation of several State laws.
Given this history, the fact that they are not financially stable, and the fact that they continually appear to do everything in their power to make it difficult for people to get real answers to real questions about their projects, I must ask you again to seriously consider the wisdom of continuing to do business with First Wind.
I sincerely hope that you will take the time to look into this matter of Meetings, as well as into the history of the company that is asking you to grant them millions of dollars worth of tax breaks. Taxes that, should the project ever be permitted and built, [and I believe that would be a mistake] should go to improve the lives and ease the tax burdens of all who live in the Unorganized Territories of Somerset County; not to enrich a disreputable out of state business.
I ask you to please look into this matter, to please demand answers, and to please make those findings public. It is only right.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
David P. Corrigan