Letter: Portsmouth is sowing distrust, disbelief regarding solar

Posted 7/5/22

To the editor:

Once again, the Portsmouth Town Council has stonewalled residents who are trying to protect their town from the worst aspects of commercial solar development. 

At their most …

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Letter: Portsmouth is sowing distrust, disbelief regarding solar

Posted

To the editor:

Once again, the Portsmouth Town Council has stonewalled residents who are trying to protect their town from the worst aspects of commercial solar development. 

At their most recent meeting, the council refused to comment on an agenda item for a proposed moratorium on solar farms and would not even consider voting on it. On the advice of the town solicitor, they allowed residents to advocate for the moratorium but would not give attendees the courtesy of any discourse. 

Many of the people in attendance had already lost in their bid to stop an 18-acre parcel in their neighborhood from being deforested to put in a major solar array, so it wasn’t self-interest that was their motivation to promote another moratorium. Rather, it was protection of their neighbors’ interests and the town’s character through providing time to consider further improvements to the ordinance. 

By thumbing its collective nose at town residents, the Town Council has written yet another sorry chapter in the town’s murky commercial solar ordinance history. We were invited to submit amendments to the ordinance, but why bother when the council will likely summarily dismiss them without providing any feedback on why they don’t like them? 

I don’t know what the town solicitor’s goal was in preventing two-way discussion, but if it was to sow distrust and disbelief in the council, it certainly succeeded.

David Howard

36 Marial Rose Drive

Portsmouth

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.