Edgewood Approves Wind Generator Ordinance

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
Image via Wikipedia

By Bob Steiner

Since last December  the town’s Energy Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission have been working on an amendment to the town’s  zoning ordinance  which will regulate the installation and use of residential wind generating equipment in Edgewood. Most of the regularly scheduled council meeting on May 7th was devoted to this subject and any citizen present had opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment.  the town had  also  solicited email comments by citizens who were unable to attend the meeting. It seems odd but according to the town administrator only two emails were submitted regarding this subject.

After  the document was read before those present, some sixteen persons, one at a time, chose to make vocal comments on wind energy.   While six citizens expressed concern about the amendment, the remaining  ten commented in favor of it.  Those in opposition seemed  most concerned  about how generators might impact on their view of the local mountains.  Those in favor seemed  most concerned with the impact of potentially more polluting power sources (coal, for example) on our local environment.  In any event, while it appeared that the Mayor was not  overly- enthusiastic about approving the document, all four council members voted to approve the document.

From where I sat in the audience,  it seemed that all parties involved in the writing of the regulation have done a good job. Deserving of special kudos are John Abrams, who led the energy committees, and John Bassett and Janelle Turner,  commissioners in Edgewood Planning and Zoning,  whose attention to detail help make this  a viable document.  I am  convinced every effort was made to insure that the wants and concerns of all our citizens were embodied in the completed work.

Mr. Kenneth Brennan, who  works for a major commercial wind generator supplier, was present and addressed the meeting.  He seems to have a wealth of knowledge about the subject and has graciously agreed to answer wind energy  questions for his Edgewood neighbors.  He can be reached by calling  505-286-1897.

Please Note:  Gadabout-blogalot   does not endorse any specific products or sales agents.

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Of Common Sense, Ex-Parte Communication And Conflict Of Interest

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009).

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Edgewood's Logo

Edgewood's Logo

There is controversy surrounding Edgewood Mayor Stearley’s attendance at an Edgewood Planning and Zoning meeting where elements of an application for a development extension were discussed and subsequently denied. Mayor Stearley was one of three people who sued to prevent the annexation of land that in part lies with the land which is the subject of the development extension. In the past, the Mayor was prevented from voting on matters having to do with Campbell Ranch because of the suit and statements he had made regarding his intent in dealing with aspects of the development of Campbell Ranch.

During my nine years service as a Edgewood Town Council member, I did not attend any Planning and Zoning meetings where issues were discussed that I might later be required to hear in a quasi-judicial setting. It seemed to me at the time, and it seems to me to me now, that common sense would dictate that such attendance would put obstacles in my path to rendering a decision that would be non-prejudicial. Comments I heard or nuances I observed might cause some premature determination on my part. I have publicly voiced my concerns about this issue many times and have declared my opinion to be that it is improper.

In spite of my warning and opinion, Mayor Stearley has continued to attend some meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission where hearings on matters on which he  might be required to render an unbiased opinion were discussed. Although some might stretch such attendance to be allowable, the path taken is filled with bumps and mud puddles. There is a song that was once very popular and it called on folks to detour from their path because the road ahead was muddy. Although the song was a call for caution in life, I believe it can be applied to the subject at hand. If the mayor and governing body members will just obey the signs that prohibit traveling down a perilous road, we might not see them being challenged with valid issues of ex-parte communication or conflicts of interest.

Recently Campbell Ranch appealed the decision rendered by the Edgewood Planning and Zoning Commission. As the hearing was set to begin, Councilor Brad Hill asked that Mayor Stearley recuse himself due to the  Mayor’s attendance at the previously mentioned Edgewood Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. After some discussion on the issue, Mayor Stearley was advised by the Edgewood Town Attorney that he should recuse himself from hearing the  Campbell Ranch appeal of the decision by the planning and zoning commission.

Now a local newspaper reporter is rumored to have received information that sets out details regarding information that Councilman Brad Hill’s involvement with Attorney David Campbell, who happens to be the attorney for the Campbell Corporation in the matter of the development of Campbell Ranch, is or might be improper and would require Councilman Hill to recuse himself in the quasi-judicial matter discussed above. I have discussed the information with Councilman Hill and have determined, based on the information provided by Councilman Hill, that his prior involvement with Attorney Campbell, does not, by any stretch of one’s imagination come close to ex-parte communication or conflict of interest regarding the development of Campbell Ranch.

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