I haven’t been to a Newburyport civic meeting in a while, and I went to the public meeting on the Wind Turbine Ordinance on Tuesday night.
I enjoyed seeing all the members of the Newburyport City Council there. I appreciate all the time and effort that they put into running our city, whether I agree with them on particular issues or not.
What struck me at the wind turbine meeting at Newburyport City Hall was the remarks by the residents of Newburyport, MA that are effected by the huge 292 foot wind turbine that is now up in Newburyport’s Industrial Park.
Yes, there was anger, but there was also despair. Probably the most heart wrenching comment for me, came from a woman (and this is a paraphrase) who said that she grew up in Newburyport, that her family home was taken by eminent domain, and that she feels because of the very intrusive effects of the wind turbine, that her home had been taken by eminent domain once again.
And a friend of mine who is not effected directly by the wind turbine said that they went to one of the homes to see what all the fuss was about, and that they could not believe how intrusive the effect of the large wind turbine actually was.
And yes, there were folks who talked about how glad they were that we as a city are combating global warming and now have a wind turbine on our city soil.
It appears to me that over the many years that I have been to meetings like this one, that City Councilors sometimes do an eye-roll thing. However, at the end of this meeting on the wind turbine ordinance, I was struck by how clearly the President of the Newburyport City Council, James Shanley appeared to empathize with the citizens who spoke. And I was also so glad to hear the chair of the Newburyport City Council Planning Committee, Ed Cameron, say that somehow we as a city need to not only take into consideration combating global warming, but also local quality of life.