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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ides of March (-1): Will it match the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre?

Will the CCA-owned Planning Commission do to renewable energy on the day before the Ides of March what they did to affordable housing on Valentine’s Day?
Just to set the dates, March 15th is the
Ides of March, the day famous for the assassination of Julius Caesar by his friends.

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the infamous 1929 mass killing of rival gangsters in 1929 by Al Capone.
At last month’s Valentine’s Day Town Council meeting, CCA founding member and town planning commissar Ruth Platner presented a new affordable housing strategy that hinges on local homeowners building Income Restricted Accessory Dwelling Units (I-RADUs) in their back yards.
The Town Council, also controlled by the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, approved Platner’s I-RADU plan.

Platner will be back in front of the Council on March 14th with a new ordinance that effectively kills any new commercial wind energy proposal. Under section (4)(c) of the draft ordinance, commercial wind turbines would be prohibited in all zones – including industrial - except under two circumstances.

One is if the turbine owner proves the turbine will only replace other forms of energy used on the property and NOT generate any excess power. In normal communities, turbines feed extra power back into the grid (“net metering”) but under Platner's plan, that’s BAD in Charlestown. The second allowable use for a large turbine is to provide municipal power. Both allowable uses must also meet the more than a dozen pages of specifications in the ordinance.

In other words, faggedaboudit!

If Lisa DiBello continues to vote with CCA Counselors Gentz and Slattery, this ordinance will pass and Charlestown will take another step back. An aside: what ties Lisa to the CCA, other than “the enemy of my enemy is my friend?” Sure, Gentz slaps around DiBello’s foes Gregg Avedisian and Marge Frank at every Council meeting, but is that enough to buy her allegiance?

For the CCA, this is almost a perfect storm. The hostility against the Whalerock wind turbine project (justified in many ways) feeds into the hostility Platner and her husband Cliff Vanover have against all things big and man-made. Or made of brick.

Old-guard conservative CCA members get to strike another blow against all these new fangled, socialist-sounding ideas like “alternative energy.”

The faction that joined the CCA to fight Town Council tyrannies, real or imagined, seem to have fixated on Avedisian and Frank as surrogates for Jim Mageau, You can call this faction the “Jim-ers” who believe that anything they find suspicious in town just has to be connected to Jim Mageau. They probably see Mageau lurking in the bushes with a box full of big, new alternative energy project proposals.

On March 14th, the CCA will probably get what it wants. For now, they run Charlestown. I just wonder how much damage they will do before Charlestown
voters realize it.

NEXT: Platner to prepare ordinance banning the menace of ceiling fans.