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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 4

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 4

  • Shell wind farm plan unfair to smaller property owners
  • Don’t charge fee for child support
  • Shell wind farm plan unfair to smaller property owners

    Shell Oil is pushing for quick approval of a wind energy farm on state land and private land in Rensselaerville. I am one of 200 property owners in the affected area.

    The current proposal being pushed by Shell Oil is a windfall for Shell, with no protections for the property owners. Supposedly the state has already signed off on this plan, without any consultation with town or local residents. I am certainly not one of the NIMBY people, as we have seen in the Cape Cod wind farm area; I have been pushing for increased wind energy for years for our hill towns. But Shell’s proposal will reduce the values of our properties by substantial amounts while only compensating the 200 owners based solely on the number of acres and number of windmills on our land.

    The problem with that compensation formula is simply this: We all are getting reduced property values while those with large acreage — more than 100 —  are making substantially more from the farm proposal.

    I am introducing a proposal that probably should be a model for other wind farm proposals; it would compensate the affected property owners based on tax valuation ratios rather than simple acreage.

    For example, my land may be valued at $250,000 for 24 acres, while my neighbor’s valuation is $350,000 for 110 acres. I pay almost the same taxes on my property as my neighbor, but my neighbor will get four times the income assuming the same number of turbines on each land.

    I also am proposing protection for the landowners so that if they choose to sell but cannot achieve their assessed value, Shell would have to pay them the difference after the sale. This protects the landowner from overvalued land just because the town chose not to reduce the valuation after the turbine was installed, and also protects the landowner from [taking a hit] to support Shell Oil’s profits, which will be based on a 30-year lease of that same land.

    I want more wind energy and will sacrifice some value in my land, as long as those profiting from the farms ensure property owners that we aren’t the only ones sacrificing.

    Steve Dickerson


    Don’t charge fee for child support payments

    Re Sept. 30 letter, “Fee on child support collections a bad idea”: Who benefits from this $25 annual fee? Does this put more food in the child’s mouth?

    I believe every parent who receives child support should be angry at the suggestion that money used to help feed, clothe and shelter a child should be subject to governmental charge. The person being charged the $25 should be the person paying the support. This is outrageous.

    I bet the people who voted for this law do not struggle to support their children — or receive child support.

    Pat Anderson


    GOP makes right move in dumping Mertz

    Last year, the Rotterdam Republican Committee endorsed a “lifelong Democrat” for the town board because they did not have two Republican candidates.

    Now Gerard Parisi, chairman of the Republican committee, has announced that the party is dumping the most partisan, uncompromising Republican — John Mertz — from its 2009 lineup. I welcome this turn of events. It signals that the strict Republican brand has lost its lustre in Rotterdam.

    I applaud Parisi’s move.

    Anthony L. Cervera


    The writer is the town’s Democratic Committee chairman.

    The choice is clear, and must be for Obama

    The last three market crashes were under Republican presidents. Ronald Reagan reigned over the 1987 crash. The first George Bush was president during the savings and loan scandal (which also included Sen. McCain’s support). Although McCain was not indicted, as some of his fellow Keating Five senators were, he was cited for using poor judgment.

    The second George Bush presided over the crash in 2001, and now in 2008. All but 2001 were due to greed of the wealthy Republicans who lobbied to keep regulations and oversight to a minimum. They still want tax loopholes to hold on to their fortunes, and McCain agrees.

    The war in Iraq was not only a diversion from the important pursuit of Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but a diversion from the fact that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch despite warnings from the Clinton administration. Again, a lack of administration oversight led to lack of coordination of important information that might have prevented the attack. Democrat Clinton pulled us out of the Reagan-Bush recession and now Democratic candidate Barack Obama is needed to set a lot of things right.

    How can anyone support a Republican candidate who supports more greed and more war?

    Nancy Edwards


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