To the Editor:
Last Thursday, there were two public hearings at the Hawkins Point Visitors Center in Massena to receive comments on NYPA’s proposal to provide St. Lawrence County with $16 million and 20 megawatts of energy.
I arrived for the evening hearing and thought that I was in the wrong place. There were only a handful of cars in what should have been a full parking lot. Other than six people from NYPA, there were only two other members of the public in attendance! I was shocked at the lack of people to support this opportunity for our county.
Over the course of the two hour hearing, two other people arrived. That made five of us. I understand that 10 people showed up for the afternoon hearing. Fifteen residents out of a county of over 100,000 appeared to tell NYPA that, “Yes! We accept your offer. Please encourage your trustees to approve these packages and tell the governor that we want him to authorize the transfer of money and commitment of energy.” Fifteen out of 100,000. That’s too small of a fraction to even be meaningful.
Where were all of our municipal officials? Where were our business leaders and our elected representatives?
Who is out there speaking for us, here in St. Lawrence County? Why wasn’t that auditorium packed with supporters?
What was more important than voicing how valuable these two packages are going to be to help us attract more businesses to St .Lawrence County?
If we want our county to provide jobs for our citizens, then we have to work for them. This was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that. I did speak positively about the proposals, as did one other person there. I believe that some people are also submitting written comments on the proposals. Even though the deadline for submitting comments is now closed, please let NYPA President Richard Kessell know that you, too, support the offers and want them to authorize the paperwork to finalize these proposals. This is not a “done deal.”
We have to make them see that this is important to us. I know that I am trying and I will continue to do so.
Dan Parker, Candidate
St. Lawrence County Legislator
District 11 (Potsdam, Stockholm)