Vote 'no' on proposed energy efficient fund

Oct 10, 2016

To the Editor:

Marion Residents have received the Fall Town Meeting warrant.

The Marion Energy Management Committee is promoting and recommending Town Meeting approve Warrant Article S5 requesting state legislation requiring the establishing an energy fund. The EMC believes the money for the fund would come from phantom income generated by the wind contact energy credits. Marion would become the first municipality with a mandated energy fund.

Such a fund would allow the EMC to spend tax dollars on more electric cars and other pet projects without Town Meeting approval.

Why would any rational taxpaying voter give up a valuable home rule right for a state statutory mandate? Marion votes should not allow the bypassing of good municipal financial, budgeting and Town Meeting authorization practice by a statutory mandate. Any town financial commitments, obligations or spending should always be approved by the Town Meeting as now required by the law. This is just good public policy.

This wind contract does not generate income for Marion as the EMC would like you to believe. You can compare the wind contract energy credits the Town earns to the “rewards” credit cards we all use. Charge purchases on your card and earn credits. You can choose to redeem your credits for merchandise, apply them towards the payment of your card balance or receive a cash reimbursement. The economic consequences are the same; a purchase price adjustment or discount on the purchases you have made with your card, which is not income. All the wind contract credits do is provide a purchase price adjustment for the purchase of town electricity.

Vote “no” on Warrant Article S5. Tax dollars need to be spent on public health and safety such as the Fire Department’s air pack replacement program necessary for the safety of our volunteer firefighters. Do not waste your tax dollars on a fund over which you have no Town Meeting control as how these dollars are spent. More electric cars?

 

Ted North
Marion

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