Fairhaven Town Counsel Ignores Privacy Promise

Posted in the Boston Forum

Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#1 Jul 7, 2013
Fairhaven Massachusetts
Fairhaven Town Counsel Ignores Privacy Promise
July 6, 2013
tags: Fairhaven MA
South Coast Today reported on July 4, 2013 that a questionnaire emailed to town residents had several startling elements. Peggy Aulisio’s article “Questionnaire on wind turbines raises concerns” revealed that a message sent to about 60 households which had submitted health complaints about the two wind turbines violated the confidentiality statement on the form itself.* The email header listed the addresses of all the individuals to whom the questionnaire was sent.

Another cause for concern, according Louise Barteau, is the appearance that the survey was intended to identify residents who had been opposed to the turbines all along.

Ms. Barteau said the questionnaire sounds like something the developer, Fairhaven Wind LLC, would have written. She said it raises red flags because it is mostly concerned with whether residents were opposed to the wind turbines before they went up and had health problems previously. She said the survey doesn’t seem to be interested in the sleep deprivation or health problems residents are experiencing.

Peter DeTerra, Board of Health Chairman, identified Town Counsel Thomas Crotty as the sender of the e-mail. DeTerra told SCT that Crotty wanted to bring more “neutral” voices to the July 15th hearing requested by the turbine developer. The questionnaire is signed by Board of Health Agent Pat Fowle, who declined to comment to SCT Editor Aulisio. The article also reported that Board of Health member Barbara Acksen, and Selectman Chair Charles Murphy, both were unaware of the email message.

*Privacy: The Board of Health will maintain these records. All personal information will remain confidential. The owner of the wind turbines will be contacted about the nature of the complaints. This information is confidential and will not be shared unless express permission is granted by the complainant.

The questions included in the email are provided below.

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