30 May 2013: Whitefield Voters vote NO on the dam

thumbs-down-customIn a move that surprised no one, at the Special Town Meeting held tonight, voters voted not to authorize the Selectmen to pursue negotiations to accept ownership of the Clary Lake dam despite the fact that the article as worded did not commit any money or specific action by the town now or in the future. Had the article passed, the voters would have had another chance at some time in the future to vote on whatever proposal the Selectmen had managed to negotiate. Admittedly the article was poorly worded and there was some talk about amending the wording but no matter how it was worded, the sentiment in the room was clear: Whitefield voters want nothing to do with Paul Kelley or his dam.

I am not disappointed with the outcome of this meeting because I did not go into it with any expectations. I thought passage of the article was a long shot, and I was right. Paul Kelley was allowed to speak as were a number of other non-voters most of whom were Jefferson lake shore owners. Kelley was asked 2 point-blank questions which, true to form, he spoke at length about but managed not to answer to anyone’s satisfaction. One question was how much he wants for the dam and the other was who is Pleasant Pond Mill LLC anyways. I think the questioner just wanted to see Kelley baffle the crowd and he did not disappoint. Albert Boynton spoke at length and was the only speaker to garner applause. I spoke at length, and fielded some questions. Ellis Percy spoke on behalf of the Clary Lake Association.

So Paul Kelley has now struck out in both towns. If he’s still intent on getting rid of the dam (which is questionable) this pretty much leaves the Clary Lake Association as the only potential owner since it is a virtual certainty that no state agency is going to step up and ask for the dam.

2 thoughts on “30 May 2013: Whitefield Voters vote NO on the dam

    1. George Fergusson Post author

      Well he talked at length about the early history of the dam and how it’s basically in good shape but just needs some repairs. Talked about how the availability of water close to his house allowed the fire department to save his house when his barn caught on fire some years ago. His father used to own the mill property and dam and he talked about how Chester Boynton lost it during the bank holiday in 1933. Albert was born in the little red house on the dam. When he went to sit down, people clapped.

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