Antecedent site:

For Concord list:

Solar: Installment #2 – Evidence from the trenches, mid-October 2010

[Installment #1 – on vetting the bids and the process (perhaps now familiar) – awaits at the Report card link, in the nav bar.]

After the September 27 Selectmen's hearing on Article 64, many thought that the Ammendolia land was taken off the table. Peportedly, even some town staff understood as much.

News of the reality emerges, instead. Ammendolia is – despite the Sep 27 hearing – on the table.

Ammendolia may be used for solar panels.

Below you can listen to audio from the CMLP board meeting Oct 6. Here, we focus on a couple of items that emerged from that discussion.

(If you would like a copy of the ~17 minute segment which these snippets represent, please send a request. The full segment allows to judge the audio below in context.)

All in, the CMLP discussion is in quite some contrast to video highlights from the Sep 27 Selectmen's hearing.

Exhibit A

In that Oct 6 CMLP meeting, the Town Manager opined that the Selectmen are '3 to 2' in favor of continuing to use Ammendolia, in some form.

This was the status Oct 6 – despite the Sep 27 hearing and various public statements from individual Selectmen then.

Exhibit B

The Town Manager further offers, it appears, a main rationalization for continuing to pursue Ammendolia and the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

In essence, the Town Manager argues that financial savings from the Tioga bid are too important not to continue with the Article 64 parcels.

Apparently he ignores the analysis – now long presented and available – showing that the dollar savings from this project are not material to Concord. Certainly, they are minimal in comparison with the Morgan Stanley loss incurred by the town, which the Town Manager now acknolwedges was a 'blunder' (as you hear in the audio).

In the process, the Town Manager also uses a narrow financial argument to frame a larger, more strategic choice. That opens as he argues against CMLP paying Concord residents to put rooftop solar on their homes. The question is residential solar deployment in Concord, a part of strategy for a sustainable future – the Town Manager's criterion is, narrowly, husbanding financial flows to CMLP. (Even if the proposition was framed initially, above, with a nod to 'green' initiatives).

When – instead – we all have to work on reducing the amount of power we buy from CMLP, and hence funds we pay to it. If we have a sound strategy discussion, for CMLP and the town, we will ask about a right-sized CMLP, including its finances. And makes choices – not focused first of all on financial flows – but proceeding from a wider and a sound vision.

Concord must have a quality process to make its strategic choices.

Stay tuned for next installments, coming shortly.