So What?

The Plattsburgh Press Republican does a really good job of holding Malone’s hand while it moans about National Grid refusing to act like a slave. Certainly, Howard Maneely would like to order National Grid to make Malone’s solar project worth the tax money spent on it.

One might think, like Andrea Stewart, that it’s all about fairness, but it’s really all about being ignorant. No one wants to take a hit for a team to which he doesn’t belong. Malone added up the numbers they got from their solar salesperson and jumped into their project to “worship the sun”. They never imagined that National Grid would refuse to kneel down at Malone’s sun altar and sacrifice on demand. National Grid may have even found a way to escape Malone’s “sun faith”. We will be watching closely.

Numbers are numbers. People are people. Numbers come from people and sometimes tell porkies. This is what happened at the town hall on June, 15, 2015.

If you don’t want to invest an hour and a half to view the whole June 15 meeting, just keep reading and clicking on links to follow the blow by blow.

Numbers full of porkies presented by perky solar sales people can sometimes be irresistible. But turning sunshine into tax savings is a complicated affair, and the biggest complication that our Town Board ran into was tax. At the prompting of the town attorney, SolarCity’s perky presenter danced through the subject, lightly tiptoeing through some steps the town could take to evade the tax problem. National Grid has it’s own agenda to follow and so does Saranac Central School. One of our Plattsburgh “sun worshipers” even asked a direct question about how a PILOT might impact the project being presented. That is: “Payment In Lieu Of Taxes” which seems to be something the Town Of Plattsburgh Board should know a lot about, since it is happily receiving such payments from Falcon Seaboard Power / Saranac Partners, L.P.:

The problem was a missing bit of info that the salesperson did not explain. The PILOT payments were going to have to come out of the pockets of us taxpayers. That little wrinkle was in the SolarCity contract our Town Board still had not seen.

Page from Town of Plattsburgh PPA 20150621 highlited page 8 Clip

This is on Page 8. Click the text to see the whole contract.

Fast forward to 6/22/2015 down at the Town Hall, and we have the quintet again addressing the SolarCity project without the perky salesperson to continue feeding them porkies.

The crucial moment in the meeting was when Debbie Blake piped up and pulled together all the little perky person dance steps performed during the June, 15, 2015 meeting and organized them into a full and fully disclosed choreography of complications. It is normal for Marty Manix to be argumentative, but when Debbie was able to make her point, even Marty could recognize the tax poison in the pill our “sun worshipers” on the Town Board wanted everyone to swallow. The conversation did not end well for the hopes of SolarCity’s perky person, or for amity among the members of the Board.

When the porkies got evicted from the discussion, and beloved ignorance was willfully dispelled, what was left for members to argue? They couldn’t decide whether or not the whole process was a waste of time. Given the fact that they will all be paid by us Taxpayers no matter what they do, we can at least be glad it wasn’t a waste of money.

So, fellow taxpayers, be happy that Marty wants Saranac Central School to get what he thinks it deserves, and that the amount it would deserve resultant to the TOP Solar project would cost the Town of Plattsburgh all or even more than they might save by harnessing the sun to participate in the Federal and New York State mandated incentives upon which the whole project is dependent . When you get to the bottom of the many layers of porky info and ignorance, you find the truth: The Town of Plattsburgh Board is populated with a few members who worship the sun, but too few who care enough about the taxpayers to avoid being trapped by perky sales people. We have to do that heavy lifting ourselves….. Well, Debbie Blake lifted for us this time.

Who on the Town Board really cares that $40,000.00 of Town of Plattsburgh cash flow would be supporting Saranac Central School? If your kids go to Beekmantown Central School, wouldn’t you feel good if the sun worshipers had their way and created an opportunity for you to contribute to the education of the kids who live cross town?

These members of the sun faith are not finished. They are still at it, and they are doing their best to keep porkies alive. On January 27, 2016 they had an illegal porky meeting…. You know, 3 town board members secretly sitting down together to hash out some “Town Sun Worshiping” business clearly against the NYS open meeting law.

2016-01-27 Town of Plattsburgh Soarize Sign in

It was an illegal meeting, but, don’t worry, they didn’t care. Do you?

One last note:

Please remember Mr. Brian Dowling is coming to talk to us about appraising solar on 18 February at 7:00 pm.  Come join the ongoing discussion.  We’re certain to learn a lot.