The idea that towns can set up their own ordinances willy-nilly to fight anything they want (lately here in NH, that would be the Northern Pass project) is sheer stupidity on those that accept this idea that a Rights Based Ordinance would “save them from Big Corporations sinning against our little town” and the organization peddling this, a cross between those demogoging Marxist class warfare and environmental utopia is the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund who rears its head every year this time of Town Meetings lately. My response to Alexis Eynon of Thorton’s Letter to the Daily Sun’s Editor, I hope, was short and to the point (that LtE is after the jump):
To the Editor,
This is in response to the Letter to the Editor by Alexis Eynon of 1/17/18 (http://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/letters/110893-alexis-eynon-1-17-330) and states:
“3) Assert local governing rights and ban the project — do not compromise by voluntarily surrendering our local authority and force the powers that be to strip these rights from us publicly.”
As has been pointed out by others, no need to have these “rights stripped from us” as you never had them before. NH is not a home-rule state so each town or city is merely a political sub-division of the State. The CELDF organization is leading you right down a primrose path with the glittering idea of “RBO” – right up until you go over their “lemmings cliff”. There will be no public stripping – you will either be told “it is not legal”…
…Or simply ignored. Which it should be as this RBO sounds like a cross between FDR’s Second Bill of Rights (which trashed the Founders radical idea of limiting what Govt should do) and an environmentalist’s Utopian dystopia in which plants and animals should have equivalent rights as Citizens. It certainly ignores important Articles of the NH State Constitution.
The original LtE:
WE NEED ASSERT LOCAL GOVERNING RIGHTS AND BAN NORTHERN PASS BY PASSING RIGHTS BASED ORDINANCE IN PLYMOUTH
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this letter in support of the Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) that the town of Plymouth is bringing forward in their special Town Meeting on Jan. 31. A community group called Concerned Citizens of Plymouth has partnered with the Plymouth Board of Selectmen to put the ordinance on a warrant and hold a special town meeting. The aim of the ordinance is to stop the Northern Pass project from entering the town.
One might ask, “Why is this necessary? Why do these townspeople feel they must pursue this route of action?” The simple answer is that because no matter what else we as citizens try to do — attend SEC and EIS hearings, write to our legislators, introduce bills at the state level, appeal to federal senators and legislators — the simple fact remains that corporations just have more power in our towns than we do. That is the truth. State and federal law can pre-empt any course of action that we take right now. As citizens, there is no recourse to oppose these giant corporate projects from forcing themselves into our towns — and the corporations know it.
So then, what are we to do? Plymouth and 11 other towns in New Hampshire have sought the help and guidance of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) through their New Hampshire organizer, Michelle Sanborn. CELDF and Ms. Sanborn clearly point out that we have three choices:
1) Do nothing, and get the project;
2) Oppose the project through the regulatory structure and get the project anyway;
3) Assert local governing rights and ban the project — do not compromise by voluntarily surrendering our local authority and force the powers that be to strip these rights from us publicly.
This is where the RBO comes in. It is our right to defend the health, safety and welfare of our towns as citizens of the town. Please attend the information session on the RBO on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. in the board room of the Plymouth Town Hall and get informed!