“Concerns over fracking are legitimate; however, decisions should be scientifically calculated,” Ellis said, noting that, since the town is not energy-independent, banning the practices in Meredith would only mean exploiting other communities for fossil fuels. “Safer methods of gas extraction need to be proactively supported in unity, while having an open mind to alternative energy sources.”
Ellis did speak in favor of safe access to natural gas for businesses, schools and municipalities in the county, noting that “fracking is a separate issue.”
Without taking a position on the proposed bed tax, Ellis said he believes county government should work closely with the Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism. He also noted that “preventative, rather than reactive, measures” are the best way to approach flood mitigation.
Sidney Town Supervisor Bob McCarthy is not seeking a second term. Vying to replace him are R. Eugene Pigford, a Republican, and William Heath, a Democrat.
Pigford, who is retired, said he has been attending town meetings for the last four years and is ready to more fully participate in town services.
On natural gas development, Pigford said he would support “any initiative that brings jobs to the other that won’t compromise our agriculture and natural resources,” noting that access to natural gas “provides an economic benefit and can help the local businesses, as long as it is done safely.
Pigford supports the idea of promoting tourism in the county, but said more study would be needed before he would vote for a bed tax. He praised the town’s efforts on flood mitigation and called the town’s 12-year-old Comprehensive Plan a good one, but said he would be interested in updating it.
“While putting the plan to action, we can implement other activities such as natural gas access,” Pigford added.