The Daily Star
---- — In his Oct. 13 letter, Dick Downey attempts a re-write of reality.
As anyone who attended the packed public hearing on a drilling moratorium in Otego can attest, speakers for the moratorium ran 2-to-1 in support of a moratorium. That night, more than 300 signed letters from Otego residents were presented supporting the board in taking this action. In addition, the town’s carefully conducted survey — the results of which are available to all at townofotego.com — is crystal clear: 47 percent oppose gas drilling while only 39 percent support it.
Mr. Downey adds “nuance” to these figures with some sketchy math. In order to reach his conclusion that 464 favor drilling, he throws together the town outside the village, those non-residents owning land in the town (including the village) and the six people who didn’t list their place of residence at all.
This kind of “nuance” just muddies the water. It also shows an undemocratic spirit. Those who live in the village of Otego are a part of the town, and deserve to have their voices heard on a matter that will directly affect them.
Mr. Downey also regrets that his group’s protest petition went unmentioned. As a matter of law, this type of petition is not applicable to moratoria, and so was inappropriate at a hearing on this issue.
Hopefully, in spite of Mr. Downey’s attempts to “nuance” it, reality will prevail and our town board will hear the voices of its citizens and enact this moratorium without delay.