Franklin Countys First News

Jay residents push forward after petition rejected

The Jay Selectboard.

JAY - After being presented with a 217-signature petition at Monday night's meeting, select persons rejected the request in a 2-2 vote with one board member abstaining. The petition asked that the town's stance on the New England Clean Energy Connect be put to a vote with a special town meeting, despite the board's previous support for the project. Selectpersons Gary McGrane and Chairperson Terry Bergeron voted in favor of the petition, while Tom Goding and Tim DeMillo opposed it. Selectperson Judy Diaz abstained from voting due to her involvement with a pro-NECEC commercial.

The NECEC project would create a 145-mile, Direct Current transmission line with 1,200 megawatt capacity that would link Canadian hydro power to the New England grid via a converter station in Lewiston. In Franklin County, new corridor would enter northern Franklin County in Beattie Township, passing through Lowelltown and Skinner Township before crossing into Somerset County to the east. When the line reentered Franklin County in Industry at the Starks town line, it would run within the existing transmission corridor through six municipalities: Industry, New Sharon, Farmington, Wilton, Chesterville and Jay. In total, the project would create 53 miles of new corridor in Maine. In addition to the 145-mile long DC line, there would be 44 miles of AC line improvements in southern Maine, as well as infrastructure installed at the Lewiston station.

A petition legally requires 10 percent of registered voters signatures based on the most recent gubernatorial elections, which came to 212 signatures needed. Resident Susan Theberge helped gather signatures of which she received 217.

"If the petition is legal and the wording is legal, it should be accepted. I can go to a notary and enforce it, or you can make the townspeople feel like you're listening to them," Theberge said to the board, following the vote.

Theberge stated after the meeting that she will move forward with enforcing the petition.

"This issue is not how you feel about the power line. The issue is how you feel about voter sentiment," Steve Bien said. "This is insulting to us."

Many of the people in the crowd of roughly 45, primarily residents of Jay, voiced their disappointment in the board for not accepting the petition. Some said they felt betrayed by those they elected to represent them, while others said they felt disregarded.

"We hired you to represent us. You work for us. It's your duty to represent the people of Jay who are overwhelmingly against this corridor," Tom White said.

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51 Responses »

  1. Absolutely amazing that some on the select board don't even want the townspeople to be able to vote on something that concerns them so much. The idea of "service" to the town has got to be brought back from the idea of "power" that some in those positions succumb to. The vote wouldn't even directly effect the project but only looks to add its weight for our representatives (reps, senators AND governor) in Augusta to see.

  2. If I was a Jay resident this would be pretty upsetting to me. A legal and statutory process was followed by townspeople and then denied by the selectboard? I don't care where you stand on the issue, this is not representing due process.

  3. I'm sure there's a bit more to the story, but it seems like the board of selectmen are not listening to the residents. I'm shocked!

  4. Darryl - you have stated EXACTLY what needs to be said. Once again, this is NOT about the issue this is about the legal process and it has been violated.

  5. Maybe it time for a recall petition for Tom, Tim and Judy.

  6. The problem with this issue is with the few who vote and the many who do not vote. These are elected people who are supposed to be working for us. Never have I worked for anyone who allowed me to make all the decisions with out their input. Judy was correct. She ran unopposed and was elected .If people wanted change they had their opportunity to do so. They elected not to. It is too late to look back. Look forward and make your choices. If you don't vote , don't complain.

  7. Clearly the 2 that voted to dismiss have zero care for legal process. I can't wait to vote on this. Then vote the selectmen out.

  8. This petition is nothing more than a way to cost the town more money by forcing a special election which in the end won't matter to anything. The state is going to decide the outcome of this power line. The reason one of the board didn't vote was because the crowd loudly told her she couldn't because of the commercial she is in. Then when she didn't vote, they hollered at her. The board is representing all of the citizens of Jay, Not just those that signed the petition. All Jay residents have had glossy mailings that told us all to oppose the line. Someone is spending a lot of money to stir this up. I expect like everything else it is out of state money.

  9. Well well well, isn't this interesting.
    Small town corruption... The big boys must have gotten there first..
    I remember someone calling Farmington a Podunk you for voting to oppose this project,, but those selectmen honored the will of the people.
    This crap that Tom Goding and Tim DeMillo are pulling is Podunk personified. Judy Diaz did the right thing.
    Jay has a big corporation in town,, wonder if they influenced this or Tom and Tim just enjoy looking foolish..

    This isn't over.. there are many very smart people involved.
    Go to the notary and make it happen.
    Take your town back.

  10. So apparently if a comment isn't what the daily bulldog wants to hear they won't publish it?

  11. The Jay Town Manager and Selectboard are being coached by CMP and the email proofs have been released for public view! Please see social media NO CMP Corridor page for the official documents! Town corruption at its finest and they are not working for the Town Taxpayers of Jay!

  12. We have should have an equal voice and allowed due process in this matter. I prefer to make my own choices. I hope the board will reconsider.

  13. Neil,
    You might be right that the majority of Jays voters "may" have voted this down.
    BUT,,,, the only way to know this would be to have a VOTE.
    So you have no idea if your claim is true.

    What is a fact is that the petitioners exceeded the requirements only to be denied the chance to have EVERYONE vote.
    Strange decision to thumb your nose at the people
    like that but,,,, that's where we are currently.
    Janet must have had a chat with Tom and Tim,,,lol

    I'm not from Jay but if they're was headed rhetoric at this meeting,,, I think it was justified.
    I'm sure this strange turn of events is far from over.
    Good people don't take kindly to being Ignored and Railroaded.
    Thus the reason the opposition is growing rapidly.
    Also the reason we have a one term Governor on our hands.

    This whole event in Jay will help the opposition as it unveils the unscrupulous behavior of so many entities that support ramming this project down people's throats,,

  14. Some of us have watched the unscrupulous spinsters from CMP weave their half-truths and wondered what was going on behind the scenes. It was reveled in Jay last night. CMP PR coach to Jay town manager, and I paraphrase: Say this, and "use your own, natural voice so as to not sound so contrived" Gulp.

    Perfect!!- it makes you wonder just how often this has happened and with how many officials. Or maybe not wonder any longer.

    Nell, I'm wondering what you don't see here? Can you possibly believe there is no voting conflict with a selectboard member doing a pro corridor commercial when the vast majority of the town is against the project?

  15. Yup, it appears the big boys got there first. And with that being said....
    I want to thank Steve and Susan Theberge for gathering enough signatures to put this before the SelectBoard for a vote. I want to thank Terry and Gary for doing the right thing by voting to honor a legal petition with the required amount of signatures, so a democratic process could have taken place if the two other SelectBoard members would have put the citizens first and not themselves. I want to thank Judy Diaz for recusing herself BECAUSE she really needed to. By the way, she won’t run unopposed next time. If there is a next time. She made it perfectly clear last night that she wasn’t happy with the current happenings and she might not stay on for her full term.

    Hey folks, you did a fine job last night. You’re up against some pretty big odds and you let your concerns be known. Tom White you did a fine job and remained polite which is more than l can say for myself. You know, l think the most telling statement of the night came from a young man sitting up front at the end of the meeting when everyone realized that a democratic process had just been thrown out the window. He stated to the SelectBoard “ you mean to tell me that you’re not going to allow us to vote? I want to puke right now. My stomach actually hurts.”
    Mine did too. There’s just something about seeing democracy dying....

    And there you go folks. Stay tuned. This isn’t a done deal...,

  16. Now this is podunk. The big corporation in town you speak of will more than likely LOOSE money if this line goes through as their won’t be as much need for them to sell power to the grid like they do now.

  17. Just wow, the level of ignorance is astounding. People clearly do not know how the selectmen's board works. The board doesn't answer the people.

    But hey if Therberge wants to go get 212 more signatures verified(provided the last ones were) to petition a notary who may or may not order a special town meeting, the town council can still call into question the validity of the question or issue being forced on them, which they can do, and seeing how the NECEC is NOT up for public vote to begin with, the petition being thrown out by all named parties on said petition(s) is the most logical outcome. What the "people" ask for and what the "people" get are two very vastly different things. The selectboard works in the town's best interest, not the people's, more property tax money into the town, is in the town's best interests. Maybe get that pesky curbside trash pick-up sorted out, maybe get the new firetruck paid off, the new cruiser bill taken care of, maybe better equip the schools a little. Maybe the naysayers suffer from prefrontal cortex damage from living next to a paper mill for so many years, who knows, but they don't put a whole lot of thought into things.

  18. Do you know what’s ignorant Hrtlss? Your statement about pre-frontal cortex damage.
    And l don’t mean the fact that you just insulted a lot of Jay folks by saying that. I mean that there are people out there who suffer from the condition caused by legitimate reasons.
    You really need to take a step back and stop insulting people that have suffered or are suffering because in the long run, you’re just projecting who you are....
    Try to forgive those who don’t live up to your standards. You may be in the same boat someday.
    Have a great night.

  19. My oh My ,,
    HrtlssBstrd is all worked up..
    He's having a petulant frenzy.. lol
    Look at him go after them,,
    Hey HB,
    Your way,,, gets nothing done.
    Other than the old misery loves company thingy.
    You are bitter, you ought to get yourself looked at...
    Your doing no good for anyone acting like you do.

    The Jay "officials" can betray the people if they want (as HB says). Go for it,,, if you are so foolish.

  20. HB,,,
    Your list of improvements will not come about because of the corridor. Silly thinking.
    They're not that generous by a long shot.
    You talk "as if" you forget that we're the cheap date.

    Keep spinning that yarn... Lol

  21. Sounds like Hrtless Bstrd is a town board member or the town manager. Obviously you do not know how a lawful petition works and the Selectboard cannot make their own laws and deny the petition (they will be lawfully served...mark my word)! How about the town/board stop spending like no tomorow and make difficult decisions and cuts to the budget and school system that are draining taxpayers pockets? Stop buying new police cars, firetrucks, town equipment and fix what you have and use it like other towns! Taxpayers would never see a cent of the additional revenue as they will spend it before it gets here! Get a clue!

  22. Sounds like Hrtless Bstrd is a town board member or the town manager. Obviously you do not know how a lawful petition works and the Selectboard cannot make their own laws and deny the petition (they will be lawfully served...mark my word)! How about the town/board stop spending like no tomorow and make difficult decisions and cuts to the budget and school system that are draining taxpayers pockets? Stop buying new police cars, firetrucks, town equipment and fix what you have and use it like other towns! Taxpayers would never see a cent of the additional revenue as they will spend it before it gets here! Get a clue!

  23. Hrtlss, you touched on the whole point of the Jay problem. Yes, correct about the Selectmen's job. However, when Statutory Law is violated (and correct, subject to verification) then there is a legal remedy. If the signatures are 'there' then the Town of Jay did, indeed, violate the law and THAT is the point. You may be right about the paper mill effect. But, let's bring this discussion back to the REAL issue - Statutory Law. Of course, in this day and age laws only apply to regular people so I guess that means that once a person is a Select Person then laws no longer apply.

  24. Nell & HrtlssBstrd I agree with you. We have a powerline that went through here about 2 years ago. It's less than a mile from our house. You can also pass by it on Canton Pt. Rd, and Rt. 140. And ya know what? It does not bother any of us. The undergrowth has grown, it's all nice and green, there are snowmobile trails, 4 wheeler trails, deer, moose, and all kinds of wildlife on those "Horrid, eyesore" lines all the time. The building of those said "horrid" lines created lots of good paying jobs, brought money into the towns that the construction crews were working ( lodging, food, gas etc) I read that because that powerline going through, our neighbors upstate will now be able to access better internet, cable and phone services. THAT sounds wonderful for communities that now have little or no access. The lines are being built through mostly WILDERNESS where basically no one but the wildlife will see it. There is no smelly, polluting emissions, it's clean energy! If this state does not start to allow more progressive ideas to come into it, we are going to be the state where no one wants to live, work or play. Only ones left here will be folks over 70, and our state will die off because of the tree huggers....we need to progress into the year 2019, and get out of 1930's.

  25. Jay residents shoud check out for more information on how the Jay town manager and selectmen were influenced.

  26. ..People are controlled by what they see and hear the loudest......

    While CMP has Channel 6 - 8 - 13 blowing out their high priced
    Pro CMP commercials every 20 minutes on your television they
    control the thinking of the masses who are too busy living to investigate
    the truth of the issue.
    I hope the citizens of Jay Maine do not let the 'money power' roll them over
    and destroy a beautiful section of Maine Wilderness so a corporation in ,,Spain can reap billions of American Cash.

  27. Since a majority of townspeople voted in DeMillo it’s obvious fumes from the mill need to be investigated.

  28. Hrtlss, who is the ignorant one? "The selectboard works in the town's best interest, not the people's" ??? Huh? What is a town if it is not its people? Duh.

  29. To HB,,
    FYI. It is not a law that everyone act like an Ahole...
    Take a pill,, take a nap,,calm down.
    Who made you the ambassador of ill will?
    Consider yourself fired for your poor behavior.

    So,,, I believe the point HB made about the process is correct. The selectmen can vote anyway they choose in this case. If not why have them vote in the first place.

    However,, the only reasons I can see for doing that is corrupt.
    They "will" answer to the will of the people,,,, eventually.
    The residents have good reason to be outraged.
    As of today, it's being rammed down their to throats...

  30. I am disgusted by the actions of the town manager and three of my selectpersons. What next? Close the polls ? How could you be so uninformed about democracy and your roles?

  31. The CMP corridor is the same exact lines as our already existing powerline corridor! The new part is a short section of already logged over up on the border!

  32. Suzie,

    That power line is going through mostly wilderness and only the critters will see it?

    Respectfully, its an existing power line that will be widen by 75 ft in some places for miles (are you sure it’s not going to be sitting on your lawn?) and it will require 53 more miles of corridor carved out through a beautiful area that other folks work and recreate in. Now, I’m sure some of us may be a little fuzzy in the vision department but l don’t think any of us are going to miss those 100 ft “camouflage” mono-poles.

  33. To the comment above and anyone who may believe the inaccuracy. The new line IS NOT the existing line! This is EXACTLY the kind of slight of hand misinformation that CMP continues to throw around. The new LINES (3 of them) will be supported by new 95 foot tall METAL poles with the WIDENING of the existing corridor by 75 feet.

  34. I think most people now understand that NECEC is about exploitation of the Maine woods, and Maine's people, based on a false premise of environmental benefits for the profit of foreign corporations. Most of us have been enlightened on those points. Some of us have been quite active in the fight, understanding that once this is done, the door is open to further exploitation and the beginning of the end of a (sadly) unique semi-wilderness area.

    What we have observed throughout the battle is disturbing to us.

    Before we ever heard about NECEC, CMP funded a shell nonprofit to spins their tales and grease certain skids.
    The governor states her public support after being on the political fence during the elections. We understand her brother is a board member of the nonprofit mentioned above and CMP related fundraisers were helpful to her during the race for governor. meh.
    A "study" from LEI has been widely circulated that disclaims itself yet is the first thing off the lips of the highly compensated CMP propaganda lobbyists. Those same lobbyists fight a truly independent study that takes all factors into consideration.
    The Public Utilities Commission finds in favor, citing public need. This finding despite the limited survey, 1300 to 40 Public comments against and the fact by all objective assessments there is no public need for Maine folks.
    CMP, under the guise of "Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs" has been pouring millions into every form of media including sending high paid suits to every town meeting to tell their half truths. And at the same time they have the audacity to say that those opposed to the project are "funded by dark money" and "in favor of pollution" In their ads they show waters polluted by plastics and dirty runoff. As if.
    Now to the Jay meeting, where we find out what we suspected has been going on. "Coaching of Town Officials" against the people on what to say and how to say it. How many other towns and officials? How much of a stretch is it to assume money is also changing hands? in every way, this not good for Maine project also does not pass the sniff test either (thanks Walter G.)
    The opposition to NECEC is grassroots, connected and passionate about Maine's future.
    The pro-Corridor side. Well, you make up you mind.

  35. Judy Diaz, I hope no one choked on the m&ms that you passed out to your comrads after we left and stated that this evening is like going to the movies. Unbelievable! Still puking in my mouth.
    Don Macomber

  36. Jay is over of those mill towns where you used to know the town line because the roads were suddenly better,, the first snowflake to hit the ground was plowed and houses were mostly nicer with many of the children having full suites for bedrooms,,, Nice school,, great fields,,, the best of everything, with very low taxes.
    Used to....
    The past few years have seen Good Old IP leave,, a not so great replacement and declining paper industry. Times have changed around Jay for sure.
    And many just want the good old days back... No matter what it takes.
    I feel sorry that this town had turned into "this"..
    Once proud,,, now look.
    Shame on Tom, Tim and Judy.
    Acting like a bunch of spoiled brats
    You guys should leave this miserable yourself to these liars and let them deal with it all.

  37. Maybe the fact that Judy Diaz has a family member that has worked for CMP for over 35 years and just retired may be the reason she is on the side of CMP.

  38. You guys need to stop finger pointing . The point is that c m p will put the corridor in if they get puc approval. The 217 signatures don’t mean crap. They can say yes or no but it don’t matter. The town can’t stop it.
    If you guys want something to do call me I’ve got a whole lot of work to be done and would be a lot better
    Use of your time
    Wally B

  39. Wally- the whole project is unnecessary and the process has proven corrupt. Good people point fingers at unnecessary projects promulgated using corrupt processes. What we are doing here is saying we will not stand for it. The time is ripe for a change from sneaky backroom deals to procure sleazy corporate profit to transparency and honest negotiations that are for the benefit of Maine people now and into the future.

  40. Hey, Mr Wally B......some enlightenment for you: YES, the 117 signatures are valuable & NOT crap, as you verbalized. The people that signed the petition did so with the hope that it would help the opposition to the Corridor & apparently they were dedicated enough to sign the petition. The person/persons that circulated the petition are also deeply committed to the opposition & deserve much credit NOW, Mr Wally B,, you voiced in your post that the opposition group does not have enough to do with their time! May I again enlighten you.....we are a Grassroots Group, comprised with individuals from all over this great state of Maine.....we are young, middle-aged, & elderly, from various socio-economis groups. Some are EMPLOYED: full time or part-time, some of the RETIRED are kept busy with VOLUNTEERING their time to NON-PROFITS, including CHURCHES, caring for elderly parents/relatives & babysitting Grandchildren. Our time is also taken up with: writing & phoning our Augusta Rep`s & Senators, attending Town Meetings to lend moral support, keeping track of the upcoming Bills in Augusta that have to do with the Corridor, and.......KEEPING TRACK OF CORRUPTION! We are a VERY DEDICATED group, we are advocating for the FORESTS, WATERWAYS & WILDLIFE OF MAINE. We are also firmly dedicated to passing on the beautiful Northern Forest of Maine to future generations to be able to enjoy as many of us have been blessed to visit the amazing forest in North-Western Maine.

  41. Thank you Wally B for that concise comment.
    Everything you said,,, "it don't mean crap".

    I noticed that YOU wasted YOUR time commenting on here.
    Yes, we enjoy this freedom to express.

    Btw,, anyone who says 217 signatures are meaningless,,, we disagree.

  42. It is odd that a place with a paper mill which fills the air with a terrible smell would be against a power line, which does not pollute and carries renewable energy. When people visit me from out of state, the first thing they do when they get to my home in Wilton is ask me why it smells so foul in Jay. One person told me how even in the foggiest weather, he can navigate the crash road by smell. Kind of an embarrassment if you ask me, Is this Bayonne, NJ or the pristine Western Maine foothills?

    This whole CMP debate is odd. People say they are against it because they don't want to spoil the environment. OK, fine. Take the same stand against wood burning stoves, gas guzzling vehicles, cigarette smoke and paper mills (these items cover about 90% of harmful air pollution)and I will laud you for consistency. From what I have seen in a few different communities, about 5% of the CMP opponents are true eco warriors. You guys are credible and I respect your belief system. I might not fully agree but I can respect your views.

    The rest of the opponents are just resentful. Either resentful that the power line is for Massachusetts or resentful, because the parent of CMP is a foreign corporation.

    If the town of Jay wants real environmental protection, get rid of the mill. Of course, this will decimate the economy of Jay so it may not be that attractive of an idea.

  43. Hi Everyone, It's Bitter Betty here,

    A previous social genius wrote this earlier,
    "The rest of the opponents are just resentful. Either resentful that the power line is for Massachusetts or resentful, because the parent of CMP is a foreign corporation.".

    Not much to unpack here folks,,
    He doesn't sound too sure about his opinion so I'll try and help here.
    Not sure what Mass or Foreigners has to do with our Great State.
    I mean,,, We get to love here and they have to live "there" so they have my deepest sympathies.
    Us Blessed Mainers have nothing to resent.
    The Way Life Should Be...

  44. Oops....Pardon, a correction to my above note: Total of the Petition signatures should read: 217.....not 117, (I hit the wrong tab!)


  45. Fun fact for ya. The AG of Massachusetts says the corridor is not “green”. You can read the article in the BDN.

  46. FYI to Wally...….the PUC already approved the CMP project a month or so ago. Interestingly, they received about 1300 comments on the project of which only 28 were in favor of it. Yet, they voted unanimously to approve it! So these towns that are taking steps to make their voices heard. How can the State continue to disregard all the opposition from the towns that are directly affected by the project? And, it would seem that at some point Gov. Mills will realize that forcing this on Mainers who even statewide overwhelmingly oppose it, is not a good way to start out if you want to get everyone on board to fight climate change. This particular project has too many controversies that should not be ignored.

  47. Wendy nailed it and Betty, right on!

    To "do people really care" I'm not sure what meetings you have been going to to come up with your 5% theory. I've been to most of then and I see 90+% grassroots salt of the earth people opposing versus a few paid lawyers and industry insiders. Either your filter is off or you are one of those conflicted insiders still trying to convince sensible people to trust CMP.

  48. Suzie
    In regards to nobody minds the corridor on Canton Point Rd and Rt 140... speak for yourself. The powerline is a mere 700 feet from MY house , and crosses my driveway, and I DO MIND. And as far as there being trails for ATV's is false. They now gate the powerline against this and only open it for snowmobiles in the winter. I have seen the Lucas tree boys...parked at the end of my driveway..already working on widening this corridor. And I mind...a lot

  49. Pulling A Fast One.

    That was the plan.
    Send your suits out, fire up the PR spin machine, speed the message on all the right spots,,quickly.
    Get to them first.
    CMP did that. Very Effectively.
    All was looking good,, all the towns said "sounds good, approved",, The New Governor slid right in line,,, MPUC did as you told them,,,
    Nothing can stop it now !!
    Quickly keep it moving...

    Then,,,,, Time Took It's Toll .
    Information was discovered to be half truths and outright lies,
    People started asking questions,,
    Towns actively reversed the support,
    Vast majority of all Mainers now oppose,
    90% of Mainers near the corridor oppose.
    Bipartisan Maine Legislature goes against the Governor .
    Massachusetts Attorney General publicly questions the validity of the project.
    Momentum is spilling in the opposition favor.

    The Truth Comes Out.
    Time takes Its Toll.

    Too Late To Pull A Fast One Now!!

    Good Luck To The Sell Out Politicians,
    (Don't quit your day

  50. Wendy,
    Isn’t your grass roots organization raising big money for your opposition?
    Also if what you say is all true why is our hometown governor in favor of it?