Response to “The local Vote”
To The Editor:
Mr. Odell thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns. You are correct I was born in Littleton, CO but my family has been from the Gorham/Berlin area for generations. Coming back home to the North Country was a goal of mine since I was a teenager. My dream job was working at Team O’Neil Rally School and now at 32 years old I am the CEO and share in the ownership of Team O’Neil. My two kids were born at Littleton Hospital and my family is invested in the North Country, specifically Dalton.
It is true that the lack of zoning made Dalton attractive 22 years ago when the business was formed, and remains important to our success. We have over 20 people who have full time jobs and we bring over $6,000,000 annually to the north country economy. I am worried about all the lives enriched by our business. Also I’m worried about the future opportunities of Team O’Neil with both a dump as a direct neighbor and zoning in Dalton. As I became more educated by DES of the process Casella will face at the State level they made it clear the permit process is years long.
This does include time for public input and I feel that Save Forest Lake supporters could focus their effort on those opportunities. The people were able to stop Northern Pass at the State level, I’m confident they could do the same with the dump.
Ultimately emergency zoning would leave Dalton with restrictive zoning that effects all landowners of Dalton. I could not find a single instance of zoning being removed from a town once it gets in place. I also could not find an example of any town placing an entire town under Emergency Zoning in NH. Dalton may go down in history as the first town in NH to implement emergency zoning to an entire town. Voters came to me in frustration of signing a document they were told was for Saving Forest Lake but ended up being the petition to implement zoning. How many more voters signed that document that didn’t realize what they were signing? I asked the voters to educate themselves.
There is no Emergency but please don’t take my word for it. Reach out to Tim Cook at DES and learn for yourself. My research can be found at www.savedaltonnh.com
Mr. Odell I invite you to have a conversation with me and additionally any other land owner of Dalton who can have a respectful dialog. I hope the residents can see that we have time to put together a plan that respects the rural nature of the town. Ultimately, I honor the will of the people and the democratic process.