Wednesday, 19 June 2019 22:19

Somerset County residents express concern over conflicts of interest Featured

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SKOWHEGAN- A group of Somerset County residents, that say they're upset, dominated public comment at Wednesday's county commissioners meeting.

Many say certain commissioners have conflicts of interests in regard to the CMP corridor project.


"There have been so many communities who have banded together and taken votes to oppose this project and commissioners refuse to recognize that," said Jennifer Poirier, a Skowhegan resident.


The project in question would run through Maine's wilderness to bring clean energy from Canada to Massachusetts.


"They keep saying Maine's going to benefit from it," Rene Guary, a Dennistown resident told us. "Maine's not going to benefit from it. There's not enough money on this planet to justify destroying this forest."


Residents said they are concerned because commissioners voted to support the project without doing enough research on what it entailed.


"They're supposed to be our voice," Poirier added. "They put together a blanket letter of support back in December of 2017. Just because they were asked to support it, they did."


Another major concern residents expressed is what they called conflicts of interests held by commissioners at the time of the vote.


"Lloyd Trafton was on the Western Mountains [and] Rivers Commission when he voted," Kerry Heggarty, a Jackman resident said. "That was setup by CMP to take care of millions of dollars."


Trafton resigned from the board of Western Mountains and Rivers last week and addressed the move at the commissioners meeting.


"It is approved and the power line is approved and we're moving ahead," Trafton said during the meeting. "There's no point in me being there right now, for that reason I resigned."


Residents are still calling for a new vote on the matter.


"It's not fair," Heggarty added. "Since Lloyd dropped out from the Western Mountains and Rivers Corporation, he needs to recuse himself from the previous vote and nullify the previous vote."


The next Somerset County commissioners meeting will be on July 3rd.

Rachel Mann

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Rachel joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in December 2018.

She graduated from Bridgewater State University where she majored in communications and accounting. While attending Bridgewater State, she co-ancho...

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