I am deeply disappointed that the Yarmouth Town Council voted against endorsing a town-sponsored Solarize program. Solarize programs have been conducted successfully by the nearby towns of Freeport and Brunswick. The town facilitates a competitive bidding process and selects a solar installer who installs solar panels at a discount for those who wish to participate. The program costs the town nothing, there are no expenditures, and it provides a great benefit to residents who wish to participate.
The program is in many ways similar to the proposal the council passed several years ago to facilitate installation of natural gas lines. A significant difference is, that program was supported by tax dollars and caused inconvenience to those with houses on roads that underwent construction, regardless of whether they wanted natural gas or not. Councilors Pat Thompson and James McLeod voted for the natural gas expansion and yet voted against Solarize. McLeod said he opposed it because it was an example of government overreach and that it’s not the role of government. However, government overreach was not a concern when it came to the natural gas vote.
The failure of the Solarize proposal is a loss for Yarmouth. It’s also a clearly partisan decision as the “limited government” view was conveniently set aside for favored fossil fuels, but brought up to derail a similar renewable energy-based program.