October 25, 2019
Statement From Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes:
In the midst of the ongoing Horseshoes Solar Project, Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia) has succeeded in ensuring the voices of local residents are being heard. After calls for greater transparency and public input, Byrnes was recently notified that Robin Rapport, a Rush resident, has been appointed as a local ad hoc member for the Horseshoes Siting Board. The proposed solar project will be located in the Towns of Caledonia and Rush.
This appointment comes after Byrnes and Sen. Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) chastised Democrat Leaders in Albany at their September 18th press conference in Caledonia for failing to appoint ad hoc members. Many community members and town and village officials throughout the region were present and highly supportive of their efforts. New York State’s Article 10 law allows the governor and Democrat Leadership to bypass requirements for local appointments to siting boards. Local representation is important to our communities. Byrnes and Ortt have also sponsored legislation (A8311) requiring local representation on Article 10 siting boards.
The recent appointment of Rapport resulting from the efforts of Byrnes and Ortt is an important victory for our communities.
“This victory is just the starting point,” said Byrnes. “It’s fundamental we continue fighting for our communities against the blatant government overreach plaguing Albany through the Democrat leadership. There are many more appointments that must be made to siting boards throughout our state. Communities know what’s best for their residents, not politicians or bureaucrats in Albany.”
“Local representation on Article 10 siting boards is absolutely vital to ensure residents of the areas surrounding proposed energy projects have their voices heard,” said Ortt. “To this point, Gov. Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, and Leader Stewart-Cousins have failed to do their legally outlined duties in appointing these representatives, and have illustrated their lack of concern for the thoughts and opinions of local residents. While it is good news to hear that the assembly has selected its appointee in the Horseshoes Solar Project, the Senate still has not made its appointment and the blame falls at the feet of Leader Stewart-Cousins. We must make sure that no project moves forward without local representation.”