Incumbent wins Fairhaven election; Wind turbines still in dispute

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

            The results are in the hotly contested Board of Health race in Fairhaven. This was a rematch, after the race back in April ended in a tie. The town's controversial wind turbines were the big issue. Monday night it wasn't even close. The incumbent Peter DeTerra won big with 63 percent of the vote, to 37 percent for opponent John Wethington.

            It was a night of celebration for Board of Health Chairman Peter DeTerra after he wins re-election. DeTerra, who had his supporters out in force, believes some type of compromise can be worked out over the town's wind turbines.

            DeTerra, the reelected Chairman of the Fairhaven Board of Health said, “We're going to work with the DEP, the developer, we are going to work all together to mitigate, to feather the blades and to keep them in compliance all of the time.”

            When all the ballots were counted, DeTerra took almost two-thirds of the votes. But the man, who twice challenged him, is worried the turbine issue won't be fixed. Challenger John Wethington said, “I don't think it's ever going to be solved. I think the poor people that are affected by them, this is a sad day for them.”

            Residents are worried too; Karen Isherwood and her daughters live right near the turbines, and have filed complaints with the Board of Health. Isherwood – a Wethington Supporter – said, “With our sleep and even during the day, when they are going crazy, we have migraines, we're dizzy, we get ringing in the ears. There are a lot of health issues that go along with them.”

            Isherwood just wants the turbines turned off at night. Other residents say with nine years on the Board, maybe DeTerra, can convince the developer to do that. Tina Albano – a DeTerra Supporter – said, “I just know something can be worked out and Peter would be fair about working something out on the turbine situation.”

            If town residents agree on anything, it's that the turbine fight is likely not over. In fact the State of Massachusetts is still investigating the turbines, as well, after determining they were too loud and exceeded legal noise levels, on a number of occasions.