Resident offended, not scared by IBEW postcardsBy Canton Citizen
Over several weeks’ time, Canton residents have received two separate mailings of oversized color postcards that take issue with photovoltaic solar panels being installed by a company that the town of Canton has leased land to. The land is located at the formerly unusable acreage of Canton’s old town dump site on Pine Street.
The company leasing the land has started to install and set up framing to hold an array of stationary solar cell panels across approximately 14-15 acres that they have leased, for their solar cells, not Canton’s. And for that, Canton will receive over $300,000 a year for the 20-year lease of the land. The sealed landfill “cap” cannot be disturbed or penetrated, and the solar panel frames or racks won’t move. It will be a passive system.
The first postcard mailing shows multiple explosions, in full color, across the front of the postcard — like “carpet bombing” in Vietnam. IBEW Local 103 suggests that the methane gas buildup in the vented, capped landfill could explode from a spark. The photos, obviously, were meant to scare or intimidate the residents of Canton. In my case, it did neither, but what it did do was offend.
The second postcard mailing, about three weeks later, shows two color photos of solar panel sites. One photo shows rows of neatly mounted and slanted electrical solar panels that were installed right next to the huge white National Grid (formerly Boston Gas) tank on the side of the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester — the large tank with Sister Corita’s painting on it.
The other photo shows solar panels randomly laid out, not yet aligned, ready to be installed onto the stationary frame tables at the Canton landfill by the leasing company and for the leasing company’s use. The company that has leased the land is having its contractors do the installation.
The intent of the dramatic second postcard, obviously, is to show a quality installation done in Boston versus an amateur installation of disarrayed solar panels installed in Canton. The biggest difference between the two photos that I see is that the Canton photo doesn’t have a huge natural gas tank right next to its solar panels, as the Dorchester photo does.
No doubt those panels were installed by IBEW Local 103. It looks as though they did a very neat and professional job, as their workmanship is always high quality — few would disagree with that. Their union name is clearly printed on the postcard.
But talk about explosions if something ever happened to those solar panels next to that huge natural gas tank, as IBEW Business Agent Sean Callaghan suggests could very easily happen in Canton with methane gas. Isn’t it just as likely, then, that it could happen at the Boston site?
Canton doesn’t own, nor is it installing those solar panels; the leasing company is. The permitting and inspections are done by the wiring inspector and building inspector to ensure that everything is up to code.
Canton has a five-member Board of Selectmen. They’ve all been repeatedly re-elected by the citizens of Canton because the voters have full confidence in that elected body based on their past decisions and guidance in town affairs. All of them have demonstrated the highest integrity over their many years of service. They don’t always agree with each other, but they’ve always had the best interests of the town of Canton as their primary motivation for serving in town government. Much of the time it is a thankless job. Who among us needs that aggravation?
Lastly, that “unflattering” photo and the disparaging comments in the second postcard mailing of one of our longest serving selectmen, John Connolly, was meant to demean him and make him look foolish and inept among Canton’s voters. The trouble with the photo of John, as well as your comments about him, is that most Canton voters know John very well and are familiar with his stellar reputation, so your comments are totally out of line and fall short of their mark.
Once again, Sean Callaghan’s expensive postcards don’t scare or intimidate. The only thing they’ve succeeded in doing is to offend the citizens of Canton.
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