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Local Law No. 3 ( as revised) This process has been both troubling and enriching.

On the positive side, I have had the opportunity to work with many talented people toward a common goal. Sadly, the process was also a bumpy ride for our community and for me personally. Some people arent talking to me and Ive lost a few friends. This is regrettable and I am deeply saddened and wounded. This sometimes happens when you take on a complicated issue. A large percentage of our community did become engaged in the process and this is good and helpful. So I thank everyone, pro and con, for your input and wisdom. In deciding to sponsor and support a fracking ban, many factors influenced me. Philosophically, I have always been drawn to the beauty of nature and repelled by overdevelopment and heavy industrial processes. That is why I chose to live here. That is why many of us live here. The concept of jeopardizing our surface waters and aquifers is entirely repugnant to me. I believe the idea of purposefully contaminating pure water with known carcinogens is a crime against nature. How long will it take before we realize that pure water and healthful air and food are essential for a healthy population? Thinking globally, I believe the day will soon be at hand when water will be the most valuable substance on planet earth. Societies have flourished without natural gas but no society has ever survived without water. I strongly believe that a community has the right of self-destiny also known as home rule and it is abundantly clear that this community overwhelming wants to ban fracking from our borders. Bans have been enacted by towns, cities, states and even countries. For example, all of our immediate neighboring towns have enacted bans as have the City of Raleigh, the State of Vermont, France, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Germany is moving in that direction also. Fracking operations have been suspended in the United Kingdom. New Jersey has banned the treatment of fracking waste and passed a one year moratorium. So what we are proposing here is by no means radical. It has become undeniable that most of the people in the Town of Highland want to maintain the beauty and tranquility of our area and do not want to live in an industrial landscape. If Democracy is to have any meaning here, we must heed the will of the People.

On a personal level, for the past 50 years, I have spent an enormous amount of time in the woods, on lakes and in streams and rivers. This alone does not make me a sportsman. It makes me a hunter and fisher. What makes a sportsman is being one who actively cares for the environment, or in the sportsmans words, one who takes care of habitat. None of us in this room founded a large tract hunting club. We inherited them. I believe that we too owe the next generation the gift of beautiful unspoiled places to hunt and fish. Fighting to make sure that this legacy is not spoiled is what being a sportsman is all about. We cant ask the deer or the trout, the grouse or the bass what they would want, for they are voiceless. No, we have to speak for them and advocate for their habitat and protect this legacy for the next generations. I would rather bequeath the joy of the outdoors to future generations than all the royalties imaginable. There are some things that simply are priceless. As a local government leader, I am deeply disturbed by the Energy Act of 2005 which exempted this industry from compliance with existing Clean Water and Clean Air requirements. Neither the EPA nor N.Y. DEC has stepped up with meaningful protections, such as classifying fracking wastes as the hazardous byproducts they are and requiring that every drop be manifested and accounted for. Absent help from these state and federal agencies, it falls upon us, locally, to do what we can to protect our environment. On safety and health issues, the jury is still out. Pennsylvania is the Petri-dish. We do not yet know whether that dish will grow a beneficial vaccine or unlock a pandemic. Lets carefully watch what develops in Pennsylvania. But for me today, there are more than enough red flags to vote an emphatic yes on this important Home Rule statement. My vote is YES.