Councilwoman Heather Sutphin at a Town Council meeting. 

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(5) comments


"Legally, Heroux said, if an applicant meets those criteria, the town council must approve the special use permit."


I do not know about that. If a company applies for SUP and meets all the criteria, then they AUTOMATILLY BY LAW get approved? The citizens have no say in the matter?

The town council should always put the voice of the people before the voice of a big corporation.



Talk about taking a license with the truth! Very sorry Robin Earl decided this was the way she wanted to be remembered.


Wait! What? These guys are now trying to paint themselves as victims? You've got to be kidding me.

What's next? The Amazon Lobbyist Benevolent Association? Shysters Anonymous?

These folks should be run out of town by their own shame. If they had any.


I am astonished that Ms. Earl ran this article coddling the town council members who voted to favor Amazon. While nobody should be threatened or subjected to untoward behavior, to state that council members “endured weeks of abuse from data center opponents” is a debased distortion of the facts. First, these people were elected or appointed to represent their constituents which they failed to do when they approved the SUP. Democracy is a team sport, and the imaginary “silent majority” never even suited up. Ms. Sutphin seems to frequently confuse citizen discourse with bullying, and the other H’s should know how to dial 911 if people cross the line. I was particularly touched by Mr. Hamby’s concern for Mayor Nevill, although we all know how he would have voted. The second reason this article is offensive is that it portrays a myth-based counter-narrative that is patently false. The SUP application did not meet many of the 32 criteria in 11-3.10.3 of the Zoning Ordinance. Completing a credible noise study is not discretional and can’t be conditioned away. The fiscal impact can’t be determined by a gentlemen’s agreement that Amazon won’t claim millions of dollars of eligible tax rebates. The fit with the Comprehensive Plan deserved a thorough and objective analysis, not a rubber stamp by staff knotted up with NDAs and John Foote’s undue influence. But the worst part of the article was Ms. Earl’s ironic characterization of how the town council was victimized by an “angry mob” that was just out for a fight. She missed that this episode created a vast and powerful and wide-ranging coalition of like-minded people that have lost their trust of some elected officials. If Mr. Heroux really wants to know, “what does it take to get us back together?” he might start by listening and leaving his business interests at the office.

Major Tom

Have to admit that I am middle of the road on the data center topic, but the nerve of these people to ignore citizen voices and try and claim themselves as victims is appalling. Threatening statements are unacceptable, but they are including citizens who are respectfully voicing their differences in a professional matter as the same people making the threats! Any one who disagrees with them is not welcome in their eyes. Everyone has a right to redress their government! Just stop collecting our money or start listening to concerned members of this community.

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