News Flash: The North Country Power Authority now exists!

Yesterday was a very, very, very, very, very big news day in my world. Here are two news links:

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20101002/NEWS05/310029965

http://northcountrynow.com/news/politicians-laud-next-step-foward-creation-municipal-electric-system-st-lawrence-county-010769


My husband has been part of this effort since 1996, and has served as chairman of the coalition group for the past several years.

If we were to add up the number of hours, the number of phone calls, the number of meetings over the years... I can’t even hazard a guess as to what the numbers would be.

Almost anyone who pays attention to political news these days must believe that polarization reigns supreme and that collaboration is impossible. This event proves that this state of affairs doesn’t have to exist, and that people can work together across party lines and political boundaries, and that they can be steadfast in pursuing a long-term goal over many years.

This effort has been bi-partisan. It has held together 24 towns and villages in two counties. It built an excellent team that includes committed local officials, some pretty high-powered attorneys from Washington DC and New York City, and a well connected lobbying firm in Albany. The effort has focused on keeping everyone informed (which means many, many nights of traveling to attend town and village board meetings and many conference calls). There’s been a lot of smart strategy and consensus building.

Consensus may seem like a hollow word to some, but it is how you have to operate with so many stakeholders. Ain’t no one happy unless everyone is happy.

Quite a few people have thought that this effort was crazy and not likely to succeed. “Pie-in-the-sky”, “quixotic”, “David and Goliath”, and plain ol’ “unlikely” are words that have come up from time to time. A friend asked me once if this was something that could really happen, or if it was a personal quest. If it was a quest, my husband was not the only person who was on it - he was in some very good company. And the result goes to show that even Don Quixote has his day, once in a while.

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