In regard to Michael Hurley's January 20 letter to the editor, I suggest Mr. Hurley not quit his day job to become an election analyst. It's true that the proposed Nordic Aquafarms industrial fish factory has been a major if somewhat downplayed issue in the last two Belfast city council races. But Hurley's analysis of the results of those races is faulty.
Hurley fails to mention that in the first race, two of the three anti-Nordic candidates were write-ins, always a tough, uphill battle. In the third race the only on-ballot anti-Nordic candidate took 47 percent against an incumbent. Any political scientist worth their salt will tell you that is a quite strong showing against an incumbent. To put that in perspective, the re-election rate for the U.S. House of Representatives is about 98 percent.
Hurley also fails to mention other indicators of weak Nordic support in the Belfast community. In the run-up to the City Council vote to rezone the area where Nordic would put its factory, some 130 comments were received by the council and all of them opposed Nordic. And at city council, planning board and public information meetings over the course of the last two years public comment has been overwhelmingly opposed to Nordic.
In his letter Hurley thanks Nordic for not abandoning its Belfast plans.
Well, I want to thank my fellow Belfast residents and citizens who have given so much of their time, energy and limited financial resources in the struggle to oppose this big, extractive multinational corporation that wants to pollute our bay, use vast amounts of water from our aquifer and watershed, and destroy dozens of acres of our wetlands, wildlife habitat and mature forest.
Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast