Tuesday, January 29, 2013

HB 2326: Regional Planning Commissions?

Virginia House Bill 2326 would, if enacted, allow unelected "planners" to take over every part of Virginia, and some of these planners wouldn't even live here.


"Regionalism is Communism," commented an e-friend who recommended this bill for special attention as being especially bad. Surprising me. I'm accustomed to thinking of "regionalism" as an artistic term having nothing to do with politics; if asked to use "regionalism" in a sentence I'd probably say something like "Regionalism is one of the charms of novels like Wuthering Heights, Mickelsson's Ghosts, and The Weedkiller's Daughter, each of which offers a strong sense of a place that readers want to revisit again and again, even when they know how the story will end."

Unfortunately, "regionalism" is also a term that's been co-opted for use by those who want to override local elected officials, who are accountable to voters, by setting up "regional planning committees" who are accountable only to the foreign interests behind Agenda 21.

This web site recommends a counter-movement in the direction of restoring all governmental powers to elected officials. It's not an easy thing for elected officials to do, but we'd like to see them cut spending by steadily downsizing the number of unelected persons on the public payroll. Unelected persons who perform clearly specified services, like driving a school bus or delivering mail, are more tolerable than unelected persons who meddle with government. We'd like to see some legislation to the effect that any unelected person who presumes to do anything more than write an article about what government ought to do, or wave a flag at a rally, is entitled to (1) a permanent bar to employment in any part of Virginia and (2) a nice selection of brochures about other places where such people can go, including but not limited to Hell, Michigan.

The alternative is what Catherine Turner forwarded as the testimony of someone whose name came through as Charlotte Iserbyt (is that correct?):

"Dear Chairman Ingram and Members of the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee:

I came before this committee last year to document the personal financial injury my family suffered in the amount of just under $70,000 in architectural and engineering site plans and around $500K expense in erecting a timberframe barn, part of an equestrian development on Claytor Lake that failed to get a Special Use Permit from Pulaski County, after the plans were passed by the Planning Commission.

In the three minutes that I was permitted to speak before this committee, I barely got a chance to detail how months and months of research had proven that the fix was already in against my small business in the Draper District: My property is NOT in the designated "Rural Sustainability Hub", the "vision" of the New River Valley Planning District Commission (with the details now scrubbed from the web). It is the Regional Comprehensive Plan that will kill what's left of any surviving entrepreneurial spirit in the region, courtesy of the 68-page Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities grant that the PDC has been awarded, mandating a Regional Comprehensive Plan.

Ten minutes from my property, in the designated "hub", a country store opened that is now getting the blessing of all kinds of grant $$$ and even helped by Pulaski County in securing its own non-profit status.

A country store was in our business plan, part of the SUP we were seeking. The fix was already in. In this new world Public/Private Partnership order that legislation like HB 2326 ensures, it is only the chosen among us---the acolytes of the unelected PDC executive boards---that will get to do business. My experience proves it.

This was not a business plan that was scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin. I was Executive Chef at both Stanford University and California Cafe in Palo Alto, CA and have the credentials to build the kind of business we were pursuing. So does my husband. My filing cabinet contains two drawers of documentation on how the New River Valley---and now all the rural areas in the 19 counties of Congressional District 9, under the impending National Heritage Area designation---are targeted for radical transformation.

We are under a siege of United Nations Agenda 21 policies and programs in Southwest Virginia. The far-reaching goals of the Biodiversity Treaty--never ratified by the US Senate-- are being achieved, one bite of the elephant at a time. It's way past time that all of those who faithfully swore an oath to the Virginia and US Constitutions live up to the job.

The Virginia State Legislature created the PDCs and has provided no oversight. This bill seeks to expand their power beyond our sovereign borders, further emaciating the individual liberties that our once-representative government honored and protected.

Regionalism is communism no matter how you slice it. The sooner Americans get that unpleasant fact permanently entered into their brains, and process that information into appropriate action, the sooner we will be able to escape what Orwell described so well in his novel 1984:

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face--forever...and remember, that is forever." "

I'm not sure whether Charlotte Iserbyt or Catherine Turner originally typed in the closing line, "Please kill and bury HB 2326." Both undoubtedly share the feeling. So does this web site. So do the lurking sponsor whose money order arrived in the real mail this afternoon and the other five people who can't afford to sponsor this web site but have been offering physical support, and input, today.

Attention all Delegates and State Senators. We realize that, as Delegate O'Quinn admitted last week, the "aides" have been trying to bring everything into fuller compliance with Agenda 21, and we realize that good people initially thought that compliance with Agenda 21 might be a good thing, but the more we're seeing of this thing in practice, the more we're hating it. What's being touted as "sustainable" and "Green" is neither sustainable nor Green--it makes sense as short-term power grabs, but the only way this widespread support for it makes sense is as a foreign plot to destroy the United States. If you stand up for the kind of policies that have made the United States a great nation and Virginia a great state, some people will try to make you feel strange and unpopular this winter. If you fail to stand up for these policies, your constituents will make you really unpopular, forever, because you will have betrayed your trust. Don't be the first Legislature to sell us all down the river. If you do nothing but block bad bills like HB 2326, that will be better than if you allow any violation of the established rights of individuals and elected officials to become law.