A. Public Participation
NEOSCC is scheduling Scenario Planning April – June
Step 3 indicates they will ask people from all across northeast Ohio to participate. The result "we will develop a small set of alternative scenarios".
There are at least two issues of concern.
First, the level of public participation is traditionally very small as a percentage of the total population. Consider there are about 4 million people in the affected area. If as many as 200 show up for scenario planning, including stakeholders & presenters, you can do the math. A miniscule part of the population will influence the future of 4 million.
Second If the scenario planning sessions are typical, the options under consideration will have been predetermined, with little room for amendment. (See B)
B. Top-Down Regional Plans
The suggested "Plans" will not necessarily reflect the needs of our region.
These plans are being implemented in all states on a regional basis. There is a striking similarity in the proposals. All include protection of open space, forced environmental justice, conservation easements, compact living, transit or pedestrian oriented development to name a few common items. In spite of claims the process is bottom up, it isn't the case. It is clearly driven from the top under the direction of HUD, EPA, DOT along with powerful non-governmental organizations.
C. Protection of Property Rights
There is no mention of an intent to clearly protect individual property rights.
Infringements to our private property rights can include zoning regulations, urban growth boundaries, taxes, regulations, etc. Bear in mind, a major objective of sustainable development is management of property for the "common good."
D. Regulatory Power
When regional consortiums are in place, they have immense power to pass regulations with little or no local input. Having your community representative on the board is not the same as planning with local citizens and local public officials working together in your hometown.
E. Biased Statistics & Data
Experts and the use of questionable data must be questioned. Incomplete or biased statistics may create false conclusions. Potential for negative effects are ignored.
F. Grants with strings
Once in place, consortiums provide the opportunity for government grants. Grants will have stipulations that likely will have restrictive policies regarding vehicle use, housing and social justice. Grants lead to regulatory control of community members' lifestyles, activities and residential opportunities.
G. Governance by bureaucrats
Your local officials will have greatly diminished control over the activities for which you elected them. The consortium, a group of unelected bureaucrats, will have the predominant authority in the governance of the region.
H. No End
Once established, there is usually no provision for the termination or rollback of their organization or the regulations they have imposed.