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ACTION ALERT! ALBEMARLE COUNTY (VA) CONSIDERING GETTING OUT OF ICLEI!

There is encouraging news arising from right here in VA!  According to the Charlottesville Tomorrow News, Albemarle County is considering leaving ICLEI!  Here’s the story and here’s some highlights, too:

A member of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has called for the county to rescind its membership in a U.N.-backed global organization that advises cities and counties on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are being infiltrated in local government by an agenda that is set by this international organization,” said Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd. “I think it is time that we as a government took back that control.”

Boyd now has support; another supervisor has seconded his motion to leave ICLEI but at least one other solon is in denial:

The motion was seconded by Supervisor Rodney S. Thomas, but Supervisor Dennis Rooker said the initiative was a voluntary effort by the county to encourage the community to reduce carbon emissions.

“In my mind, that’s a good thing,” Rooker said. “This whole thing about international control and one government is in my mind completely ridiculous.”

Completely ridiculous?  I recommend Supervisor Rooker read my blog entries at this blog.  Feel free to contact me; I’ll fill you in.  Better yet, those in Supervisor Rooker’s district can find a respectful way to contact him.

But, the board agreed to look into “influence” by ICLEI into staff decisions.

Boyd withdrew his motion after Rooker asked for it to be placed on a future agenda so staff could answer questions about whether they’ve been influenced by ICLEI.  County Executive Thomas Foley said a work session would be scheduled for June.

Supervisor Boyd needs to do two things:  Get the FOIA information from county staff.  Anyone may ask for a FOIA request.  Ask also if Albemarle County is a member of UCLG, too.  Second, ask either the county attorney or AG Cuccinelli for a legal opinion about ICLEI.

Boyd also discussed the potential impact of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission on the county’s comprehensive plan:

“If staff wants to bring things to us that they think are wrong or legal changes that need to be made, that’s fine,” Boyd said. “But any other changes we make to our comprehensive plan should come from this board, and not from the TJPDC.”

The TJPDC is a committee consisting of officials, some elected and some not, from various counties in the region.  If C’villepedia is right, there is much to be concerned:

In October 2010, TJPDC received a three-year $999,000 grant to develop a regional sustainability implementation plan. The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. [3]

Billie Campbell, TJPDC’s Chief Operating Officer, said it was a highly competitive grant application process with 225 submissions, 45 awards, and only 3 in Virginia (Roanoke, Radford, and Charlottesville).[4]

Campbell shared the following additional details about the grant:

Summary of Objectives and Expected Results

“The existing Regional Plan for Sustainable Development in the Charlottesville/Albemarle metro area is the Sustainability Accords. These policies were adopted in 1998 as a result of a four-year process with broad regional support and wide participation by members of the public…”

“Four problems have been identified that are preventing sustainability initiatives from moving into implementation in the region:

  • Problem: Sustainability planning has been proceeding, but under a series of separately focused initiatives…
  • Problem: Sustainability goals have been established in major plans (Comprehensive Plans for Charlottesville and Albemarle County, MPO Long Range Transportation Plan) in the region but strategies for implementation have not been developed and adopted…
  • Problem: Sustainability is not being fully implemented in either the built environment or in the habitats of citizens and businesses…
  • Problem: Lack of available metrics to identify the region’s status in pursuing sustainability…”[5]

The Charlottesville Planning Commission and Albemarle County Planning Commission will discuss how implementation will affect their work at a joint session on March 22, 2011.

Let’s add a fifth problem to their efforts to promote sustainability – the people!  Time to let the elected officials in Albemarle County know how they feel.  This also demonstrates how we need candidates for Soil and Water Commission to run in Albemarle County (and all over VA) on an anti-sustainability/anti-ICLEI platform.  Imagine it:  countywide candidates being elected and immediately giving these brave supervisors in Albemarle County the help they need!  Let me know and I’ll blog for you!

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

5 Responses to “ACTION ALERT! ALBEMARLE COUNTY (VA) CONSIDERING GETTING OUT OF ICLEI!”

  1. It’s exhausting to find educated people on this topic, but you sound like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thanks

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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