Redux: Learning about the Office of Sustainability

On a personal level, as individuals, if we were going to cut back on spending, we’d probably review our expenditures in the context of luxuries versus needs in order to identify the most feasible places to make reductions, right? The same could be said about government functions. We have branches and roots of various local, state and government functions that a lot of us have never heard of. Many of these branches have slid under the radar in the past, so we aren’t even aware that they exist, what they do, or how much they might be costing us. But could they be luxuries rather than necessities? That’s left to be determined. Such is the case with the Office of Sustainability.

So what is the Office of Sustainability? What purpose does this office serve? The office of sustainability basically serves the function of “climate protection” and development planning for the community. The UN has an International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and approximately 600 Office of Sustainability organizations here in the US are members of this council.

There a great wealth of information to be learned about the operations of the planning committees, and here’s a link that fills in the gaps for those who want to dig deeper. I will tell you in advance that following this link leads to a lot of information pertaining to Agenda 21 and the Millenium Project, the latter of which includes several different mandates governing “environmental sustainability”.

To provide a simpler overview of how this can affect each of us as citizens, watch this video by state legislator Joe Neal, Democrat, from South Carolina.

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Just in case the video doesn’t embed, I’ve transcribed the context of Mr. Neal’s speech in the video:

“What we are facing is a plan for growth and development that is being implemented by the county council here called Vision 20/20. It is a flavor or a type of smart growth legislation, and what that simply means is that a vision has been developed by planners for this area to dictate how growth will occur or not occur in this area. And by that result who will profit and who will not profit by that plan. What that plan does very simply is to lay out a vision for this area that includes the evolution or creation of villages. They want to force all growth in this area into villages…high density, high population villages. Around these villages will be drawn what are called “urban boundary zones”. These urban boundary zones will delineate these villages from the surrounding countryside. And those two entities, the villages and the countryside, will be treated differently by this legislation. Property that is not in the village will incur that it’s value is lessened, reduced or eliminated. Property within the village will find that that property will gain or rise in value because that’s the only place where development will be allowed to occur. As an example, recently we had a resident here who put in an application to build a barber shop in his own community. He happened to own some property on the side of the highway in a rural area here. He was told that he could not, that instead, if he wanted a barber shop, he had to go into the little village nearby…a local community, it wasn’t even a village…and purchase a site there or negotiate with someone who already has a site who would allow him to put up a barbershop. Now, what that did was to render his property useless. The purpose in owning property is to find some way to make that property produce wealth, whether it is growing a crop or putting a small business on it. For rural people, particularly in this area, who have never had the opportunity to translate their own intended wealth to be told at this point that that can never happen, that they will be denied access to water and sewer, that the only place that water and sewer will be enabled to go will be in the villages that are designated by this plan. That’s the problem. It creates a two-tiered system of people and societies here. Those who are in the village will be allowed to accumulate wealth. There property will rise in value. Those of us who are in the rural areas who are not in the villages will find that our property values are dropping, that we’re not allowed to do anything with the property practically that will produce any wealth. That robs these properties owners of wealth. It is a “takings” in my opinion because of that”.

For those interested in learning more about this subject, Mr. Neal has a two-hour video that goes into great detail.

Basically what we are talking about is not only a mechanism to control property values but possibly to potentially control commerce as well. On this basis, the functions and operations of the Office of Sustainability do deserve closer inspection.

The commissioners in Carroll County, Maryland, with Richard Rothschild at the lead, have not only abolished the local Office of Sustainability but the commission also voted unanimously to drop out of ICLEI. They are the first governmental organization to do so. The environmentalists and the EPA in the state of Maryland are very upset that this decision has been made and are making attempts to discredit members of the Carroll Country commission.

So, just to recap…evaluating local Offices of Sustainability could provide us with a way to protect property values, ensure wider scope of commerce, cut spending and eliminate some of the extemporaneous unneeded international involvement at the same time?

Sounds like a winner to me.