Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to tell you're out of touch....

The Board of Supervisors held a public input session last night. In a wild display of public sentiment, the speakers for the Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance were outnumbered in a 4 to 1 thumping.
The message from the public is clear. Abandon the CBPO and draw up a less radical approach that does not include a land grab. Prove that the stream data isn't skewed to arrive at a pre-ordained conclusion, and let the particulars shine thru without covering the tenets of the planned implementation.
All of the above mentioned faults have been used in the current campaign. They hid the particulars, they never laid out the exact definition of a Perennial stream, and they never fully contacted the affected HOAs and major Agricultural stakeholders, despite the staff assuring us that they had.

The long line of folks to speak out against the Ordinance was led by Tony Howard, who heads the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce and it never really got better for the proponents of the Ordinance.
More prominent speakers following Mr. Howard were Purcellville Mayor, Bob Lazaro, who also represented Round Hill and Hamilton governments's positions against the Ordinance.

After seeing the stack of citizens and organizations against the ordinance, a local advocate for this bastardization of government control, John Flannery, was approached by a seasoned former correspondent to the White House. There was a shouting match and Flannery finally verbally assaulted the gentleman. That, to my mind, sums up the true colors of those who wanted to foist this thing onto Loudoun. When they have to deal with resistance, they'd rather shut down all logic and particulars and just go straight in for the beligerant and the heavy gestapo tactics.

Update: on the day following his comments to the Board of Supervisors, Tony Howard and his Chamber of Commerce (who represent every business in Loudoun as Stakeholders) were removed from that Stakeholder's list for speaking out of turn on this matter. More proof that under alot of makeup, this Board is uglier and uglier in their direction and intent.

Update: In passing the Ordinance back to land use -- the public can now ask them as many questions about the science, process, suggested changes to the Ordinance, and just questions as we want.
A very involved partner in this effort propses the following questions to be included in the process:

1. A copy of the original board direction for staff, a copy of the original direction to engage a Stakeholders group, a copy of the decision to add Stakeholders to the group (like Dulles Area Realtors), a copy of the resolution directing the CBPO proposal to be advertised, a copy of the resolution referring the CBPO to the Loudoun Planning Commission, and a copy of any motions or resolutions the Planning Commission made with respect to the draft Ordinance.

2. I would like to ask Staff to review and provide to the public all of the documents that they relied on in terms of authority to go forward with and manage the CBPO, in terms of preparing staff reports, formulating the proposed Ordinance, assistance in and actual forming of the stakeholder group and further in terms of notifying the public, in terms of notifying the HOA's and to provide those documents, and to further state whether staff believes it complied fully with the direction of the Board.

3. I would like Staff to affirmatively state why it refused to allow the Stakeholders or the Planning Commission to make changes to the proposed CBPO. Did Staff have any legal opinion to this effect? Was this simply a misunderstanding, or was there something in writing to this effect. If there was something in writing, I would ask that this be provided.

4. I would also ask that Staff provide all of the underlying data, benthic and otherwise, to support all testing in the possession of the County, including all the underlying data supporting the stream assessment of 2009 and all volunteer testing, and all underlying data of the DEQ testing.

5. I would like Staff to provide all data it has in support of the 100 foot buffers, and also all data to support staff's claims of buffer efficiency.

6. Further I would like to see all data or modeling information that staff has to show what if any a.) specific or b,)hypothetical benefit the buffers will provide to the Bay.

7. Did Staff make any attempt to quantify the benefit of imposing RPA and RMA on Loudoun to the Chesapeake Bay, with respect to nutrients or sediment? or with respect to any other benefit to the Bay?

8. According to any modeling information available, what will be the credit that Staff expects the County to be given if these RPA buffers are imposed by Ordinance?

9. Will the County receive any credit for RMA? Is there any modeling information or other data to support any benefit to the Bay for imposing RMA on Loudoun County?

10. Will the County receive EPA or State credit for anticipated future buffers, or only actual buffers installed?

Concerned citizens should ask these questions of the members of the Land Use Committee....it consist of Kelly Burk, Delgaudio, McGimpsy, York, Burton and Sally Kurtz.

Update: Buckley is still one of the most pragmatic on this board.
She's stepped in and advocated for the wider Stakeholders group, which I read as bringing Chamber of Commerce and Tony Howard back in. (After all, the Chamber of Commerce does speak for all of the commerce in the County)
Along with this smart step by Buckley was a small chorus of the main instigators of this travesty ....who belly-ached about Susan stabbing them in the back. Miller and Burton were the two biggest whiners. So , I suppose that they are strongly supportive of eliminating businesses from the county decisions. Miller's wife, in particular- guages a business' political contributions before shopping there....which is dangerously close to the point of lunacy. And severely narrows Stevens and her availability to get ANYTHING for their home(s)....because anyone in business ought to be a conservative these days.


Anonymous said...

Hey Monk, I met you last night at the meeting and was the guy verbally assaulted with obscenities by Flannery and his female companion.
I just posted the following on the streams coalition website to explain alittle more about the LEC.

I am Daniel O'Shea I am a founding member, the webmaster, and Director of Communications for the Loudoun Environmental Council. I am not a Realtor. Our group was begun recently in response to the CBPO. As homeowners who live in Broad Run Farms we were shocked that homeowners were left out of the process as far as this legislation was concerned. We thought there needed to be an organization that would represent local loudoun citizens in local environmental issues, not professional out of county environmental interests. We are not an 'astroturf" group, nor are we well funded. I've got about $250 bucks into this thing and volunteer my time. Nobody gets paid. Carol Kearney and Roy Jacobson are realtors as are many citizens of this county. In case you didn't notice , houses were selling at a pretty good clip here a while back. We have had some small donations, and i mean small mostly to help with printing and mailing. Perhaps we weren't professional and forthright but that is because we are not professional. Our founding group also includes an independent filmaker,/cameraman(me), a couple of realtors, a plumber, a contractor, a couple of IT guys, several retired people, and a master gardener, (amongst others). All conservation minded neighbors outraged by the blind implementation of this act. Nobody has yet disputed the veracity of the information on our website lecva.org, all the attacks have been hysterical, vitriolic lies for the most parts. We are for addressing this problem scientifically, thoughtfully and effectively and welcome any help in doing so.
PS We haven't handed out any cards because we don't have the money to make them
Also one correction, at the White House as was a cameraman, but I've always asked questions.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

I'm delighted that you stopped by.
After numerous attempts to find your website (from memory - which faltered) I decided to go ahead and report the disturbance. That you've come aboard and set the record straight is fantastic.
If you would be so kind as to provide your website, I'd happily link to it, because I was going to this a.m. if I'd found it.
And I'll add, if you want to proceed with the business cards, you also have another donor, and strategic partner. I don't think this thing is over, and keeping the pressure on them with good, honest data is paramount right now.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Readers, the streams coalition website is at http://lecva.org/

Joe Budzinski said...

That is wild. I know Flannery a little and never thought of him as the assaulting type, just as an articulate liberal. Thank you, Mr O'Shea, for representing the common sense citizens at the hearing.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Honestly, Joe...it would have been funnier if Daniel had actually hit the record button and posted it.
Sure was fun to watch. I've never seen Flannery "lose it", so we must have been "representin". LOL

Tom the Redhunter said...

Nice post, Monk, and an accurate summary of events. The questions for the Land Use Committee in Update II are spot-on.

I didn't see the incident with Flannery, but I'm not surprised to hear about it. He's flamboyant and loves attention, so I'm sure he enjoyed the entire thing.

You were spot on, Monk, about the level of opposition to the CBPA. Speakers against overwhelmed those for.

More, the only ones in favor of the Act are the usual environmental groups like the Sierra Club, PEC and Loudoun Streams, while those against include

- The towns of Leesburg, Hamilton, Purcellville
- The Loudoun Chamber of Commerce
- Taxpayers for Accountable Government
- Virginia Farm Bureau
- Virginia Homeowners Alliance
- Dulles Area Association of Realtors
- Economic Development Commission

Now, to be sure, just because, say,the farmers are against some piece of regulation doesn't mean it's necessarily bad. Certainly one of the biggest causes of pollution seeping into the Bay is or was runoff from those huge chicken farms and the overuse of fertilizer.

So the Bay Act does have it's purpose, and is a good thing; for tidewater counties.

But so little of our water runs into the Bay that it's inappropriate for us, and therefore should be stopped.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Redhunter..I've heard the percentage is as little as one percent of the run off actually makes it to the river.
We disagree slightly, in that farmers are paying for that fertilizer....and such WILL NOT use more than is necessary to hedge a good crop. Another win for the free market, because the costs actually determines the use. Too much fertilizer, and they're trhowing away perfectly good money.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Where residential use of fertilizer is actually too much...and it is readily seen immediately next to storm drains in gutter and curb sections of the populated portions of the county next to the river.