Mayor Noam Bramson announced the results of his “Sustained Development” Plan at the City Council meeting on April 20th.
Say goodbye “property rights” and hello “collectivism”!
The plan mixes warm and fuzzy ideas everyone can support like adding more bike lines and walking trails, rain gardens, encouraging more recycling and increasing the number of children using City parks with onerous new regulations, aggressive new enforcement polices and a series of back-door tax increases couple with initiatives that have nothing to do with protecting the environment like increasing the number of people relying exclusively on the City government for news and information about New Rochelle, offering ESL classes to adults, tripling the number of artists living in the City and building additional subsidized housing. One idea in the plan is to create “friendly competition” among residents by distributing residents Con Ed bills to their neighbors to see who is “saving” the environment more, something that sounds a lot more like a gross invasion of privacy where my neighbor gets my electric bill and then ratsme out to some Green Czar in City Hall if they think I have too many of the wrong sort of lightbulbs.
The Mayor’s plan is nothing less than a massive power grab by government designed to dictate terms to residents and place every decision through a “social justice” prism masquerading as environmental policy.
According to Mayor Bramson’s Blog:
GreeNR articulates a broad vision for economic, environmental and social progress, while also outlining a detailed, specific and achievable plan of action tailored to our own community. It is intended to be a framework for goal-setting and decision-making that can help guide municipal action for the next twenty years. (emphasis added)
UPDATE: Quite a few readers have informed me of problems downloading the Plan from the City web site. I looked into this and discovered that whoever converted the file from its original format (probably Quark or similar publishing platform) did not properly convert/remove the image masks and so many very large image files were retained in the PDF causing the file to be 110 MB. I was not able to completely eliminate the image issue but did reduce the file size from 110 MB to 8.3 MB, a far more manageable size.
GreeNR Draft Sustainability Plan (reduced size version)
The Journal News recently asked the Mayor about the term “sustained development”. Notice how will not explain what the term means only about what is contained in the plan that uses that name.
Q. For a city like New Rochelle, what does it mean to be “sustainable”?
A. Our sustainability plan, GreeNR focuses on environmental conservation, economic growth and social equity. Its specific goals include reduced energy consumption, wastewater and flood control, habitat protection, expanded urban forestry, and transit-oriented development.
Why won’t proponents of so-called “sustained development” explain what the term means?
To better understand what the Mayor means by terms like “sustained development” and “social progress” or “social equity”, New Rochelle residents are well advised to understand more about ICLEI, the Belgian-based, United Nations-backed, organization that Mayor has brought into the City of New Rochelle under the guise of “going green”. As readers will find, ICLEI uses a “boiling frog” approach to foist its agenda on unsuspecting American citizens, an agenda far more radical than the Mayor is letting on, with the ultimate goal to lock in New Rochelle to their agenda for the coming decades without residents understanding the ultimate goals of this organization or what “forced sacrifices” they will be required to make under the ICLEI-inspired regime the Mayor seeks to impose through the friendly sounding “GreeNR” plan.
Make no mistake about the massive significance of this “Sustained Development” plan.
The Full Plan document begins by stating that as “ongoing standard practice, relevant municipal actions, such as Comprehensive Plan updates, zoning amendments, development agreements, and environmental assessments, should be reviewed for consistency with GreeNR’s objectives.” In other words, every decision made in the City of New Rochelle would be filtered through the prism of GreeNR so that the goals of GreeNR becomes the determining factor in the lives of every New Rochelle resident in perpetuity. The Full Plan goes on to required that the “City Administration should prioritize implementation of GreeNR, coordinate staff activities as necessary to fully develop strategies for action, and present decisions and options to the City Council in a timely and thorough fashion.” In other words, all activities of the government and every employee of the government will be priortized to carry out the “Sustained Development” plan. Of course, there is some blather about how the City Council can always change their mind but realize that anyone person who dares oppose a GreeNR initiative will be accused to not caring about “the future”, “our kids”, “the environment”, “health”, “quality of life” and every other demagogic term under the sun. Imagine the way the teachers union demands more and more “for the kids” by which they mean “for themselves”. Now square that and you have a rough idea of how difficult it will be to unwind the damage created by this ICLEI-inspired, United Nations-backed program.
In the meantime, be sure to read
Plan on attending the City Council’s public hearing on the GreeNR Draft on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:30pm. Speakers will be allotted three minutes each, although longer comments can be submitted in writing. You can sign up to speak when you arrive and do not need to pre-register.
Having now read through the entire document and researched the organizations behind all of this in the “All About ICLEI” Series mentioned above, I would like to suggest a few questions New Rochelle residents might want to ask…
Can the Mayor explain EXACTLY what he means about the term “sustained development”?
What is the “social progress” he is talking about?
The draft plan says that “Achieving GreeNR’s goals will require an ongoing commitment to sustainability, demonstrated not only through public policy, but also through individual action.” What “individual action” will this Sustained Development Plan “require” of residents. What will be the penalties for individuals who do not comply with the individual action requirements?
The Sustained Development Plan says that the average New Rochelle resident generates 103 gallons of sewage. That is a lot of sewage for one person; how was that number calculated?
According to the Introduction, the entire premise for the Sustained Development Plan is “Human beings are consuming resources more quickly than they can regenerate”. Based on what data? How was this number calculated? Who provided the data and who made the calculations? Where did the concept “borrowing from the future” originate? Is that phrase part of a PR campaign by any particular organization?
Another premise of this Sustained Development Plan is that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or “man-made” Global Warming is a proven scientific fact. Is it not the case that scientists who have been among the foremost proponents of AGW have been found to fabricate or lost data to support their claims that AGW is real — from claims about melting Himalayan Glaciers, phony tree ring data, and the infamous “Hockey Stick Graph” and many other scare-mongering claims have been now shown to be false.
The Sustained Development Plan asserts that “human activity is responsible for serious and harmful changes in the global environment, including increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, with a consequent and accelerating rise in average global temperatures, now up 1.4 degrees since 1880”. Is it not the case that the head of the Climatic Research Unit in England has now admitted in a BBC interview that there has been no global warming since 1995, that there have been warming periods before and that they were not due to man-made changes, that the data for the ‘hockey stick graph’ upon which the most hysterical claims have been made has “gone missing”
Further, isn’t it true that the now discredited Climatic Research Unit is the group which maintained the time series of the instrumental temperature records that were featured prominently in both the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, that the IPCC itself was created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme, both organizations of the United Nations? Isn’t also true that the primary focus of the UN has been to address “climate change” by having wealthy nations give money to poor nations to “pay” for the “cost” of climate change rather than actually eliminating the underlying factor — industrialization — that AGW proponents claim causes AGW?
The Sustained Development Plan asserts that the “scientific consensus points to an additional increase in global temperatures of between 3.2 and 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit, with dire consequences.” Meteorologist have trouble predicting the weather for the upcoming weekend. The City and School District cannot accurate predict next year’s tax increase. So, what computer models are being used to make such temperature predictions? How are those models independently tested and verified for accuracy? Who came up with these exact figures of “between 3.2 and 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit”? Over what period of time will these changes occur and what “dire consequences” will result?
Why does this entire introduction document sound very much like the speech given by David Kooris last September at the kick-off event? Were these “findings” pre-determined? How much of this document is ICLEI boilerplate material and now part of original work done by local residents? The graphics are very sophisticated for a City of New Rochelle presentation and report, did some outside organization produce this material? What is ICLEI or a related organization?
The introduction references economic growth in less-developed countries and says “the direct relationship between economic growth, greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption must be broken”. How does GreeNR propose to do that when economic growth in less-developed countries entails a growing middle-class that wants to own homes, cars, computers, major appliances and other products which are a fact of modern life in developed nations. Do you propose to prohibit individuals from buying these products? Retard their economic growth to inhibit the growth of a middle class in less-developed countries? How is this all the responsibility of New Rochelle residents?
The introduction says “it is true that some possible solutions may entail monetary expense, challenges to traditional industries, and alterations in familiar personal habits”. What are those, exactly?
What is meant by the phrase “we are capable of collective action when sufficiently motivated”? What is “collective action” and how is such action to be “sufficiently motivated”?
The report contains a photograph of bicycle racks in New Rochelle. The racks are empty. How much money and carbon emissions have been used to manufacture, transport, install and maintain these bicycle racks?
The report contains a photograph of people on Library Green. What is that photograph intended to convey to the reader?
The report says “New Rochelle has already taken a wide range of actions to achieve sustainability, including, but not limited to: transit-oriented development”. Is the development referred to here primarily Avalon One and Avalon Two? If so, have these developments result in more or less vehicular traffic and carbon dioxide emissions to New Rochelle? Is it not the case that since the completion of the Avalon projects, parking in the downtown area has become a contentious issue due to the proliferation of vehicles in the downtown area as the result of the “transit-oriented development” referenced in the plan?
The report says “the communities that position themselves earliest and most fully as models of sustainable action are likely to benefit from national shifts towards greener commercial activity”. How does “positioning” New Rochelle as a model of “sustainable action” cause the City to benefit from “greener commercial activity”. What exactly is “greener commercial activity”? what exactly is “sustainable action”?
What does the report mean by “social advancement”? How does this plan achieve “social advancement”?
The report says “the private residential and commercial sectors in New Rochelle account for 97.5% of our local energy consumption, and for comparable percentages of waste generation, water use, and other measures of sustainability.”? Given this, doesn’t “sustained development” mean placing new restrictions on the use of private property, lifestyle choices and commercial activity?
The report contains projections for 2030. Based on current data, there are 75,000 people living in 28,000 households or 2.67 people per household. By 2030, the projections say New Rochelle will add 5,000 people and 2,500 households or 2.00 people per household. Why do the projections indicate that future growth will consist of households that are, on average, 25% smaller than today’s households?
What is the source of data on Energy Use, CO2 Emissions, Non-Recycled Solid Waste, Water Use, Wastewataer Non-Storm Peak?
With regard to the 10 big goals, what does “subscribing” to the City website mean? People can visit a web site, they can bookmark it, they can type in the URL, they can subscribe to an RSS Feed (but they have to use an RSS reader for that). So, explain in detail what is meant by this term in this context? How does “subscribing” to the City web site help reduce energy use, carbon emissions, solid waste, wastewater, etc?
By 2030, the plan says there will be 2,500 new households and 95% of all new housing will be near mass transit. Define “near”. If Avalon Two is 400 households, does that mean you are talking about building six additional 50 story towers in downtown New Rochelle? Or some equivalent high-rise buildings? Given that the number of children in Avalon One and Two far exceeds the original projects, what will the impact be on already overcrowded schools? Will new schools needs to be built? Where will the land come from to build those schools? Former school properties have been sold to commercial developers or turned over to the Parks Department. Will new schools mean less parks? Is there a conflict here between building more high-rise apartments and condos the need for more schools and the goals for more trees, more shoreline, preserving natural spaces, a comprehensive walking and bicycling system?
Much of the Action Plan regarding Energy Consumption are based on municipal initiatives — green fleets, more efficient buildings, lighting, etc. – but all municipal energy consumption accounts for about 2.5% of the total. So how much impact will this really have?
The Action Plan says the City will “adopt requirements and guidelines to promote energy efficiency and conservation in the construction, renovation, and operation of buildings, with distinct standards for structures of different size and use.” As 95% of new construction is expected to be downtown high-rise apartment buildings, how much of the new “requirements and guidelines” will entail current homeowners having to retro-fit their homes at their own expense? How is requiring homeowners to pay for alterations to their homes to comply with government regulation different from a tax?
What are some examples of how the City can generate energy on public lands?
The Plan calls for a local loan program for Efficiency & Conservation Loans. These will be needed to make meeting new building codes more affordable. This would suggest there is some expectation that property owners will not be able to afford to alter their properties to meet the new building codes. What is the basis for this? What is the expected per capita cost of these changes? By individual, by household, for individual homeowners, commercial property owners? How exactly is an “Efficiency & Conservation Loan” secured by property tax obligations? How can a loan be paid back by “energy savings”? Won’t the lenders want actual money?
The plans sets a goal of 500 families composting their organic waste. How exactly does a family do this? What is organic waste? How is composted? Does the organic waste get stored on-site? Is it transported to a composting facility? Where will that composting facility be located? What impact on waste reduction goals will 500 families have on the goals of the plan?
The plan calls for “enhanced enforcement activities” to achieve the goal of near universal recycling. What will will these enforcement activities entail? Does this mean agents giving out tickets? What sort of fines are involved?
The plan calls for “recycling bins at public locations already served by trash collection”. How many of these locations are there? What will be the impact on recycling collection? Will additional trucks and employees be required? How much will that cost?
How do you propose to reduce encouraged water conservation and control infiltration to “reduce stress on wastewater treatment facilities”? Does this entail additional changes to building codes? Will there be enforcement activities involved? What sort of fines will be involved? What staff will carry out the enforcement activities?
The plan calls for a study to consider creating a a regional composting site for New Rochelle and other nearby municipalities. What has been done elsewhere? How big are these facilities in other areas? What are the quality of life issues with becoming the regional composting site for lower Westchester?
What contaminated properties can be reclaimed in New Rochelle and then converted to public use?
What is “sustainable landscaping”? What codes impede “sustainable landscaping”?
What will stricter enforcement of idling laws entail?
Does putting the word “smart” in front of another word help differentiate the term in a meaningful way. For example, the plan calls for more “Transit-Oriented Smart Growth”. Is that different from “building apartment buildings near the train station”? Is this really new? Larchmont’s train station has been ringed by apartment buildings for over 50 years. What makes the New Rochelle plan “smart” and does that imply that the Larchmont plan from 50 years ago was “smarter” or “dumber” or what?
How do you propose to restrict undesirable growth in lower-density areas? Does this mean that the City is currently permitting undesirable growth in lower-density areas? If so, why? What areas are meant by this?
What does “better define optimum scale” mean?
The plans calls for fostering “green job” growth and attracting additional “green businesses” to New Rochelle. What would these “green businesses” be in addition to? In other words, what “green businesses” are currently in New Rochelle? What is the definition of a “green businesses”? Is a nursery a “green businesses”? What effort was made to retain the largest “green businesses” in New Rochelle, a company that made solar panels? Why did they leave?
What does attracting artists to New Rochelle have to do with being more “green”? Do artists consume less energy or emit less CO2 or generate less solid waste than non-artists? Artists are mentioned several times in this plan but no obvious connection is made between “Sustained Development” and the benefits associated with “arts and culture”.
Are the walking and cycling goals realistic given the climate in New Rochelle? Is this not more of a seasonal thing? What is the basis for the claim that 3,300 people walk or bike to work?
There are already issues with parking in downtown, the plan calls for almost all new residences to be located in downtown, so where is the space for 350 bicycle spaces going to come from?
What is a “Complete Streets” policy?
What under-utilized alternative routes can be redesigned to facilitate downtown access?
How is the idea of a a free or low-cost “Jitney Service” different from Bee-Line Buses or Jim Killorin’s proposed downtown trolley?
What sort of financial incentives would be created to discourage single occupancy vehicle commuting? Does this mean paying people who carpool, fining or creating new costs to those who do not carpool or both?
The plan calls for distributing GreeNR canvas tote bags. Will these be provided to residents at no cost? How much will this cost the City? Will stores be prohibited from giving customers plastic or paper bags?
How is English language instruction for New Rochelle residents a “Green” initiative?
Does “Outdoor Classrooms” mean sending teachers and children at the public schools out into the woods and parks? How is this practicable when only a few schools (e.g., Barnard, Ward, ALMS, NRHS, etc.) are in a reasonable proximity to woods and parks? Do these constitute field trips? Would special permission be requried? Is this a backdoor way to deal with overcrowding in our schools due to downtown development? What is rains?
The Action Plan says “data within GreeNR draws whenever possible on firm, objective sources.” Which sources?
The Action Plan says “In many instances…hard data either could not be obtained or does not exist”. Which instances?
The Action Plan says “educated assumptions were made…generally in consultation with relevant staff or community experts.” Which staff or experts?
The Action Plan says a goal is to increase the average gas mileage of the municipal fleet by 50% from 10mpg to 15 mpg and reduce CO2 Emissions. The City has already put into service a “Green” garbage truck. What was the cost of acquiring the truck, all expenditures related to the truck prior to it going into service including costs related to problems with early attempts to outfit the truck, what have the cost of serving and maintenance of the truck since the first day it was on the street, in service, collecting garbage or other waste? Of the days since day one, how many days has the vehicle been available for service, how many days unavailable, how many day actually in service, how many days since the first day? How many miles per gallon did the vehicle get before it was “converted” to a green vehicle? How many miles per gallon does it get now?
The Action Plan seeks to base building codes on LEED Certification. Just to clarify this is the same LEED program created by the Natural Resources Defense Council? And isn’t the Natural Resources Defense Council a project created by the Tides Foundation? And isn’t this organization that has funded a wide range of radical groups including Islamist organizations like the Council for American Islamic Relations, a group with links to Hamas, and the Ruckus Society, a group of anarchist Greens who rioted and looted Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting? Isn’t the Tides Foundation founded and run by Drummond Pike who personally repaid early $1 million embezzled from ACORN by Dale Rathke, the brother of Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN who served as Chief Organizer for ACORN from 1970 to 2008. And isn’t this the same Wade Rathke who co-founded the Tides Center and currently sites on the Executive Board of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). And aren’t these individual and their colleagues strong proponents of wealth re-distribution who believe the United States is fundamentally racist and who have a stated goal of destroying the U.S. Financial System? And, if this is the case, is it wise to base our building codes in New Rochelle on a certification process they created?
Why does the implementation of the LEED “framework” include a need to “evaluate these standards for possible legal challenges”?
Who will determine what is the “highest economically feasible LEED standard” within the framework and what criteria will be used”?
What confidence should residents have that the City can “effectively establish administrative procedures for overseeing and enforcing new standards, with the following general framework for issuance of approvals: a building permit for acceptable design, a temporary certificate of occupancy upon confirmation of compliance, and a final certificate of occupancy for demonstration of operations” when the City has been unable to enforce current requirements regarding building permits and certificates of occupancy which are widely abused, especially by municipal employees and their friends and families who are adept at “playing the C of O game”?
Many residents have expressed concerned over the way in which the IDA suspends its own procedures in order to accommodate developers like Louis Capelli and Forest City/Ratner. The Action Plan calls for “fast-track procedures” for building applications featuring green design which include applications to the IDA. Doesn’t this undermine attempts to regularize IDA process?
What does “expand green building standards to encompass features beyond energy use”. What other uses are envisioned here?
The Action Plan notes “Possible Higher Construction Cost for Municipal Construction”. What higher costs? How much?
The Action Plan mentions “Primary Departmental Responsibility” for “Sustainability, Buildings, Development, Law”. Does New Rochelle have a “Sustainability Department”? What is that? How does it function? Who runs it? Who does the department head report to within the City government?
In what areas will it be practical to “enhance reliance on Segways, bicycles, and other low-emission vehicle options”? How does the Mayor get to City Hall most days? How about the City Manager?
Why is appropriate to rely on “realtors and appraisers to establish a method for quantifying property value increases associated with GreeNR Seals”? Isn’t their a conflict of interest here?
The Action Plan projects a $42 million increase in property values in 10 years due to the GreeNR Seal, based on what?
There are requirements for municipal buildings and private homes and businesses but none for “mid and high-rise building” where all changes appear to voluntarily and based on PR and moral suasion. Why are the mid and high-rise building exempt?
The Action Plan says “property owners can borrow the bond money to finance energy saving improvements and they repay the loan through a 15 – 20 year annual assessment on their property tax bills”. How is this different than a tax?
Will time spent on the proposed City Green Team take municipal employees away from their assigned responsibilities?
The Action Plan says the City will issue violations to homeowners who fail to recycle with concentration of enforcement efforts on routes with low compliance levels. What routes are those?
Who will pay for property owner inspection and repair of lateral lines in conjunction with property sales if this is made a requirement? The home owner? The home buyer? The City?
What is the expected impact of variable pricing for water, with rates increased during peak hours and cut during non-peak hours? How can residents be assured that United Water will not simply raise rates at peak times, in effect, punishing peak usage without rewarding off-peak usage?
Would Ward Acres represent a good regional composting site that could be utilized by New Rochelle and other nearby municipalities? Or is this another “great idea” from the North End crowd that will be shoved into the South End?
The Action Plan says that no violation notices issued within New Rochelle in 2009. Why put anti-idling restrictions in place if enforcement will be nonexistent?
The City Manager said conducting observation and data collection to evaluate the adequacy of current parking requirements was not feasible prior to recommending recent changes to parking downtown so how will such observation and data collection occur
What are some reasons that non-commuters would want to use the Transit Center garage during evening and weekend hours?
What steps would be taken to reduce car ownership among residents in the transit district — incentives, requirements, etc.?
What would be the purpose of a potential retrofit of portions of the Transit Center garage, for conversion to commercial use?
What ideas have been considered with regard to partnering with Metro-North and the New York State Thruway Authority to utilize air rights over their property for development? Have they done this elsewhere?
What is a “green business”? What is the difference between a green businesses and a business interested in greening their companies?
Does New York State law permit modifying IDA benefit standards to better target and promote green business attraction?
Why are the Workforce Housing goals part of a “Green” program? How is ensuring full compliance with County legacy grant obligations “green”?
Why is ensuring an adequate supply of appropriate and supportive senior housing part of the Action Plan for GreenNR?
What exactly is about artists that is “green”? How does tripling the number of artists living and/or working in New Rochelle impact the environment or contribute to “sustained development” of New Rochelle?
Wouldn’t saving the armory building represent preservation of an historic structure? Wouldn’t converting it to a sports facility, community center and/or museum be “creating a viable economic model for the adaptive reuse” of the Armory? Why is this not mentioned?
How does the goal of reducing traffic congestion and travel times around downtown comport with goal of adding 2,500 new households into the downtown area? Does this plan envision flying cars or other forms of personal aircraft?
Would the requirement of contributions from the owners of existing multi-family dwellings with fewer on-site parking spaces than current zoning would allow to fund a jitney service apply to buildings like Avalon Two which is allowed to count spaces in Avalon One?
How can ensure a fair system when you charge some public employees for a parking permit at City Hall while others get a credit for not parking when every employees personal situation is unique and so using or not using a car to get to work is more or less of an option?
How do you tell the difference between employees who “forgo” permits and those who simply do not need one? Why should employees who do not need a permit be paid for “forgoing” a permit while other employers who, for various reasons, need to get to work by car have to pay a fee? Will public employees simple park on nearby streets to avoid the permit fee? If they do park nearby and walk, will that count as “forgoing” a permit?
While it is nice that the parking permit rates are lower for scooters and motorcycles, isn’t there a seasonal factor involved? Are scooters and motorcycles safe to drive in winter or on rainy days? Is a year-round cycling solution really practical for a northern locale like New Rochelle?
What would mandatory conservation and recycling standards for permitted events in public parks entail?
Is it not a gross violation of privacy to publicly display private resource consumption by residents to their neighbors? What is the difference between “friendly competition” and being nagged by a neighbor about water or electricity use? Can you foresee problems with neighbors discussing who uses more water or energy and who is being “wasteful”, etc. Would the same apply to a comparable program for collecting and distributing recycling data? How different is this from turning neighbor against neighbor? Would neighbors report each other for violations?
How will a comprehensive community-wide plan for enhancing access to ESL instruction help the environment? What is “green” about this?
UPDATE, SOME ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
If there is such concern over the 7,500 residents who do not speak English why is this plan only available in English?
Given the massive impact of this plan, why is a copy not being mailed to every resident of New Rochelle?
Since April 2009, a Sustainability Advisory Board — the primary forum for debating and resolving broad questions of GreeNR format and content– has met roughly every 6 weeks. Are those meetings covered under the New York State Open Meeting Law. If not, why not?
Why are so many of the people on the GreeNR committees NOT residents of New Rochelle?
Why are sections of the GreenNR plan not being finalized until AFTER the plan is voted on by the City Council?
What is the correct pronunciation of this plan? Is it “Gree NR” or Green R”. It is not “Green NR”, right. I am going with “Green R” as it is a little easier for me to pronounced.
The GreeNR plan is being presented as “just” goals and objectives. If so, why does the plan say “REMAINDER TO BE FINALIZED AFTER ADOPTION. POSSIBLE TEXT: The City Council conducted a public hearing on May 11, 2010, and then discussed GreeNR’s contents [and adopted amendments to the plan] during May and June of 2010. On June 15, 2010, the City Council formally adopted GreeNR as a policy statement and directed the City Manager to produce a strategy for implementing GreeNR’s recommendations.” Doesn’t this mean that as soon as the GreeNR plan is approved, the immediate next step will be to move towards developing an implantation plan? Will this “implementation plan” will be subject to FOIL and the Open Meeting Law?
If you got this far, it should be apparent that there is quite a bit in this plan that has absolutely nothing to do with the premise given at the outset — “Human beings are consuming resources more quickly than they can regenerate”. More email subscribers, more ESL classes, more subsidized housing and other elements of this “plan” will have absolutely no impact on the environment. Much of the plan includes things that are already being done without government intervention. Most of it involves using legal threats, fines, permit fees and taxes to badger people into changing their behavior more to the liking of some UN-backed, Belgian-based radical environmentalists.
Of course, we can all agree that nature walks, installing CF lightbulbs and painting the roofs of city buildings is fine but that is not this plans. As noted above, this plan represents a massive power grab by government designed to dictate terms to residents and place every decision through a “social justice” prism masquerading as environmental policy.
New Rochelle should reject this program, go back to the drawing board, select the reasonable, non-coercive elements to this plan, drop the “social progress” elements like ESL and affordable housing and focus on being good stewards of the Earth without “Big Brother” pitting neighbor against neighbor in what the proposed plan calls “friendly competition” but sounds a lot more like my neighbor getting my electric bill and then ratting me out to some Green Czar in City Hall.
For reading this epic post here is your reward: