September 14, 2012
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. ... those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -C. S. Lewis
Back in the early 90's, I listened to Henry Lamb and Joan Veon on satellite radio telling us about United Nations Agenda 21 and what was coming to America. Now it's here, and it's in every city and county in America.
Some towns have citizenry who are aware and active enough to stall or destroy the efforts of local planners and Smart Growth. Other areas, despite large populations, have few who are willing to protect and fight for their property rights. In Knoxville, TN, few citizens go to city and county commission meetings and/or to local groups or meetings to fight Agenda 21 and Smart Growth.
Our county population is nearly 500,000, yet at the latest county commission meeting, there were less than a dozen knowledgeable people who attended this extremely important meeting. (We'll discuss this in part 2.) Our enemies are winning because of the apathy of our citizenry, and the work load is killing those of us who do all the fighting.
Let me tell you about the area where I've lived for the last 25 years. Midwest flatland doesn't exist in East Tennessee. It is a very hilly, beautiful area surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, lush with forests, lakes, rivers, and hiking trails.
Politically, East Tennessee claims conservatism. During the Civil War years, the State was considered a part of the Confederacy, yet there was great northern (Republican) sentiment in the East Tennessee area. We claim conservatism, but it is not Constitutional conservatism. Rather, it is the establishment Republican form of neo-conservatism, the type of conservatism that backs a Dole, McCain, or Romney for president.
Our Governor ran as a conservative Christian, yet he backs Agenda 21, appointed a Shariah finance director, is pushing vouchers and charter schools, has allowed TSA on Tennessee highways, and strongly supports increasing taxes for all Americans, not just those in Tennessee. He is the reason Knoxville and the surrounding counties are fighting UN Agenda 21 and Smart Growth. Governor Haslam was our former Knoxville City Mayor who allowed the application to HUD for the Smart Growth grant of $4.3 million. But, I digress, let me tell you about what is happening here in our city and is probably happening in every city in the country that has a Planning Commission.
Knoxville's Metropolitan Planning Commission
The Metropolitan Planning Commission is an appointed body of unelected officials who wield a great deal of power in the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Check your county, and you'll see you have a planning commission as well!
The Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) was established in 1956 by Knoxville and Knox County as the agency responsible for comprehensive county-wide planning and administration of zoning and land subdivision regulations and remains so today, except for the town of Farragut. Farragut is in Knox County, but has always remained separate as their own city. Yet, they too have their own Smart Growth planners.
Funding for MPC activities comes primarily from city and county appropriations and from federal grants for specific studies. To see the annual budget, scroll down to "Financial Summary." MPC Finance Director, Dee Ann Reynolds, confirms the total budget for the year 2012-2013 is $5,272,000. The Director of the MPC, Mark Donaldson, has an annual salary of $107,625 plus $4,300 auto allowance. MPC's Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Director is Jeff Welch, whose yearly income is $95,425.
The Planning Commission is comprised of 15 members; seven members are appointed by the City Mayor of Knoxville, and eight members are appointed by the Knox County Mayor and confirmed by the Local Government Planning Committee, Tennessee State Planning Office. Commissioners serve four-year staggered terms, without compensation. Here is the Tennessee Planning Commissioner handbook. Here are the 67 pages of Administrative Rules and Procedures for Knoxville-Knox County MPC.
Among the functions of MPC, the Commission prepares and recommends zoning ordinances and maps to the Knox County Commission and Knoxville City Council.
The Commission appoints an executive director to fulfill assigned City Charter and state law responsibilities and tasks requested by officials of city and county government or their agencies.
The executive director oversees the work program and staff activities, works closely with public and private agencies to obtain input into planning studies, and serves as technical advisor to the Planning Commissioners as well as the Board of County Commissioners and the City Council. The executive director appoints four division managers to lead MPC's major departments and to oversee a professional staff.
The appointed (unelected) executive director and a staff of 35 work in four divisions: Comprehensive Planning, Development Services, Information Services, and Transportation Planning. Transportation staff provides assistance to the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, that serves Knox and urbanized portions of Blount, Loudon, and Sevier Counties.
Title 13 of the Tennessee Code authorizes municipal and regional planning commissions to regulate land use and conduct other planning activities. As a regional planning commission, MPC has the following authority and responsibilities, Prepare and adopt a General Plan; review subdivision regulations and site plans, prepare and recommend zoning ordinances and maps, review proposed zoning amendments, and review proposed capital improvements. As far as I'm concerned, we need to go back to "Dumb Growth," because this unelected body has way too much power and authority, but wait until you read the rest of the story.
The Knoxville City Charter further requires the Knoxville Knox County MPC to prepare five- and 15-year comprehensive development plans. Each sector plan the MPC prepares for the city contains these elements. The Charter also requires MPC to annually update the land-use policies that form the legal basis for zoning decisions in Knoxville. These policies are embodied in the One-Year Plan and effectively link zoning and comprehensive planning.
BUT WAIT....why then were these two men, Executive Director of MPC, Mark Donaldson, and TPO Director, Jeff Welch, at every Smart Growth Plan ET public forum as trained facilitators using the Rand Corporation's mind control Delphi Technique? Even more so, why were they asking the attendees what we wanted for Knoxville and the surrounding area in 1940....28 years down the road, not the five- and 15-year plans in the City Charter? Because this, my friends, is UN Agenda 21 Smart Growth Sustainability, and I wrote about it in Mind Control and Smart Growth. They told us their budget for the six forums in the five counties was $100,000. Those funds went for buffet lunches and pizza dinners for the attendees.
From the Knoxville MPC website, "In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a substantial planning grant to a regional consortium of organizations to develop a vision for the future of the Knoxville region. This grant, which was prepared by MPC and TPO staff, covers a five-county area that includes Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union. This effort is referred to as Plan East Tennessee (PlanET).
Funded through a combination of federal dollars and local support, PlanET is a three-year process. The PlanET effort is being driven by a large Consortium of partners representing residents and organizations across the region. The purpose of the Consortium is to participate in the development of the regional plan. Consortium members include individuals and organizations that represent many facets of the Knoxville region, from economic development agencies to government and private non-profit organizations. Additional participants will be asked to join the effort throughout the planning process. Work of the Consortium is coordinated and staffed by MPC and TPO."
Let me explain what our Plan East Tennessee Smart Growth "regional" project is doing in our five-county area. From the Plan ET website, "Over the three-year PlanET process, three phases will lead to a targeted, meaningful outcome. (Yes, elimination of God-given, Constitutionally guaranteed private property rights.) Phase One (August 2011 – July 2012) will bring East Tennesseans together to establish a shared identity and vision (alleged data gathering). Phase Two (April 2012 – March 2013) will take that vision, and while educating and engaging the public, will develop a shared direction. (framework and consensus) Phase Three (January 2013 – December 2013) will produce and report the final product and focus on implementation activities." (Action plan for Smart Growth and loss of suburban and rural private property ownership via "community" consensus from the series of Plan ET forums).
MPC Partners, Wallace, Roberts, and Todd
Wallace, Roberts, and Todd (WRT) architectural firm, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the Plan ET partner chosen to head the forums. They were at all the forums with Donaldson and Welch. Other facilitators were city employees who show classic Agenda 21/Sustainable Development resumes with employment in the private sector and government, with focus on Infill (Brownfields), developing regional plans, and Delphi. In other words, they were all highly trained to bring the masses to their desired consensus.
WRT were paid $1.7 million to accomplish the pre-determined outcome of these forums through facilitation of the Delphi Technique. WRT was established in 1963 by David Wallace and they are expert "regional planners," [Link] with the firm's origins rooted in "sustainability." The American Planning Association (APA) has continually recognized this firm and their principal leaders for their contributions to sustainability and Smart Growth. The APA even has a "Policy Guide on Smart Growth."
The leading facilitator and principal from WRT was John Fernsler. John's bio states, "John is particularly adept at creating consensus among competing interests and in communicating Smart Growth planning concepts to diverse audiences." It also states he is adept at helping communities "striving to contain sprawl." Sprawl means they don't like us in the suburbs or rural communities!
Another facilitator and Senior Associate from WRT is Rob Kern. Rob's area of expertise is Transit Design (they want us out of our cars and using public transportation, bicycles, or our feet). He is also adept, as they all are with Smart Growth planners, in urban design. (Once again, forget suburbia and rural communities.)
Another top WRT principal is David Rouse. His bio states, "David has a special interest in planning and design for sustainability, community engagement in the planning process, and capacity-building for implementation." (Capacity building is the stack-em and pack-em mega multi-family high rises built in the urban landscape after you've been moved off your suburban or rural property.)
From WRT's website, "Principal David Rouse is one of 11 members of the American Planning Association's Sustaining Places Task Force, established earlier this year to address the use of the comprehensive plan as the leading policy document and tool to help communities of all sizes achieve sustainability. The Task Force is part of the Sustaining Places Initiative, announced in March 2010 by APA President Bruce Knight and Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer at the United Nation's Fifth World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sustaining Places is a multi-year, multi-faceted program to define the role of planning in addressing all human settlement issues relating to sustainability."
David Rouse, UN Smart Growth architect of Wallace, Roberts and Todd, stated in the Chattanooga Times Free Press newspaper last fall that he is "committed to an open process, and that property rights won't be impacted without the public's consent." (Note: He said "without the public's consent, not the property owner's.)
So, these are our city players in the Metropolitan Planning Commission and their trained Delphi Technique facilitators from Wallace, Roberts and Todd, working hand-in-hand to eliminate property rights in the five-county "region." Remember, this is a "regional" plan, and Regionalism is Communism.
After Series Two of the Plan ET forums ended in May of 2012, one of the leaders of a local group asked the MPC directors if they would come to a forum put on by the public so we could ask them more questions. They said they would.
In the meantime, Ken Freeman, Chairman of Alabama's Alliance for Citizens Rights, emailed me about my article on the Plan ET forums. Ken Freeman and Don Casey were instrumental in getting the anti-Agenda 21 legislation, written by Henry Lamb, passed and signed into law by the Governor of Alabama. So, I asked him if he and Don Casey could come to Knoxville, for the MPC directors forum. Actually, no one wanted to hear the MPC facilitators again, but if we had the experts on UN Agenda 21 as well, we knew we'd draw a crowd...and we did.
We arranged a date convenient for both parties, and on August 25th, we held a four-hour forum. The morning hours featured both MPC Directors, and Don Casey and Ken Freeman. The afternoon presentation by Don Casey and Ken Freeman was on Agenda 21. If you watch both of these excellent videos, you will understand what the Planning Commissions in our country are doing with federal tax dollars through the HUD grants. The risk of losing our private property rights is very real.
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In Part 2 of this article, we'll discuss the Knoxville-Knox County Hillside/Ridgetop Protection Plan which has been adopted by the City of Knoxville and City Mayor, Madeline Rogero. The Plan was also adopted by the county, but with an amendment making this plan "advisory." The amendment was added by Commissioner Briggs and passed by a vote of 8 to 3. Unfortunately, the MPC doesn't wish to abide by the amendment. They are actually choosing to fully ignore it.
When Governor Haslam was Mayor of the City of Knoxville, he hired his former opponent, environmental extremist, Madeline Rogero, as Director of Community Development. While in this position, she applied for the Smart Growth federal grant from Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant gave the City of Knoxville $4.3 million, and another $2.4 million came from non-profits. The City of Knoxville is now a member of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives); thus the reason we are fighting Smart Growth planning and the MPC.
© 2012 Kelleigh Nelson - All Rights Reserved
Kelleigh Nelson has been researching the Christian right and their connections to the left, the new age, and cults since 1975. Formerly an executive producer for three different national radio talk show hosts, she was adept at finding and scheduling a variety of wonderful guests for her radio hosts. She and her husband live in Knoxville, TN, and she has owned her own wholesale commercial bakery since 1990. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Kelleigh was marketing communications and advertising manager for a fortune 100 company in Ohio. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she was a Goldwater girl with high school classmate, Hillary Rodham, in Park Ridge, Illinois. Kelleigh is well acquainted with Chicago politics and was working in downtown Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention riots. Kelleigh is presently the secretary for Rocky Top Freedom Campaign, a strong freedom advocate group.