Through a slew of acronyms, your federal tax dollars are hard at work in northeast Ohio curbing individual rights to create a sustainable tomorrow; however, northeastern Ohio citizens have an acronym of their own and are fighting back. Here’s the background:
In June 2009, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities funded by HUD, DOT and the EPA was formed “to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.”
The Northeast Ohio Area wide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) was created by “stakeholders” to develop a plan for northeast Ohio that incorporated the sustainability goals of the Partnership. To the taxpayer and lifelong citizens of the region, this simply meant that a plan would be developed to remake how and where people live, eat, and work in northeast Ohio and how they get around.
In November 2010, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) was awarded a $4.25 million federal grant from HUD to implement the resulting plan named “Vibrant NEO 2040.” The Plan’s objectives are:
- “Promote investment in Northeast Ohio’s established communities;
- Protect our soil, water, air, and ecologically sensitive areas;
- Improve our regional fiscal health;
- Develop our regional economy with accessible employment opportunities;
- Enhance our regional transportation network;
- Cultivate and celebrate our local assets and places of public value;
- Expand our parks and open-space network; and
- Preserve and value our prime farmland as a regional economic asset.”
Representatives and involved citizens in Lorain County, however, understand that they are the real stakeholders and are pushing back. The Lorain County Township Association (LCTA), made up of the Trustees and fiscal officers of Lorain County, reviewed the Vibrant NEO 2040 Plan and voted unanimously to reject it. Concerns expressed by the LCTA include:
- Lack of public input
- Concern over transit-oriented development
- Concern over the cost, maintenance and practicality of bike paths
- Placing local communities in a subservient role to an unaccountable, regional bureaucracy
Lorain is the first county township association in the NEOSCC’s 12 county reach that has rejected the Vibrant NEO 2040 Plan. It’s time for others to take a stand as well as the Plan will affect how every person in northeast Ohio lives.
Totally Engaged Americans have started a petition, Stop NEOSCC’s Regionalism Planning Efforts in Northeast Ohio Part 2, for northeast Ohio citizens to sign to express their opposition to the Vibrant NEO 2040 Plan. Please consider signing the petition today to protect your personal property rights and the right to live, work and travel in the manner in which you choose.
The Stop NEOSCC’s Regionalism Planning Efforts in Northeast Ohio Petition can be found here.
The Vibrant NEO 2040 Plan can be found here.
The website for Totally Engaged Americans can be found here.