WHOSE PLAN IS THIS ANYWAY?
At first glance; the County’s “vision” reads like a Visitor Center brochure — but a more thorough inspection reveals authoritarian boot marks among its carefully worded phrases:
“THE TOMPKINS COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN presents a vision for the future of the community. It is based on a set of principles that reflect the values of the community as expressed by the County Legislature they have elected. The Plan seeks to foster a place where individual rights are protected while recognizing the benefits that can accrue to community members from common actions. It largely focuses on voluntary collaboration between the public and private sectors, but also supports the role that local regulation can play in addressing key issues impacting the entire community and helping people to live together in harmony. Where regulation is required, it should balance the burdens placed on individuals and businesses with the restrictions needed to protect or otherwise benefit the larger community. In most cases the Plan seeks to expand individual choice in terms of where and how people live their lives.”
Their rosy “vision for the future” displays an elitist policy making attitude:
By removing those portions of their “vision” statement that are negated by qualifiers; we arrive at a more straightforward disclosure of intent:
This plan is based on values that reflect the principles of the County’s Legislature. In serving this agenda; We will choose the burdens to place on individuals and businesses, and decide which individuals to restrict in their choice of where and how they can live.
Corroboration of this interpretation is provided by statements like: “The Plan includes policies that, when considered together, can help create both rural and urban communities” — exposing the County’s intention to “create” new communities, rather than help those that already exist.
What these new communities will be like and who will benefit from their creation is a connecting thread in this Comp Plan “deconstruction.”
Like many speeches of grandiose rhetoric; the writers can’t help but leave a trail of truth in their efforts to cover it up. The County may claim to be “helping people to live together in harmony” – but harmony requires more than one voice, and that’s something that is entirely missing from this Comprehensive Plan.
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