WHOSE PLAN IS THIS ANYWAY?
While the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan claims that it’s only a guide; and readily admits that “New York State clearly places land use authority in the hands of its towns, villages, and cities” – the reality of the County’s methods undercuts its pretentions of local community control and ethical good faith.
New York Town Law § 272-a – Legislative findings and intent:
“The legislature hereby finds and determines that: Among the most important powers and duties granted by the legislature to a town government is the authority and responsibility to undertake town comprehensive planning” and that town government should “assure full opportunity for citizen participation in the preparation of such proposed plan”
But the Tompkins County Comp Plan urges local municipalities renounce that duty and to deny citizens participation in planning:
“Often, local municipalities have a full workload simply addressing the important day-to-day issues of local concern. Planning at the county level can help municipal governments address key issues of concern that cross municipal boundaries”
In the face of the legislative intent set out in New York Town Law: How can the County ethically even make such a suggestion?
More and more; Tompkins County Legislators are taking an aggressive “hands on” approach to making their own “vison” – everyone’s reality:
Tompkins County Action Items Adopted: 2019
Action Item #1 “Undertake direct outreach and engagement with municipalities several times each year to identify opportunities to assist their implementation of projects that would directly promote the policies of the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan”
Their own words and actions demonstrate the County’s intent to be much more than a “guide” – and are part of an ongoing attempt to coerce local municipalities into renouncing their lawful responsibilities — and to gather all power and control into the centrality of vested interests.
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