Category Archives: Sustainable Development

Oklahoma HD 20 Candidate Bobby Cleveland’s Actions Speak Louder Than His Words

Kaye Beach

**Update June 23, 2012.  I am being told that Mr. Cleveland denies any connection with the NLC.  I find it hard to believe that his name repeatedly appears as a member of the National League of Cities’ Transportation and Infrastructure & Services Policy Committee on their 2010/2011 final policy and deliberation documents as well as the NLC’s website (all amply documented below) without any knowledge or approval by Mr. Cleveland.  I have investigated the procedures for becoming a member and clearly the selection process for members is a proactive one.  For example;

I am awaiting a call from Mr. Cleveland to explain his actual role in the NLC Policy and Advocacy committee and his stance on the positions advocated by the NLC.  When that happens, I will immediately report the outcome on this blog.**

June 21, 2012

Bobby Cleveland claims he is a conservative and a “constitutionist.”  He wants voters to believe that will take a stand against Agenda 21 however his track record proves otherwise.  Bobby Cleveland, in cahoots with national and local organizations,  has advocated for a number of things that are neither constitutional nor conservative.

For example, as a member of the National Municipal League’s Transportation and Infrastructure & Services Policy in 2010,  Cleveland promoted (among other things);

  • Red Light spy cameras
  • The 3 e’s of Sustainable Development
  • Federal incentives for random warrant less roadside drug and alcohol checks
  • Allowing federal and state governments to issue tax-exempt or tax-credit bonds

Bobby Cleveland is running on a platform he calls the ‘Bob Cleveland 3 C’s’

“Christian, Conservative and Constitutionist”

Looking at his membership with two organizations, The National League of Cities and ACOG, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, one might reasonably ask if a more accurate platform for Bobby Cleveland might be the Three E’s;

Economy, Environment and Equity

The three E’s of Sustainable Development

 

Equity (what could be wrong with that?!)

Equity means;

“individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective” –Harvey Ruvin, Vice Chair of the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and Clerk of the Circuit and County Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Both organizations, ACOG and the NLC, openly advocate for the UN’s model of  Sustainable Development (not the more sensible US model which promotes good stewardship of our natural resources) which runs contrary to our system of government.

Cleveland has been a member of ACOGS INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY COMMITTEE (ITPC) since at least March of 2008 and is also a member of ACOG’s Board of Directors.

Now, If Bobby Cleveland was running on a platform of Humanist, Progressive and Globalist, I probably wouldn’t have said anything.  If he had just kept it to ‘Republican’, I could have probably contained myself.  But at recent campaigning events he has actually pitched himself as the “anti-Agenda 21” candidate.

This is just asking too much.  Do the facts matter?

Let’s look at the facts beginning with the National League of Cities.

The National League of Cities, in particular, worked hand in glove with ICLEI to bring the United Nation’s Agenda 21 policy home to the United States. 

The NLC and ICLEI are both well known for their role in bringing socialist planning techniques to our communities.

This organization has been working alongside of ICLEI since the 90′s to inject the principles of the UN’s Agenda for the 21st Century into government policy on the local level.

CITIES FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION

The Urban CO2 Reduction Project

February 15, 1993

ICLEI plans to undertake a de-centralized campaign that seeks to generate enthusiasm and commitment among national and sub-national municipal associations worldwide. The first step was involving the following national and regional associations as co-sponsors of the aforementioned Summit:

. . .National League of Cities (US)The “world campaign” will initially work closely with the municipal associations that attended the Summit and with whom ICLEI already has close relations, such as the National League of Cities in the US.

http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=1651

Implementing Agenda 21 ICLEI Acts in Responce to UNCED

The UN’s Agenda 21 held its coming out party in the US in 1994 at the National League of Cities’ Annual conference.

The United States campaign [for the UN’s Agenda 21 Sustainable Development] was introduced in November 1994 at the annual conference of the National League of Cities.

http://www.un-ngls.org/orf/documents/publications.en/agenda21/04.htm

The NLC continues to work closely with ICLEI to bind cities to sustainable development guidelines that do not respect property or individual rights.

ICLEI USA initiated the STAR Community Index–with our partners the National League of Cities, U.S. Green Building Council, and Center American Progress–to hasten the progress of communities toward sustainability. STAR will provide a national, comprehensive rating system for cities to assess their sustainability performance and guide decision-making by connecting economic, environmental, and social concerns. (the 3 e’s) http://www.icleiusa.org/sustainability/star-community-index/sponsor-opportunities/star-sponsor-opportunities

This is the organization Mr. Cleveland has chosen to work with.  He could be forgiven for not knowing the history of the NLC but there is no excuse for supporting the policies of the organization that are at the very least obviously not conservative and at worst subversive to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The NLC explains the method of selection and the role of members of its Policy and Advocacy Committees;

State municipal leagues appoint the members of the seven policy and advocacy committees, which meet twice each year. At the Congressional City Conference, NLC’s legislative conference, committee members are called upon to advocate for NLC’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, as well as help set the policy agenda for the year. At the Congress of Cities, committee members review and approve policy proposals and resolutions. These action items are then forwarded to NLC’s Resolutions Committee and considered at the Annual Business Meeting, also held during the Congress of Cities.” link

Below are the results of the National League of Cities’ Transportation and Infrastructure & Services Policy Chapter that were  approved in 2011 at the NLC’s Congress of Cities.

2011 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Policy Chapter

Highlights;

•Public Private Partnerships

•More stringent seat belt laws

•Red light Spy Cameras

•The 3 e’s of Sustainable Development

•More federal involvement in local planning

•More federal funding for local planning

•Federal standards for local planning efforts Federal funding and incentives for alternative modes of travel such as bikes and pedestrian as well as beautification, landscaping projects and environment retrofitting.

•Federal incentive grant program for random roadside drug and alcohol inspections.

•Congestion pricing

•“NLC urges repeal of Amtrak’s statutory self-sufficiency requirement, since no known passenger rail system operates without government subsidies.”

•NLC supports high-speed rail development

•“NLC further urges the federal government to redefine the responsibility and funding mechanisms for maintaining tracks that carry both freight and national intercity passenger rail traffic.”

•Allowing federal and state governments to issue tax-exempt or tax-credit bonds for financing rail improvements.

Bobby Cleveland is also listed as a member of the  National League of Cities’ Transportation and Infrastructure & Services Policy Committee  in 2012

2012

I have yet to review the latest policy papers or resolutions but here they are;

View the policies and resolutions crafted by and voted on by the Transportation Inrastructure & Services Committee:

2012 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Policy Chapter

2012 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Resolutions

Some problems with the policies that Mr. Cleveland as part of the NLC’s policy committee advocates for is as follows;

Public Private Partnerships.

The problem with public private partnerships is that the government becomes corrupted and no longer represents the taxpayers when it accepts funding from private interests.

Remember, any private stakeholder is in it for the money and when government enters into this partnership,  that means your tax money!   The natural result of public private partnerships is the fleecing of the tax payer and diluted government that is not representing the interests of the people. 

There is nothing conservative or constitutional about public private partnerships.

Then you have Bobby Cleveland advocating for more stringent seat belt laws.  Really?  More nanny state laws regulating private behavior is not very conservative either.

Red Light Cameras

This is a public-private privacy nightmare!  The lure of revenue split between the government and their private partners, the red light companies, has led to instances of shortening the yellow light and less attention on simple and cheap engineering fixes at intersections which study after study has shown to radically reduce the number of red light runners.

Both citizens and public officials all over this country  have been in an uproar trying to get the cameras out of their communities because these type of public-private shenanigans have caused  new safety issues like rear end collisions causing them to lose faith in the cameras originally accepted as safety devices.

And far from simply snapping a picture of the offending driver, red light cameras are video cameras that roll 24 hours a day capturing thousands of innocent motorists’ comings and goings.

Electronic police state policies that diminish safety while lining the pockets of private corporations is not conservative.

Bobby Cleveland advocates for more federal involvement in local planning, more federal funding for local planning and more federal standards for local planning.

With Cleveland in office, we will surely be saying goodbye to state sovereignty!

These stances are certainly NOT conservative! 

 NLC members, including Mr. Cleveland, also actively lobby in D.C. to promote these issues.

According to the NLC;

“Throughout the year, committee members participate in advocacy efforts to influence the federal decision-making process, focusing on actions concerning local governments and communities.”

How could anyone claiming to be a conservative run around DC lobbying for issues like more federal involvement, funding and standards for local planning?

View the policies and resolutions crafted by and voted on by the Transportation Infrastructure & Services Committee (and Member, Bobby Cleveland)
2011 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Policy Chapter
2011 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Resolutions

Both ACOG and the NLC advocate for regional governance.

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIESPOLICY AND ADVOCACY COMMITTEE

Regional governance adds yet another layer of government and unelected bureaucrats to bedevil citizens with taxes and regulations.

This is not the Republican form of government that We The People are guaranteed!

The National League of Cities works to promote regional governance across the nation is also a source of vexation for citizens who prefer the more traditional republican form of government that makes our country unique and was formerly the source of our strength.

From the Greater Gaston County Tea Party blogsite;

Looking into the National League of Cities website is enough to send chills down my spine. This is yet another layer of tax deferred grant writing by special interests, corporations, and interference into local government.  I’m guessing Gastonia council joined this to get more grants. I don’t remember voters being asked to join this NLC.  Not to be overly dramatic, but it is “Public Private Partnership” and “regional governance” …all unelected bodies once again…handing out grants for compliance with a “regional” structure that the voters have no say on whatsoever.   Our council applies for and receives grants from “regional” government organizations without consulting voters.  Grants come with strings attached.  Read more

The NLC George Soros and Gun Control

The NLC flexes its muscle to promote gun control promoting resolutions and model policies to cities that ban guns in public places and promote gun registration.  The NLC promotes policy that restricts access to guns and ammunition, supports a ban on all semi-automatic weapons and 30 day waiting periods.

See for yourself-read the NLC Policy and Resolutions Papers http://www.nlc.org/influence-federal-policy/policy-committees/public-safety-crime-prevention

Has Bobby Cleveland gone on record opposing the NLC’s position on gun control?

 ‘Emmy-winning reporter and radio host, Shad Olson, investigates the connection between state Municipal Leagues, the National League of Cities and liberal overlord, George Soros. Advancing antigun, antifamily, anticapitalist policies that cost taxpayers millions of dollars, Shad reveals how the National League of Cities is doing the work of the extreme left in the ‘bottom-up,’ remaking of America.’

The National League of Cities is involved in arguably one of the most effective anti-gun lobbies, advising city leaders, even in conservative states to ban guns in city parks and then doling out expensive legal advise when those policies are deemed unconstitutional” –Shad Olsen

While it is unclear to me exactly what the connections are between George Soros and the NLC,  it is not hard to believe that Soros and the NLC are working in tandem on certain issues.

Some of the best advice I have ever gotten in politics is to never listen to what a politician says, pay attention, I was advised, to what they do.

In future articles, I will be doing exactly that.  Looking at what Bobby Cleveland does rather than what he says.  Specifically, I will show you some of what ACOG has been up to with nary a peep out of our “Anti Agenda 21 candidate”, Bobby Cleveland.

Given his history, what assurance do voters have that if elected to represent HD 20, Mr. Cleveland will legislate in the best interests of his constituents?

Actions- not words is what matters and Oklahoma voters have the right to know the facts so that they can cast their votes accordingly.

Norman’s First High Density Development Meeting and Info About Form Based Codes

Kaye Beach

June 12, 2012

Last evening the City of Norman Oklahoma held its first community dialog on high density development. The issue is whether or not the City should codify high density development.  Presently, this issue is not addressed in any of the City’s planning documents.  A sudden spate of requests from developers for extremely high density (100 + dwelling units per acre) development is apparently what has brought this issue to the fore.

Attendees to last nights meeting were first given a presentation to inform us on the subject of high density development.  City planners were kind enough to put the presentation online.  You can access it here

The schedule for future meetings can be accessed here.

We were informed that future meetings would be facilitated and met the gentlemen who would be in charge of that task, Bob Thomas from the Xenia Institute, who gave us a few words of wisdom on the art of listening.

The presentation explains why the issue before the community, describes current use and density zoning, explains how density is figured, the pros and cons of high density development and defines terms like ‘infill development’ and ‘redevelopment’.  The presentation also touched on concepts like open space, sprawl, Smart Growth

and New Urbanism

accompanied by pictures depicting the various concepts covered.  Then the meeting moved to questions and answers.

Here is the ‘Pros and Cons’ of density slide.  It is obvious that really cool people are for it and only those whose imaginations run away from them are against it.

Seriously?   There are many pros and cons to this type of development.  When you are doing a power point, you have to just hit the bottom line.  The City of Norman thinks this is the bottom line in this issue.  Awesome people on one side,  jerks on the other.  If you oppose high density development you oppose “quality of life” for your city.  Jerk.

If I were to assign a theme to the questions asked I would say that generally people were curious about what the purpose high density development served.  For example, the first question asked was from a lady who wanted to know where she could find out what high density development was really about.  Another lady wanted to know were we discussing just one high density development or many.

One of the Norman City Council members, Carol Dillingham,  explained that the City currently has no zoning ordinances to accommodate high density development at all and that the purpose of these discussions is to determine whether or not we want this kind of development and if so what we want our ordinance to look like.  Councilwoman Dillingham assured the audience that the City Council has no preconceived notions on the issue.

Here is a write up on last night’s city meeting from the Norman Transcript;

June 12, 2012

High Density development community forum

Another article of interest, also from the Norman Transcript is one published on June 9, several days prior to the first meeting to discuss high density development.

And another article also published in the Norman Transcript on June 9, 2012;

Creating a vision for Norman’s future

When I first read this I was unsure as to what to make of it because it dives right into the notion of a “new vision” for our city before we have even begun the discussion.   This particular vision, emanating from Mr. Blair Humphreys, an urban designer and  the executive director for the Institute for Quality Communities,  is one of form based codes.

The presentation given to Norman residents last evening included information on Smart Growth and New Urbanism and one thing these two concepts of city planning has in common is the use of form based codes.

Norman City Planners would deny that they were setting us up to inplement Form Based Codes but things like this make me wonder . . .The Urban Land Institute explains that, “Good intentions must be backed up by good regulations such as Form-Based Coding,”  and they held a training event to teach people like Norman City Planner, Susan Connors, how to back up their good intentions with Form Based Codes.

(Click on the picture to see just how many Oklahoma officials have been educated on implementation of Form Based Codes.)

So,  what is a ‘form based code’ anyways?

According to Mr. Humphreys, “form-based codes are more effective in guiding a vision than traditional zoning and land use regulations.”

According to others, form based codes are a nightmare;

‘I thought that Forms Based Code was supposed to be an easy, simple alternative but this is a freaking nightmare.’ link

What is this small business owners beef? Well, the new form based code prohibits many of the building features of his business.  His business is grandfathered in under the city’s new form based codes but he knows that no future owner will buy his property should he wish to sell because it does not conform to the form based code requirements and would cost the new owner a fortune to bring into compliance.

With only a little research, the problems with form based code becomes evident.

This article covers some of the  problems with form based codes.  Here is another one – Form-based code is problem, not answer  And one more take on the issue.

Remember that zoning allows the municipality to use its police powers to exercise authority over privately owned property so we want to very careful about instituting any new zoning.

Form based code is prescriptive meaning that rather than telling property owners what they cannot do on or with their property (which is difficult enough to accept) they are told what they must do with their property.  The purpose of this sort of zoning is to speed up the transition into “sustainable” cities.  That means 3 story buildings built right up on the sidewalks,  retail on the bottom floor and residential on top, high density, low cars (and carbon),  walk-your-big-butt-around-in cities.  If you want more zoning hassles, less control over your property, less choices about your lifestyle and tighter buns-then form based codes are for you!

Achieving sustainability using form based codes (click on picture to see the powerpoint)

Oklahoma Property Owners Bogged Down by FEMA’s Flood Plain Maps

Kaye Beach

June 8, 2012

Last summer I did some looking into the new FEMA flood maps that were causing a lot of trouble and expense for  property owners across the state and nation.

Okla. Water Resources Board/FEMA Flood Map Follies Aug. 24, 2011

Oklahomans Getting Soaked! Tag Teamed by FEMA and OWRB Aug. 30, 2011

Of course this is still going on.  The following article is an editorial about the nonsense going on with FEMA and its new flood maps in Shawnee, OK.  Below that is a very good article about the origins and purpose of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Planning that is the basis for the floodplain expansion.

This what “sustainability” looks like.

Bureaucrats behaving badly: FEMA flood plain mess in Shawnee

The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: June 4, 2012

IN government, small changes can have big consequences. Take the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s redrawing of flood plain maps. That simple change now threatens to derail economic development efforts and punish many homeowners with increased compliance costs.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in Shawnee. Thanks to the new maps, portions of the hospital and airport are now considered part of a flood plain, and a long-running effort to attract a national chain restaurant may be thwarted. The Shawnee Mission Plaza has been in constant development for 20 years with no problem. But now FEMA demands that officials conduct a new hydrology study for the 152-acre development before an eatery can be added.

That understandably frustrates local officials, who already paid for a hydrology study in 2006. The new study, they note, will provide no new detail, but will cost an extra $50,000 and delay the restaurant project for months, if not derail it.

The Global Safety Cult and the Abolition of Private Property

by William Roberts

Summary:

Chapter Seven of Agenda 21 calls for the establishment of a “culture of safety.” All of Agenda 21, Chapter 7 is the expansion of UN Resolution 44/236 and the foundational material for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA’s) “Multi-Jurisdictional All-Hazard Mitigation Planning” programme that fails to provide safety and destroys liberty.

Read the entire article here

Patrick Wood to Speak in Norman, OK April 28th on Technocracy, Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development

Editor of The August Review and The August Forecast, Wood is an expert on international economics, globalization and finance. He is co-author of Trilaterals Over Washington with the late Antony C. Sutton.

Kaye Beach

April 26, 2012

A message from Patrick Wood;

Dear Friend,

On Saturday, I will be addressing the Norman, OK Tea Party on the timely subject of Technocracy, Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. If you are in Oklahoma, north Texas or even Kansas, I encourage you to attend and get some great information. It will be from 10:00am-3:00pm and the details are below. Please RSVP if you want to attend so they can estimate the food requirements for lunch.

UN Agenda 21 Conference
APRIL 28, 2012, 10:00 AM – 3:00
First Assembly of God Church of Norman
2500 E. Lindsey
Norman, OK 73071
Cost $20.00 per person or $35.00 per couples
Email to teaparty@weblawman.com
Or call 405-360-1716

As always, please repost this invitation into Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. to let others know as well.

Yours for Liberty,

Patrick Wood, Editor
The August Forecast & Review

Click for more info!

 

Oklahoma Action Alert! Pushing Back against the UN and Sustainable Subversion

Kaye Beach

Feb. 14. 2012

The problem with UN Agenda 21 is not that it came from the United Nations but that our government leaders have embraced the plan and have worked diligently to naturalize the policy into US law and national, state and local policies. The principles of government promoted by the UN and it’s Agenda 21 are antithetical to our form of government that has traditionally put great emphasis on private property rights.   This emphasis on individual liberty and property rights is largely responsible for the historic success of United States as a nation.

The implementation of the tenets of Agenda 21 is nothing short of subversion.  This has nothing to do with environmental stewardship.  It is about control!

There are battles being waged all over the United States as citizens and legislators struggle to protect fundamental property rights against multitudes of non-government organizations and agencies carry out the goals of Agenda 21.

Below is information on two efforts taking place in Oklahoma to defend against the implementation of contrary UN goals, a little history on how the UN policy came to America, one example of how damaging it is to industry and innovation in America and a new agreement (signed Feb 11, 2012) between the EPA and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

____________________________________________________

Two efforts to push back  taking place in Oklahoma right now. Your support is crucial.

On the county level;

Cleveland County Commissioner Offers Resolution Opposing Agenda 21

On a state level; HJR 1072, Support for the American Sovereignty Restoration Act by Rep. Charles Key.  This measure reiterates the intent of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act  which would end membership of the US to the United Nations. 

HJR 1072 urges Congress and the President of the United States pass legislation and take steps to end membership of the United States in the United Nations. Read HJR 1072

This measure was  referred to the House Rules Committee on Feb. 7, 2012 but it needs to be scheduled for a hearing in the Rules Committee.

Let the Rules Committee leaders know that it is very important that HJR 1072 gets scheduled and heard! 

Call or email;

____________________________________________________
Some background;

Land Use Control

Since the mid 1970s, both the United Nations and the United States have been moving toward ever-tightening “public” control of land use.

By: Henry Lamb – Sovereignty.net

Ownership of land is the foundation of freedom in America.  The hope of owning even a small plot of ground compelled our forefathers to brave incalculable risks crossing the ocean and challenging the wilderness.  Land ownership was so cherished by our nation’s founders that they guaranteed that government could not take private property without just compensation paid to the land owner.  This founding principle has eroded dramatically over time, especially since 1976.
The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT I) met in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1976.  Agenda Item 10 of the conference report was entitled simply “Land.”

Here is an excerpt from the Preamble to that item:
“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market.  Private land ownership  is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.  Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….”
This policy document was agreed to by the United States.  Among the U.S. delegates were William K. Reilly, former EPA Administrator, and Carla Hill, former Trade Negotiator in the Bush Administration.

Read more

Here is one example of how the principles of UN Agenda 21 looks on the ground as it is being carried out in the USA.

Signed on Feb 11, 2012-New Agreement between EPA and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). 

http://www.epa.gov/international/io/unep.html

Administrator Jackson signed the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between EPA and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) during the 26th Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, held in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2011. The MOU identifies areas for strategic cooperation, including strengthening environmental governance and regulatory capacity in developing countries; creating healthy urban communities; facilitating the transition to a green economy; responding to global challenges such as climate change; and providing scientific leadership.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
BETWEEN
THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME
AND
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


WHEREAS the United Nations Environment Programme (hereinafter referred to as UNEP) is the leading organization within the United Nations system in the field of environment;
WHEREAS the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as EPA) is to protect human health and the environment within the United States and EPA may, consistent with applicable law, cooperate with other nations and organizations to protect the environment globally;

Full text of the MOU

Cleveland County Commissioner Offers Resolution Opposing Agenda 21


Kaye Beach

**Update Feb 13, 2012 8:19 am.  This meeting has been postponed due to a lack of a quoram.**

Please call or email the Commissioners and tell them to please, support this resolution!  We are perfectly capable of protecting our environment and governing our towns, counties and states without importing incompatible international policy.

Call Cleveland County Commissioners at 366-0200

Email;

George Skinner georgeskinner@sbcglobal.net

Commissioners Sullivan rustycommish@yahoo.com

Commissioners Cleveland rod21@gmail.com


Feb. 10, 2012

Cleveland County (Oklahoma) Commissioner Rod Cleveland is offering a resolution against Agenda 21 February 13th, at 9:00 AM on the 2nd floor of the Cleveland County Court House.

There has been a planning revolution in the US.  That is an understatement really.  This planning revolution leaves no aspect of our lives untouched.  From education to the economy to the environment to land use and transportation planning, the tenants of UN Agenda 21 is threaded throughout.  Agenda 21 is a whole life plan meant to manage and control every facet of our lives.  This plan is being implemented across the globe including the US.   The principles of Agenda 21 are antithetical to any free and open society but especially our constitutional Republic.

Agenda21

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

Please come out and support Commissioner Cleveland Monday morning.  This resolution, with your support, can be an important step in reversing the negative effects of this global planning revolution in our community!

I invite you to find out more about Agenda 21.  Do your own research and draw your own conclusions about whether or not you support its principles.

I have done my research and believe that understanding and opposing this plan that has largely (and sadly) been naturalized in US policy all the way down to the local level is critical to restoring our Republic.

Relevant Posts;

City of Norman Oklahoma and ICLEI’s US Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement signed in 2005

Private Property Ownership in Oklahoma Barrier to Sustainable Development

Sustainable Subversion

Some links;

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

http://freedom21.org/

http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/

http://americanstewards.us/

A Look Behind the Green Mask Special Guest Rosa Koire on AxXiom For Liberty Live Friday Jan. 27th 6-8 PM CST

Kaye Beach

Jan. 26, 2012-

Friday Jan. 27, 2012 on AxXiom For Liberty with Kaye Beach and Howard Houchen- we will take a look Behind the Green Mask with our very special Guest Rosa Koire, author of Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21

Listen Live Online at Logos Radio Network

Listen to the Podcast with Rosa kiore

Rosa Koire

Rosa Koire, ASA, is the executive director of the Post Sustainability Institute. She is a forensic commercial real estate appraiser specializing in eminent domain valuation.

Her nearly 30 years of experience analyzing land use and property value enabled her to recognize the planning revolution sweeping the country.

While fighting to stop a huge redevelopment project in her city she researched the corporate, political, and financial interests behind it and found UN Agenda 21. Impacting every aspect of our lives, UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is a corporate manipulation using the Green Mask of environmental concern to forward a globalist plan.

Rosa speaks across the nation and is a regular blogger on her website Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 dot com.

More about Rosa Kiore

WHAT IS UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 21?  From the Post Sustainability Institute

And here is what it looks like-

One Planet, One Vision, One City at a Time

Your government is using similar names for all of these plans and they are all the same: Regional.  They are being rolled out NOW.

The adoption date is MID-2013.  ALL OVER THE US.

Most of us are unaware that the plan we are fighting is the same plan, with minor variations, being imposed in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding public transportation, and funding low-income housing.

•All plans include Smart Growth–high density housing with restrictions on personal space and car usage.
•All plans support high speed trains–the building block of Mega-Regions.
•All plans give power to regional transportation and planning boards (MPOs and COGs) through federal and state fund disbursements.
•In all plans housing and transportation are now linked.
•In all plans population projections are hugely inflated.
•All plans will go forward as planned regardless of your input.  This is a planning revolution.

Read This Book!!

Do you want every facet of your life scrutinized, monitored and controlled? Of course not, most don’t but the foundations are in place to do just that to all of us. Unfortunately they don’t announce that part of the “Vision” to us up front or we would, of course, reject it. Ms. Koire’s book will open your eyes to what is really behind all of this pleasant talk about “walkable cities”, “greenbelts” and “smart growth”  Everyone needs to read this book so that they can see what is really behind the Green Mask and stand up to it while there is still time.

Rosa’s videos

Second Amendment Subversion-The National League of Cities and Municipal League

Kaye Beach

Nov. 2, 2011

George Soros and Second Amendment subversion by the National League of Cities and the Municipal League?

The National League of Cities is well known for their role on bringing socialist planning techniques to our communities.  This organization has been working alongside of ICLEI since the 90’s to inject the principles of the UN’s Agenda for the 21st Century into government policy on the local level.

Implementing Agenda 21 ICLEI Acts in Responce to UNCED

North America

The United States campaign was introduced in November 1994 at the annual conference of the National League of Cities. Eight months later, the local councils of 15 cities had agreed to the campaign commitments.

http://www.un-ngls.org/orf/documents/publications.en/agenda21/04.htm

CITIES FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION

The Urban CO2 Reduction Project

February 15, 1993

ICLEI plans to undertake a de-centralized campaign that seeks to generate enthusiasm and commitment among national and sub-national municipal associations worldwide. The first step was involving the following national and regional associations as co-sponsors of the aforementioned Summit:

. . .National League of Cities (US)The “world campaign” will initially work closely with the municipal associations that attended the Summit and with whom ICLEI already has close relations, such as the National League of Cities in the US. Through this de-centralized process of deliberation, consultation, and local advocacy, ICLEI hopes to enlist 100 municipalities worldwide by 1995 that account for one billion tonnes of global CO2 emissions

http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=1651

The Nation League of Cities work to promote regional governance across the nation is also a source of vexation for citizens who prefer the more traditional republican form of government that makes our country unique and was formerly the source of  our strength.  From the Greater Gaston County Tea Party blogsite;

Looking into the National League of Cities website is enough to send chills down my spine. This is yet another layer of tax deferred grant writing by special interests, corporations, and interference into local government.  I’m guessing Gastonia council joined this to get more grants. I don’t remember voters being asked to join this NLC.  Not to be overly dramatic, but it is “Public Private Partnership” and “regional governance” …all unelected bodies once again…handing out grants for compliance with a “regional” structure that the voters have no say on whatsoever.   Our council applies for and receives grants from “regional” government organizations without consulting voters.  Grants come with strings attached.  Read more

Their work in undermining our right to keep and bear arms, however,  is a new one on me.

Oklahomans Getting Soaked! Tag Teamed by FEMA and OWRB

Kaye Beach

August 30, 2011

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God; and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” —John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. July 16, 1814

Last week I wrote about the stories of two Oklahoma residents, David McLain and Margaret Snow, and their  respective experiences with FEMA and the map modernization program (Map Mod) Margaret had no idea her property had been re-designated at all and David caught the FEMA/Oklahoma Water Resources Board in the act and challenged them.  His property remains safely listed as high and dry.    Margaret’s property (located no where near water and previously was classified as “up land”) remains in the newly designated flood zone and has subsequently lost about half of its value.

Map Mod have transitioned into what FEMA calls Risk Map.  The Risk Map program provides tools and incentives for communities to focus more on reducing risk which you can bet translates into more areas being required to pay for flood insurance and more areas where development is off limits or severely restricted.  You can check and see if your area has been remapped (DFIRM Digital Flood Insurance Map) by zip code at FEMA’s website

Why is this happening?   In a nutshell-the National Flood Insurance Program NFIP (administered by FEMA) is in debt to the tune of about 20 billion dollars due to Hurricane Katrina, Rita and other storms and FEMA is including property in flood zones that have no reason being there in order to gain funds  in order to pay this debt.  Property owners in certain flood zones are practically required to buy flood insurance.  If you have or want a loan backed by the federal government and your property is in a flood zone- you must buy flood insurance from FEMA.  Otherwise, many are being pressured to buy it.

FEMA was in  trouble before Katrina and Rita though.

After Katrina and Rita struck in 2005, the NFIP was more or less insolvent, without the capacity to pay the huge volume of claims those hurricanes created. Congress reacted by increasing the NFIP’s borrowing ability from the U.S. Treasury more than 13-fold, to a level of nearly $21 billion. link

FEMA Map Modernization Status OKLAHOMA

Here is a story published today about the National Flood Insurance Program’s insolvency;

Irene sends floundering flood insurance program further under water

Congress authorized FEMA to update the nation’s flood maps making them digital and other improvements however in 2006 FEMA issued a “mid course adjustment” which means FEMA basically said ‘Hey.  We are going to do this Map Modernization thing a little differently’  What they have done differently is causing lots of problems for property owners.

“In August and September 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused unprecedented destruction to property along the Gulf Coast, resulting in billions of dollars of damage claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” GAO 2006

About 2006 FEMA begins issuing flood zone maps with a whole lot of people and their property in it that are not historically or practically at risk for flooding.

The FEMA flood maps determine who must buy insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.  The money collected from the NFIP goes to paying off the FEMA administered NFIP’s debt.  You do the math.

It’s no secret anyways, FEMA freely admits that part of this new approach is prompted by the burden of debt carried from other disasters.

“The escalating cost of emergency relief aid has prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to focus its priorities toward mitigation. This is a dramatic shift from FEMA’s traditional charter of responding to disasters and being prepared to respond.” The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan

We are essentially being taxed to pay for other people’s losses.  The reason that this is considered necessary now is because “climate change” is a certainty and the federal government expects the unprecedented disasters of recent years to continue.  Redistribution of wealth  is the accepted manner in which to deal with these certainties reminiscent of the thinking behind nationalized health care.  This is also known as “legalized plunder“.

In Oklahoma, the Water Resources Board administers the NFIP for FEMA.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) administers the NFIP in cooperation with FEMA and acts as the State Floodplain Board. The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act requires the OWRB to establish regulations to assist floodplain boards in mapping floodplains and 100-year flood elevations in Oklahoma. link

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is in charge of all Flood Plain Management as authorized by the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act.(Title 82, O. S. 2001, §1601-1618)

All NFIP participating communities must have a floodplain management plan which follows the dictates of FEMA.

“The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act, effective May 13, 1980, and revised and updated in 2001, 2002, and 2004, enables Oklahoma communities to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” link

This means that if your community is participating in the NFIP, then your communities development must conform to FEMA’s regulations and land use policies

The federal government has no authority to control local land use policy but with the lure of federal funds and the threat of withholding federal funds in the event of a true disaster, FEMA wahoo’s your local government to do their bidding.

“Since the Federal Government does not have land use authority, the NFIP is based on the Federal government’s power to spend under the Constitution rather than any Federal authority to regulate land use.”

“Under the NFIP regulations, participating NFIP communities are required to regulate all development in SFHAs. [Special Flood Hazard Areas]”

National Flood Insurance Program

Similarly, the state passes the buck to it’s agencies to implement unpopular growth limitations on local development plans.  Water management agencies are empowered by the state to regulate population growth and development.

“The State of Oklahoma does not have adopted ordinances regulating areas of population growth or future development per se. Oklahoma agencies representing the state under authority granted to them by the legislation adopt rules/regulations regarding Storm Water Management or Stream Water Management”

The first thing you ought to know is that floodplain management is more about protecting the environment from you, than protecting you from the environment. (More about Sustainable Development here)  As we know, Oklahoma’s high percentage of private property ownership is considered to be contrary to sustainable development.  (Private Property Ownership in Oklahoma Barrier to Sustainable Development)

It has been this way for some time. As far back as 1996, floodplain management has incorporated conservation into its management duties.

OKLAHOMA’S COMPREHENSIVE WETLANDS CONSERVATION PLAN

“To integrate wetlands conservation with Oklahoma’s flood plain management program and create more wetland greenbelt/riparian areas.”

Oklahoma has a  “net gain” policy for state owned wetlands and a “no net loss” policy for “wetlands”on state funded projects.

“To establish a net gain wetlands policy for state-owned lands and a no net loss policy on state funded projects to encourage the restoration, enhancement, and creation of wetlands.”

Incorporating wetlands construction or enhancement in urban/suburban areas as part of greenbelts, riparian zones, parks, and stormwater management systems is encouraged.

http://www.okcc.state.ok.us/Publications/OK_Comprehensive_Wetlands_Conservation_Plan.pdf

Certified Floodplain Managers

Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association have the acronym CFM by their names.  That means Certified Floodplain Manager.

So  when you see CFM by your floodplain managers’ name…

Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association:

Bill Smith, PE, CFM, Team Leader; Amy Brandley, CFM, Volunteers Coordinator. Team Captains: Phillip Beauchamp, CFM, Gavin Brady, CFM, Dan Carey, CFM, Jessica Yeager, CFM, Leslie Lewis,
CFM, Barend Meiling, PE, CFM, Omeed Mollaian, PE, CFM, Ken Morris, CFM, Bill Robison, PE, CFM, Carolyn Schultz, CFM, Ellen Stevens, PhD, PE, CFM, Ana Stagg, CFM, Laura Story, Anna Waggoner, CFM, Ruth Walters, CFM, Clark Williams, CFM link

. . .understand that CFM (Certified Floodplain Manager) means ASFPM certified floodplain manager.   And if your floodplain manager is ASFPM certified, you need to be checking your city ordinances for “No Adverse Impact” floodplain management techniques.

**Here is a list of all state Floodplain Managers.  Look for your county and see if they have a “CFM” by their name.**


If you want to know more about the role and duties of an Oklahoma Floodplain Manager-click the pic.

“The ASFPM CFM Program recognizes individuals who become certified, who pass the ASFPM exam, or an exam prepared ASFPM chapters that certify floodplain managers.” link

The National Association of Flood Plain Managers or ASFPM is a non-governmental organization (meaning unelected and not officially a part of government).   As with many non-government agencies, ASFPM seeks to be extremely influential in policy making.  It seems that they have met their goal.

ASFPM is part of a 6 NGO partnership that includes

•The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

•The Coastal States Organization (CSO), The National Association of Counties (NACo),

•the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and

•The American Planning Association (APA).)

link

As I mentioned in my previous post—–The ASFPM has some very interesting new management techniques that really got my attention while researching water management issues a few months ago.  This new water management technique is called No Adverse Impact or NAI.

ASFPM says that NO ADVERSE IMPACT is “A New Direction in Floodplain Management Consistent with the Concept of Sustainable Development”

A new direction?

It is only as new as the 1987 Brundtland Report which is the basis for No Adverse Impact. (More about Sustainable Development here)

We all understand that we cannot do anything on or with our property (or our rights) that will harm the rights of another.

The No Adverse Impact approach begins with a solid and lawful premise, that our right to swing our fists stops where the nose of our neighbor begins, but then twists that premise by the manner in which what constitutes an adverse impact in determined.

“The No Adverse impact philosophy can shape the default management criteria: a community develops and adopts a comprehensive plan to manage development that identifies acceptable levels of impact, specifies appropriate measures to mitigate those adverse impacts, and establishes a plan for implementation.” link

So the community defines what constitutes an adverse impact and as we have seen time and again, the “community” is a group of people who are usually manipulated into “consensus” by community organizers to meet sustainable development goals.  But don’t be distracted from the truth.  No one, no group can define and thus take away your God given rights.  This is a dangerous road to travel and one that the Founders of this country explicitly avoided.  We are NOT a democracy.

It is often said that we are a nation of laws, not men.  This is what protects us from an arbitrary and capricious government.  Laws restrain men but in ASFPM’s view men should have the ability to restrain law.

This is the problem; what constitutes an “adverse impact” under ASFPM’s plan, is defined by the community not the law.

FEMA, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and Oklahoma Floodplain Managers have adopted the ASFPM’s No Adverse Impact management technique and it is being implemented in this state to the detriment of Oklahoma land owners.

ASFPMA and FEMA-working ten regions

FEMA REGIONS

ASFPM’s Regions

The term favored by FEMA is “wise use” but you will also see “no adverse imapct” used as well.  Both share the same problem-who defines what “wise use” or “no adverse impact” means?

Now  “Hazard Mitigation”  for FEMA has broadened considerably and it dovetails nicely with conservation efforts.  Now it is all about prevention of future disasters.  One great way to prevent property losses is to makes sure there is no property to lose in the first place.

The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan 2011

“Property Acquisition -This is the State’s most favored, and usually most cost effective, voluntary option because the people and property are totally and permanently removed from the path of flooding and danger.” (page 39)

Oklahoma’s declares in the state’s  2011 Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan, that FEMA’s mission is our mission.

The FEMA mission is: “Reduce the loss of life and property and protect our institution from all hazards by leading and supporting the nation in a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”

The Oklahoma State Hazard Mitigation Plan was written following this same precept. FEMA programs were reviewed and were integrated with the state mitigation planning process. The State of Oklahoma Hazard Mitigation Planning process aligns exactly with FEMA programs (page 33)

This is because in order for Oklahoma to qualify for these federal program, the state must conform.

“This Plan [The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan]is designed to fulfill the requirementsof the following programs available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)”
♦ Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM);
♦ Post-disaster assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP);
♦ Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA),
♦ Community Rating System Floodplain Management Planning (CRS);
♦ Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL);
♦ Repetitive Flood Claims Program (RFC).

I wish I had good news for you new floodplain dwellers but I don’t .  Although the plan is technically voluntary, there is a catch or two.

“The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participation in NFIP by municipalities, counties, and tribal organizations is voluntary” (2011 Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan)

If a community does not participate residents cannot get flood insurance and in the event a presidential disaster declaration is made, non participating communities will not be eligible for federal assistance. Source:About the National Flood Insurance Program: Community Participation

What makes it worse is that when a community agrees to participate in the NFIP they have to accept all of the regulations on development that FEMA imposes.  Those regulations are detrimental to property values.  Often property owners just give up in disgust and leave.  It is apparent that FEMA and those at the local level charged with implementing FEMA’s directives have  rolled sustainable development principles into hazard mitigation policy.

Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability” (FEMA 364) illustrates how communities, whether planning for hazard mitigation before a disaster or initiating recovery planning after a disaster, can integrate the concepts and principles of sustainable development into each phase of mitigation planning.  FEMA 364 also shows how disaster resistance can be a catalyst to help communities incorporate sustainable development practices into their day-to-day planning and development functions.

FEMA and the NFIP creating “Economic Dead Zones

“The National Flood Insurance Program is, in both its design and execution, the worst federal program that I have encountered in my time in the United States House of Representatives.
Once vibrant neighborhoods…in which flood insurance is mandated are effectively economic dead zones, because this program provides perverse disincentives to home ownership and to home improvement, which, over decades have effectively turned whole swaths of formerly vibrant urban neighborhoods into virtual ghost towns. …communities across America pay this mandatory flood tax and see no benefit…  —U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D) New York, April 20, 2009 at a congressional hearing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood map modernization program

If you want to know more, I recommend scanning over  The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan 

It is a daunting read but I found the first several pages manages to encapsulate enough information to give a good idea of what is going on.  You can also search the document for key words like “FEMA”, “sustainable”, “all-hazards”, “land-use”, “relocation” or any other keyword that strikes your fancy.

For an excellent overview and more information on FEMA’s re-mapping efforts, see OK-SAFE’s recent newsletter

Has Your Non-flooding Property Been Re-Mapped as Flood Zone?

OK-SAFE advises;

If you have had your non-flooding property (in Oklahoma) designated as flood zone/flood plain by either the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and/or FEMA (or FIMA), the Attorney General of Oklahoma may be interested in your situation.

Two people have agreed to be the contact persons for this effort.  Please have your paperwork together and organized, including any notes you may have taken about your conversations with OWRB, FEMA, or city officials.  Get names, titles, and contact information from everyone you have spoken with regarding this flood zone designation.  Include any before and after property assessments you may have.

  1. Northeast Oklahoma contact: Margaret Snow, email: msnow14@netzero.net  - this area includes Washington County, Rogers, etc.
  2. Rest of Oklahoma: Keith Shankle, email: kshankle@gmail.com

This past Sunday I had the honor of visiting with Amanda Teegarden and Don Wyatt on their weekly internet radio program “America in the Balance” about this issue.

My advice; Ask questions, demand answers and know your rights!

Okla. Water Resources Board/FEMA Flood Map Follies

Kaye Beach

August 24, 2011

Updated Sept. 1.  Correction. David McLain was incorrectly identified as being the Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church.   Apologies for the mistake.

America in the Balance, an internet radio program hosted by Amanda Teegarden (Exec. Director, OK-SAFE, Inc.) & Don Wyatt (Tulsa 912)  did a very interesting show on the FEMA Flood mapping taking place in our state last Sunday.

Their two guests David McClain and Margaret Snow shared their experiences with FEMA and the new floodplain maps that are being drawn up in Oklahoma.

The two are looking for other Oklahomans who have had a similar experience with FEMA and their new maps. OK. Attorney General Scott Pruitt has agreed to take a look at documented instances of questionable FEMA flood re-designations.  (Contact information can be found at the end of this article.)

These flood maps produced by FEMA will indicate which property owners must purchase flood insurance.  Development is discouraged in the designated zones and building or development in the floodplains is often highly regulated

If you have had your property’s flood designation changed or had an encounter with FEMA or the Oklahoma Water Resources Board regarding floodplain designation, you will be interested in these two stories.

(Listen to the archived show here or read the summary I have written from the radio show interviews.)

Skiatook Township, David McLain

David McLain who is in the construction industry and a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook tells Amanda and Don that a few weeks ago he noticed some officials taking measurements on his property.  David approached the two gentlemen to find out what they were doing.  The two identified themselves as being with FEMA and informed Mr. McClain that they were working on adjusting floodplain designations.  One of the agents, Gavin Brady, although he introduced himself as being with FEMA, the  business card he handed to David showed him as being with the Oklahoma Water Resource Board.  The other agent is reported to be Matthew Rollins.

Curious as to why the man is representing both FEMA and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, I did a little searching and found that the OWRB is under a cooperative agreement with FEMA and is the coordinating state agency for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Oklahoma. link

Map Modernization

The OWRB website explains that this is a “Map Modernization” effort;

“Many of the nation’s flood hazard maps are outdated and no longer realistically depict the true flood risk. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting a multi-year effort, the Map Modernization Program, to update these maps and present them in a more reliable digital format that is easily accessible to local and state floodplain officials” link

(For more about the FEMA/ Oklahoma Map Modernization program, click here.)

Here is a little more information about Mr. Gavin Brady.

Gavin Brady, CFM (Certified Floodplain Manager) has been with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board since 1982. In addition, he is the Oklahoma State Coordinator for NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association. link and is a chapter member of ASFPM- the Association of Flood Plain Managers

According to the ASFPM website, “Chapter members represent local, state and federal government agencies, citizen groups, private consulting firms, academia, the insurance industry, and lenders”

The ASFPM has some very interesting new management techniques that really got my attention while researching water management issues a few months ago.  This new water management technique is called No Adverse Impact or NAI.

ASFPM’s  “No Adverse Impact” represents a whole new method of land management that raised a whole lot of red flags in my mind but in the interest of brevity, I will have to cover this another day  but let me just leave you with this information just to give you an idea of what concerned me; ASFPM says that No Adverse Impact is “A New Direction in Floodplain Management Consistent with the Concept of Sustainable Development”

Back to David McLain.

On that first day he encountered the men on his property, McClain asked to see the map they were using (dated 1999), his property was not within the flood area on their map and the officials indicated that his property was not in the floodplain.

Over the next 3 days the story changes dramatically.

Sorry Wrong Map

The very next day McClain was contacted and informed that his property actually was within the floodplain/  He was told that the first map “was the wrong map”   Furthermore, the agent informed McClain that in addition to his property adjacent to the church that about half of his church parking lot was included in the new floodplain designation.

Good News?

The agent proceeds to informed Mr. McClain that they did have some good news to report.  The new designation of the property entitled him to buy flood insurance from the federal government.  Oh joy!  On top of the certain devaluing of his property due to the flood zone designation, David might also be obliged to pay the government for insurance that he may not want or need.

Unsurprisingly, David was not impressed and rather than thanking the gentleman he began to inquire further.   By what authority they can just declare the property to be within a flood zone?  He was  informed by Gavin Brady, the FEMA/Oklahoma Water Resource Board representative, that FEMA has partnered with the township. In the course of David’s discussions with these two, he was given the very distinct impression that they believed that the Constitution did not apply to them.

Following up on the Skiatook Township’s partnership as asserted by the FEMA representatives, David McLain took the problem to Skiatook’s managers.  He wanted to know where the township got its authority to enter into this “partnership” that was threatening his rights and as a citizen and property owner not to mention putting the Church at risk.

Behold!  A New Map

Shortly after these inquiries, David receives a call back from the Township Manager who informs him that a new map had been found. Seems that neither Davids property nor the Church is actually in the new flood zone after all!  Bright and early the following morning, one of the FEMA agents visits David’s house and drops off the new map showing that his property is safely outside of the new flood zone.  All of this took place within a space of three days.

You have to wonder If David had simply accepted the new FEMA designation, as many citizens would be likely to do, what would have become of his property.  What if he had not happened to see the government officials taking measurements on his property to begin with?  Would he have been notified in time to protest?

Washington County, Margaret Snow

Margaret Snow’s story gives an idea of how the alternate scenario might play out.

Margaret lives in Washington County, an unincorporated area near the Oklahoma/Kansas border.  She has 40 acres of land that has been owned by her family since 1946.  This property is designated as upland agricultural, at least it had been for as long as Margaret can remember.

Double Trouble

Back in November of 2008, Margaret went to her local bank to see about getting her home refinanced. Right before closing on the bargain, Margaret received notice from her bank that there was a problem.  A rather large problem really-due to the fact that her property had very recently (Sept. 26, 2008) been designated by FEMA as a Zone A flood prone area.  This was news to Margaret!

(Zone A:  defined as areas in the 100-year floodplain.  There are many different sub designation possible under Zone A  link)

What this meant for Margaret is that her monthly loan payments would actually be about double what the bank had originally negotiated with her.  Margaret could not take the loan.

Margaret says that the property has never flooded since her family has owned it and there are no bodies of water near the property nor has there been any development that may have changed the lay of the land in such a way as to impact drainage.  It appears that the only thing that has changed is the imaginary line drawn by FEMA.  How much did this line change her property value?  Margaret is not sure but here is what she does know;  The value of her property appraised before FEMA’s Zone A (high risk) designation, and the appraisal value after the new FEMA designation, sunk by half.  Margaret also notes that the value of a nearby property, also considered upland agricultural land,  that was not included in FEMA’s new flood prone designation,  stayed the same.

A ZONE A designation requires many property owners to purchase FEMA’s flood insurance.

Property owners in a FEMA ZONE A ( high risk ) flood zone with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance-all property owners are strongly encouraged to buy insurance.

“At the heart of FEMA’s flood map, and indeed at the heart of its strategy, is a definition of “flood” that seems to have been written with no thought to what a flood actually is, contributing to the notion that it was drawn primarily to ensnare millions of property owners in an insurance scheme.” –David Tunno, The FEMA Scheme

A FEMA Zone A designation (within the 100 year floodplain) requires property owners to purchase flood insurance if they live in communities that participate in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP.   The NFIP is also the only provider of flood insurance. ( Here is the list of Oklahoma communities that are registered as participants in the NFIP as of 2010.)  Banks will also require you to agree to get flood insurance if you want a home loan.

The Tulsa World reports on March 7 2010;

Property mistaken as flood plain

“That we were in a flood plain and we required flood insurance was a total surprise,” Kristy Boyd said.

And totally wrong. Read more

How to Change a FEMA Flood Map

David McLain and Margaret noted that both were told that there was a process for changing these regulatory boundaries set by FEMA which would exempt the property owner from the flood insurance requirement.

I found a website that addressed this very issue. Suite 101 under Engineering explains; How to Change a FEMA Flood Map

“FEMA flood maps can be changed. Some changes are simple and require only a surveyor. Other changes require detailed engineering. Property owners can benefit.”

In short there are several types of of map changes a property owner can attempt that would result in their property being re designated to a non-flood zone. The simplest amendment is by showing that FEMA made an error on the map the most involved would require actual changes to be made to the topography of the land itself such as filling it in.  All of them will cost you something and obviously the more involved amendments would only be an option for the very wealthy.

It may take a lot of time and money, but apparently it is possible for a property owner to turn a FEMA floodplain into high land but it only takes the mark of FEMA’s pen to turn high land into a floodplain.

Arbitrary, Inaccurate, Short Notice

The obvious concern here is that the whole process appears  ripe for abuse.  On the surface, there is the appearance of arbitrariness. What about property owner notification and an opportunity for appeal?

The FEMA Scheme

David Tunno, at the request of residents in Calaveres County,CA,  investigated FEMA’s flood mapping process.  His report, The FEMA Scheme,  is eye opening and I recommend anyone with questions about this process.

“We know the result of the sub-prime home loan meltdown, but I question how different is the behavior of FEMA? Has it falsified information on the flood status of properties in an attempt to force owners to buy flood insurance? Has it placed properties in flood zones without sufficient evidence? Has it pressured, scared or fooled owners into buying flood insurance who either did not need it, or before there was sufficient evidence of the need? Has it ignored historic rainfall and flood data in drawing its maps? Has it concocted a definition of flood solely for the purpose of expanding its own pool of insurance policy holders?

The evidence shows that “all of the above” would be the accurate answer; or at the very least that FEMA has been so wanton in its behavior as to produce the same result. Finally, isn’t FEMA’s take-it-or-else position with the County akin to putting a gun to the head of the County at the expense of thousands of property owners (and how many nationwide)?

FEMA is an insurance monopoly with tremendous power. It is being allowed to do five things that any unscrupulous monopoly power would love to be able to do and, if they did, might well face prosecution for doing so; 1) It is being allowed to invent the need for its product (insurance), 2) It is being allowed to mandate the purchase of its product, a product only it sells, 3) It controls the price of its product, 4) It is being allowed to employ, coerce, or bribe (pick your favorite verb) other government entities (counties) to assist it, and 5) It is being allowed to deny the purchase of its product to anyone who lives in a county that won’t play ball, thereby forcing the county to hand over thousands of new policy holders to FEMA or cause those who actually need the insurance to lose that coverage.”

The FEMA Scheme by David Tunno

It isn’t only angry land owners who have these concerns.

2007 Oklahoma Floodplain Managers issue complaints to FEMA

In 2007, the Oklahoma Floodplain Managers wrote to the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Team expressing concerns about FEMA’s Flood Map Modernization efforts.

“There have been several deficiencies in quality and process with the production of the new DFIRM [Digital Flood Insurance Maps] data for Oklahoma.”

The Oklahoma Floodplain Managers cited;

  • Countywide kickoff meetings with short notifications for local officials,
  • Inaccurate and arbitrary A-Zone additions to maps,
  • Inaccurate enhanced A-Zone mapping, leaving off previously finalized Letter of Map
  • Changes on detailed studies,
  • Delayed DFIRM mapping schedules,
  • Non-compliant appeal period notifications,
  • Incomplete or missing technical data, etc.

Noting that these “are a few of the problems encountered on countywide floodplain mapping studies within Oklahoma”

Oklahoma Floodplain Managers told FEMA that they believed thatLocal engineers could perform work of the same or better quality and would likely have better working knowledge of local floodplains and studies. Accountability and responsiveness to local communities would be better served from engineers practicing in the same state.”

Read more

Has this Happened to You?

If you have experienced a similar situation with FEMA or floodplain designation  Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has said that he is willing to meet with people who live in Oklahoma and who have a similar  documented circumstance of a new FEMA floodplain designation that they believe may be unfair.

Margaret Snow and Keith Shankle have agreed to act as point persons for those who have a similar complaint or more information they would like to share with the  Attorney General.
You may contact Margaret Snow at msnow14@netzero.net
or  Keith Shankle at  kshankle@gmail.com
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