Category Archives: Legislation

HB 1124 Must Be Stopped in NH Senate

The NH Municipal Association, using our tax dollars, lobbied to support HB 1124.

This bill permits towns to opt out of official ballot voting requirements for the consideration and adoption of zoning ordinances.

It gives the towns more time to hold hearings and loosens up the requirements for placing the changes on the town’s ballot, etc. But could it work toward removal of the voter’s right to have a say in zoning changes at all?

This passed the NH House.

Whether this bill would give the right of towns to opt out of official ballot voting at all, is what we are concerned about. This is the goal of the Regional Planning Commissions, however.

This bill must be watched for when it gets to the NH Senate.

Please ask your NH Senators to make sure it does NOT remove the right of the voters to approve zoning changes as that would give RPCs too much power over the local boards.

Action Needed on HB 1573 and HB 1560

Our friends on the House Municipal and County Government Committee have voted to ‘ITL’ both HB 1573 and HB 1560. This means they recommended that the general House vote be YES to STOP the bills.

You need to write to the Committee AND to your own State Reps and tell them you will no longer tolerate their ignorance of these grievances. Here are the addresses:

House Municipal and County Government Committee:
HouseMunicipalandCountyGovt@leg.state.nh.us

Find your own State Rep from this list:
http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx

Here is a sample of some of testimony and emails that have been sent to the committee and the full Republican House.

Dear HMCG Committee Members and Republican Representatives,

After watching the citizens of this state come to you at the hearing for HB 1573 with their grievances about problems which stem from the lack of oversight of the Regional Planning Commissions and their new ‘mission’ of eradicating local control in favor of the federal, it was with shock and dismay that I watched you cavalierly ITL HB 1573 in a subsequent meeting, per the desires of LOBBYISTS.

While this parade of lobbyists for the Regional Planners gave testimony outlining the good things that may have come from their work, it became clear to me that you simply repeated this ‘happy talk’ to support your decision to ITL, while completely IGNORING the numerous PROBLEMS citizens have experienced with RPCs that prompted the filing of this bill. As legislators you failed to do your duty to address those problems, brought to you by mere citizens who have been harmed by the current situation.

I had submitted testimony in hard copy, which I have attached again below. I suspect none of you even read the testimony, since at the very least one would think you would be interested in the last bullet which outlines the recent case whereby the RPCs attempted to wrongly portray themselves as a commercial entity in order to circumvent the People’s Right to Know. It was appalling that you asked of the citizens who testified for these bills, NOT ONE QUESTION about this shameful situation or about how their rights were violated with regard to RSA 91-A. My phone number is included and I am still available for any questions you might have.

Likewise, HB 1560 was filed because of the problems with lobbying using taxpayer monies. I have had to endure this throughout my whole career as a teacher and now, with the RPCs. I am told there is an RSA which PROHIBITS the use of taxpayer or federal monies for lobbying our state legislature, and so I ask, why is a group of unelected regional boards who are subject to NO oversight seemingly exempt from this law? The public is not served by having their money stolen from them, and then used against them!

Federal money is dispensed or granted with the stipulation that the state certifies that there will be no lobbying with these funds. RPCs rely on federal funds which they use to administer programs like Granite State Future which do NOT come from the community.

The state prohibits the use of its funds from being directly or indirectly used to hire lobbyists under RSA 15.

I leave you with this question. What, if anything, do you plan to do to redress the grievances brought before you by my testimony and that of others regarding the improper use of our tax dollars on behalf of HUD/EPA/DOT, and the illegal circumvention of the RTK laws by NRPC posing as a commercial entity? (Second to last bullet highlighted in yellow in the testimony file.) Your unwillingness to help is disappointing and leaves me only one avenue of redress, filing a lawsuit as an individual against the NRPC for ‘official oppression’ and violation of my rights under RSA 91-A.

Your duty is to the people FIRST, NOT the lobbyists. They do NOT represent us, despite the fact our money is being used to pay for their activities. This is corruption at its worst and we will continue to pursue these bills as the rights of the people are being denied. RPCs are NOT working for us but create public-private partnerships with influence from mostly NGOs, corporations and other private ‘stakeholders’ who stand to benefit. Where do the people, who pay for this, fit in?

I look forward to your responses regarding how you will address the numerous problems put before you at these hearings regarding the reasons for the filing of HB 1573, and the need for HB 1560.

(name and phone number were provided)

Testimony

Under the guise of “sustainability” and “economic resilience” our federal government is pushing for “regionalism” and “new urbanism” in every state in the country. Some states such as Florida and California are being asked to accommodate several of these programs, while NH has only one called “A Granite State Future”. These programs are made possible by HUD/EPA/DOT grants. In NH, the grants are procured by the Nashua Regional Planning Commission.

The purpose of regionalism/new urbanism were made clear from the recommended readings posted on the http://www.granitestatefuture.org website The following three points were taken from the recommended readings found in the Regional Plan Framework Appendices on Housing and Regionalism: “Restructuring Local Government” (Rusk, David. 1993. Cities without Suburbs. Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press). The words emphasized in red are the most troubling. (http://cms.mildredwarner.org/summaries/rusk1993)


1. Empowering Urban Counties
The most direct and efficient way to create metropolitan government in the majority of metro areas is to empower urban county government. In this scenario, the county government assumes the functions and responsibilities of the municipal governments within its boundaries, and municipalities are abolished.

2. Consolidating Cities and Counties
This involves creating area-wide governmental units, focusing on consolidating municipal governments with their surrounding county governments. Consolidation brings unification of the tax base and centralization of planning and zoning.

3. Combining Counties into Regional Governments
This involves combining several counties in the same metropolitan area into one regional government. Challenges to these regional approaches include potential loss of power at the local level.

As NH citizens we object to this blatant attempt to usurp local control. Here are some things we have learned in our experiences after investigating regional planning commissions and their programs.

– RPCs were created by RSA 36 in 1969 but up until now were about limited issues such as common roads or sharing resources such as fire trucks.

– RPCs are unelected boards who are subject to very little oversight by the voters. The legislators, local board members, and voters have demonstrated that they may never have heard of them, or do not understand how they work. Neither the legislature nor the voters get to vote on any of their initiatives even though the RPCs claim their ideas are ‘community based’. Many times RPCs admittedly seek to revive issues that voters have rejected numerous times already in their town elections, such as the all-day kindergarten in Winnisquam district. (See article below with Hampton videos)

– RPCs have now morphed into something they were never intended to be, concerned with every aspect of a person’s life including the food we eat etc under the guise of economic resilience, sustainability, or social justice. “…public health, transportation, economic development, infrastructure, housing, land use, energy, cultural, historic, and natural resources, and more!” per their website. (Here are two documents on Health Planning: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/omh/documents/disparities.pdf and Child Care: http://www.planning.org/research/fam…/childcare.pdf)

– RPCs are part of the push toward regionalism as a political subdivision as opposed to local and state control.

– RPCs cited in one of their documents, concerns about how they would need to overcome “NH’s strong tradition of individual property rights” in order to accomplish their goals. (from New Hampshire Sustainable Communities Initiative Project Summary Application)

– RPCs are using our tax money to lobby for legislation that would enable these federal HUD/EPA/DOT programs that become binding upon the towns who participate. This is evident by the fact that they are lobbying for NH laws that would give them more power and authority while taking the vote, and local control, away from the people — all while claiming to be ‘advisory only’. Bills that would give RPCs more power because they would allow towns to appoint rather than elect officials, and/or take the vote away with regard to zoning and planning and put the decisions in the hands of a small board.

– RPCs have told us they will continue to impose their agenda even when towns reject their programs, through ‘back door’ means such as planning and zoning board members favorable to their cause and by passing legislation to give themselves more authority.

– RPCs secure federal grants that require zoning changes as the Obama administration has made it clear this is how they will attempt to impose economic and racial justice in neighborhoods they deem too racially or economically homogenous. See the pain it caused Westchester NY: http://www.granitestatefutures.org/news/2013/09/20/rob-astorino-on-hud-social-engineering/

– RPCs create public-private partnerships with influence from mostly NGOs, corporations and other private ‘stakeholders’ who stand to benefit by the results of these programs. Think ‘green companies’.

– RPCs, in particular the NRPC, has claimed to want public input and attendance at its Listening Sessions (PR) for Granite State Future, but when that input was given, it was not welcome. The meetings were stacked with paid operatives or ‘stakeholders’. Information was presented to the small minority of ordinary citizens in attendance in a dishonest way. Mostly it is private corporations, their foundations, NGOs, and multiple PR firms who are involved. The “crises” they claim are nonexistent and the ideas for these changes as the “remedy” are not coming from the taxpayers. (Hegelian Dialect)

– RPCs have directly attacked activists, misrepresenting themselves repeatedly to those we have done business with, posing as a private commercial entity. They claimed to enjoy copyright on products which are in reality, produced with 100% taxpayer funding and thus subject to NH’s RSA 91-A laws. It was not until the NRPC was challenged in court that they ceased and desisted this harassment of individuals sharing the information.

– Regionalists are unhappy with the fact that many people are rejecting their schemes. In NH, many towns have voted to stop paying dues to the RPCs. In other states, towns and cities are opting out of these regional schemes. This study demonstrates the impatience of the regionalists in reaching their goals. “The Promise and Perils of ‘New Regionalist’ Approaches to Sustainable Communities” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1818030

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please read these Patch blogs on these matters, especially the “Open Letter to Legislators” here: http://bedford-nh.patch.com/groups/jane-aitkens-blog/p/open-letter-to-nh-legislators

And… http://bedford-nh.patch.com/groups/jane-aitkens-blog/p/bp–agenda-21-iclei-and-regional- planners-response-to504ab451b2

And… http://bedford-nh.patch.com/groups/jane-aitkens-blog/p/bp–the-perfect-society-whose-vision-is-it- anyway

Agenda 21 can no longer be considered a ‘theory’ because it clearly states in the federal register that our government’s sustainability programs were meant to carry out the goals of Agenda 21… http://www.granitestatefutures.org/news/2013/08/09/agenda-21-in-pinardville/

The Federal Government is stepping up plans to impose these programs upon us: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/09/restructure-us-government-to-make-huge-green-changes- in-america-study-proposes/?test=latestnews

Here is a series of videos that demonstrate a comedy of errors on how local boards and some legislators really have no idea about the RPCs: http://www.granitestatefutures.org/news/2014/01/12/confusion-surrounding-regional-planning- commissions/

Master Planner Andrés Duany (Florida) is brutally honest in these short clips about the top-down system that is regionalism and what it would do to control counties, cities and towns and re-orient political subdivisions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3rGwpyNwnY

Big Turnout for HB 1573

Yesterday supporters of HB 1573 (a bill to rid us of this regional nightmare in NH) was heard before the Municipal and County Government Committee of the NH House of Representatives.

Rep Jane Cormier, the sponsor of the bill, kicked off the testimony.

Reports were that the chairperson, Rep. Porter, said at the opening of the hearing that it was the biggest attendance by the public she’s ever seen at any of her committee meetings.

It was standing room only. Many packed along the wall and a few in the hallway.

So many wanted to testify, that each person was only given three minutes.

According to one activist in attendance, “Everyone testifying AGAINST the bill, of course, had a dog in the fight. Some financial interest. All testifying in SUPPORT also had a dog in the fight, “our private property RIGHTS.””

You can still write to the committee in support of this bill!

Follow its status here.


If the above video does not appear on your device, use this direct link: http://youtu.be/uyOGCwS-peU

Zoning Off the Ballot?

In Bedford, the Town Council would like to remove your right to vote on zoning and leave it up to them. This would come in handy for satisfying zoning requirements handed down by way of HUD grants.

Coincidentally, someone has filed this bill HB 1124, which permits towns to opt out of official ballot voting requirements for the consideration and adoption of zoning ordinances.

Don’t let this happen!

The Municipal and County Government Committee will hear this bill on Thursay, January 16, in Room 301-303, in the LOB at 10:00 AM.

Support HB 1573 on January 16th

There will be a Committee Hearing on January 16th on HB 1573 in LOB 301 at 1:00 PM.

Please contact the Municipal and County Government Committee and attend and testify if you can.

RPCs (Regional Planning Commissions) are the top down unelected boards who are implementing the federal government’s idea of sustainability through control over your local government.

If your town has been threatened or affected by GSF, you need to be part of this because your testimony is proof that people do NOT want this interference and the RPCs are overstepping their original purpose. We hope someone from these towns will plan on testifying on the 16th for HB 1573:

Alton
Bedford
Brookline
Claremont
Dover
Goffstown
Loudon
Manchester
Rindge