How much does it cost? Five months and we are still waiting! Anyone care to answer, perhaps the multi billion dollar question?
Those five words spoken in Bradley County can evoke a very strong response with lots of hatred and animosity toward the speaker from our local elected officials or any politician for that matter. How much does it cost? Such a simple phrase but it delivers that needed punch to knock any politician, board member or appointed minion on his heels immediately and out of his/her comfort zone. Their gums flare back and fangs show, followed by a quick flurry of psycho babble and name calling with a quick attempt to discredit the speaker. Why is this, why do they act as if they are not to answer to the 10th amendment of limited government or its citizens? Why is it always a percieved secret? Why do they dislike and avoid this question.
Nancy Pelosi, speaking of the new “Obamacare Healthcare bill” said “vote on it and then you can read what is in it.” Those words are being echoed in Bradley County just as the Democrats have asked them to. (To note, if it were a Republican asking them to do the same I would also call them on the subject also. Today the D and R’s are looking so much the same it is hard to tell them apart.)
The City of Cleveland, Bradley County, its many cherry picked boards and commissions, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce are asking you to go ahead and swallow the billions in growth, regulations, taxes and an assorted list of other things, then the selected boards, (NOT ELECTED BY YOU, I remind you, so the accountability is low), are asking you to shut your mouth, be quiet and let these cherry picked vested businessmen and women spend your money the way they want to spend it and the cost can be discussed later.
One thing that we will include in The Bradley County News that was not in the article below was the fact that I not only asked them “what will it cost” I followed up with the question which didnt make the local paper but I said, “before you purchase an item within your household would you not need to know the price before you purchased it”, not to unreasonable is it? The answer I recieved from the planning commission was and you will see below is and I will paraphrase for emphasis, Its too early for a financial plan, it is not up to us to develop that, we only vote on it.”
When that comment was made they were just a few minutes from voting on an approval, and days from them passing the plan on to the council and commission of an estimated 4 to 6 billion growth plan for Bradley County for final approval. If this is too early? Too soon? Really? When is it right? The reason I feel the question never gets answered about the cost is that if they revealed the cost up front the citizens of Bradley County may stage a revolution on the front steps of the courthouse and say NO to this Growth Plan, complete with a request to have the Mayor and the Commission resign immediately. Thats my opinion!
It is much easier if the citizens are not made aware of the spending, sneak it in the back door and have it voted on before Joe Public has a chance to do anything about it. Thats the Bradley County way! I am seeing it over and over and frankly the politicians are getting away with it.
Fast forward five months, the BCC 2035 Joint strategic Plan has been approved, the Southside Development gang is redeveloping a sweet deal in 90 acres plus downtown, roads, sewer lines, water lines, buildings, intersections, sidewalks, all infrastructure and clean up and hundreds of other projects have been approved by the Planning Commission and others. AND STILL NO FINANCIAL PLAN OR FORECAST OR PREDICTION OF COSTS from our elected leaders for all this growth. Got a big ole plan developed for easy public consumption, but we still dont know what it will cost or seemingly any idea!
100 million, 1 billion, 10 billion, we as informed taxpayers deserve to know. I am guessing based on past costs of past growth and applied to future growth I am estimating in the billions, an accountant I am not, a citizen worried about future taxes that will affect my quality of life and the prosperity of my children, I AM!
Who pays for this? Where does the cost burden lay? Taxes? Future tax evaluation increases, you know the answer, but wouldnt you love to hear someone do some financial planning and say you know what, this is expensive and Im not going to burden my constituency with it. Sadly, YOU , the taxpayer, with seemingly endless cash supplies will boot the cost! Why are we being burdened by this tax and spend government in Bradley County?
Is it to early now, is the timing right? Let us have it. We are paying for it, why not. Mayors, Council, Commission, Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, all cherry picked appointees, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST US? After it is done is not acceptable! We are waiting!
This is the Banners account of the Planning Commission meeting where I was in attendance and asking the tough question! What will it cost?
Cleveland Daily Banner
5 months ago | 163 views | 0 | 1 | |
Concerns posed last week about who will foot the bill for new infrastructure needed to accommodate future economic development as proposed by the BCC 2035 Strategic Growth Plan are reasonable although the questions are coming a little early.
Area residents and a few Bradley County Tea Party representatives — the latter of whom did not identify themselves as such — aired these inquiries during a joint session of the Bradley County Regional Planning and Cleveland Municipal Planning commissions at the courthouse.
The purpose of the combined gathering was to allow planning commissioners from both governments to collectively review the Strategic Growth Plan draft document for the first time. Public updates on the yearlong study were given throughout 2010 during community-level Plan Forums, at follow-up sessions of the initiative’s 27-member task force and sporadically in local government sessions.
Cleveland and Bradley County planning commissioners received their official look at the final draft last Tuesday in a combined session that was open to the public and which was attended by those curious about the Strategic Growth Plan recommendations. Some have homes and property, such as the McDonald area community, located near growth corridors suggested for managed development.
Several audience members fired point-blank questions at planning commissioners aimed at identifying sources of funding for future infrastructure that could include additional schools, new and widened roadways and expansions in utility service, among others. Sales and property tax rates, both of which are paid by Cleveland and Bradley County residents, are sources of government funding.
Those in the planning commission audience wanted to know if either, or both, will be impacted. Although the inquiries were well-intended, they were presented too early and in the wrong forum — at least, for now.
Residents who sought answers left the joint session frustrated because they felt their concerns were being ignored, that government planners were being intentionally vague in their responses and that the important cost component of growth is being overshadowed by excitement over incoming and expanding industries, hundreds of new jobs and a brightening economic picture for our community and the entire Southeast Tennessee region.
On the flip side, planning commissioners felt cornered because they were being pressured for information, and for answers, that are better suited for elected officials; namely, members of the Cleveland City Council and Bradley County Commission, and city and county Mayors Tom Rowland and D. Gary Davis respectively. Rightfully, planning commissioners recommended that residents seek their answers from the elected groups.
Government planners Greg Thomas, representing the city, and Corey Divel of the county sought to point out the BCC 2035 Strategic Growth Plan is not a capital improvement plan.
It is not.
Rather, it is an organizational tool that will give a future Implementation Oversight Committee, if one is eventually formed by local government, a voice and direction on how to proceed with planned growth such as in Cleveland’s urban core, and the well-publicized southern and northern corridors.
It is important to remember the Strategic Growth Plan has not yet been approved. City and county planning commissioners will now review it. The city body will convene Jan. 25 for a vote and the county planners will gather Feb. 1. If the groups endorse it, the document will be forwarded to the City Council and County Commission for official consideration.
If the growth plan is approved by both bodies, the real work then gets under way.
And that includes complex decisions on how to pay for new infrastructure.
The questions asked last Tuesday night were legitimate.
They simply came too soon.
Copyright 2011 Cleveland Daily Banner. All rights reserved.
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