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NFRA condemns A21 and comprehensive plan, Bradley County leaders forge on

In Agenda 21, Government on January 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The National Federation of Republican Assemblies recently made a statement and offered a supporting resolution regarding Agenda 21, Comprehensive planning and land use regulations stating these plans have no respect for the people’s rights to their own property!

This resolution and statement below did not come from a conservative right wing spokesperson or media outlet! This did not come from Glenn Beck or Alex Jones, it came from the NFRA on the heels of a resolution made by the RNC and a bill proposal by Tennessee State Representatve Kevin Brooks to halt and desist the Agenda 21/ICLEI COmprehensive Planning process.

These resolutions are evidence to me that our elected officials are starting to listen the people they represent and are absorbing the enormity of this sinister and diabolical plan to rid our country of it’s sovereignty, inalienable and property rights!

They have now gone a step further and have taken the initiative to call out the groups that are responsible for implementing these “Comprehensive Plans” using the United Nations Agenda 21 model for “sustainable growth.”

The NGOs, Non Governmental Organizations such as the APA-American Planning Association, the Chamber of Commerce (of which holds the number one Consultative Status with the United Nations) Sierra Club and locally, the Cleveland and Bradley County planning offices, the Industrial Development Board, “the SSD gang” (I warned you of months ago), TACIR and the many other boards not representative of the people of Bradley County!

Our locally elected officials continuing to be complicit with the Comprehensive plan is a failure of our local government to constitutionally operate!

This shameful display of cooperation with a foreign entity to destroy our country borders on illegal and is definitely unconstitutional! This blatant disregard for our sovereignty and our mere survivability should be condemned and these complying officials removed from office by the strength of the ballot box.

As soon as tomorrow our County Planners, Mayors and many elected officials in cooperation with ICLEI, McBride Dale and Clarion are presenting a “Comprehensive Plan” to the public using the United Nations Agenda 21 as a directive tool!

This is no longer our elected officials and planners moving forward without notification and ignorance! This is full cooperation with ICLEI, the UN and NGOs setting out to destroy our country, our property rights and our way of life!

The meeting tomorrow, Monday January 30th, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Five Points museum with planners, elected officials and NGOs will be a direct overt act to circumvent the people of Bradley County and will show direct cooperation with a foreign entity to undermine our constitutional republic.

A reminder to readers our County Commission has not authorized this action and have voted for it not to move forward. County Planner Corey Divel has countered that the County has committed to the funding to assist with implementation. But no vote to go forward! The city council and Mayor Tom Rowland have voted yes on the BCC 2035 Strategic Growth Plan.

It will be interesting to see who will show up at this big “visioning” meeting! Who will remain complicit above all sensible warnings, bill drafts and resolutions? Who will the “useful idiots” be that remain committed to this process?

We can no longer stand back as our elected officials give away our country and our county to an agent of an International entity that does not have our best interest in mind. This direct and deliberate violation of our rights cannot be tolerated and all should be held accountable for their actions.

The NFRA, the RNC and most recently our very own Kevin Brooks have presented resolutions and bills to stop Agenda 21. I believe our leaders are beginning to see the Comprehensive Plan, Agenda 21 process for what it truly is. They are now willing to step up to stop it, we should make sure their resolutions and bill proposals and efforts do not go to waste.

The question still remains why is Bradley County, Tennessee still going forward with this costly and unconstitutional plan? Why are our Mayors and select elected representatives still moving forward when leaders in the nation and many within their own parties are saying halt.

Read below, look closely at it’s content and then tell me we have nothing to worry about! The nation sees it, some of our elected state officials, a few local guys see it, but, why are our planners and mayors still moving forward?

I am afraid it is the lust and lure of the mighty federal tax dollar and the selfish pride of not wanting to admit they were wrong. Then sprinkle into the equation the thought that some may be in deeper than we think and can’t get out even if they wanted. I think now you can begin to see a little more clearly!

NFRA RESOLUTION OPPOSING UNITED NATIONS’ COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLANNING
WHEREAS, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies recognizes that the pillars of freedom and liberty are life, liberty and property. As such, we seek to identify those candidates that understand and support these same noble characteristics of our great nation and that it is the combination of these truths that makes America “exceptional”; and
WHEREAS, some little known facts about comprehensive land use planning, known as Agenda 21 include, but are not limited to, the following:
The UN’s Agenda 21 was revealed to the world at the Rio Earth Summit II in 1992;
Agenda 21 was signed into soft law in 1992 and requires only administrative approval and not legislative approval;
The UN’s Agenda 21 was granted administrative approval when President Clinton, through Executive Order, created the first President’s Council on Sustainable Development;
The President’s Council on Sustainable Development created the domestic plan known as “Sustainable America”;
Official non-Government Organizations known as NGOs are certified through the UN based on their compliance and willingness to institute UN created policies like Agenda 21 and the “Wildlands Project”. Examples of NGOs include, but are not limited to: the Sierra Club, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Planning Association, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability; formally known as the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.”;
GATT, NAFTA and other trade agreements also contain components that are derivatives from the economic components of Agenda 21;
Income redistribution as a form of “economic justice” is a tool to be used by Agenda 21;
Agenda 21 is anti-property rights;
The terms “Sustainable Development”, “Smart Growth”, “Comprehensive Land Use Plan”, and “Sustainable Agriculture” are domestic equivalents of Agenda 21; and
The Global Biodiversity Assessment Report identifies private property ownership, single family homes, traditional agriculture, and consumerism as “unsustainable.”; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that we, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), oppose the nondomestic policies of Agenda 21 based on failure to recognize private property rights as one of America’s cornerstones of freedom and liberty; be it further
RESOLVED, that Article one, Section ten of the Constitution prohibits any State or subordinate governmental body from contracting with nondomestic entities such as ICLEI; and be it
RESOLVED, that the NFRA shall not endorse a candidate or elected official including the office of President that refuses to oppose the same.

Annexation: Floating loans, flag lots, expanding UGB, new taxes, just to build an access road in Bradley County

In Agenda 21, Government on January 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

`That government can scarcely be deemed to be free, where the rights of property are left solely dependent upon the will of a legislative body, without any restraint. The fundamental maxims of a free government seem to require; that the rights of personal liberty and private property, should be held sacred.’ _ Justice Story

City Council moving to make the county happy! What in the world is going on in Bradley County! Annex this, don’t annex that! This is already in the Urban Growth Boundary but we will annex it any way! Whirlpool executives “watching the development closely!” Floating short term bonds at 2 to 3 percent interest for 12 to 20 years! Flag lots shooting out from main roads, creating costly and demanding land use regulations on it’s citizens! All of this over an access road to a plant! Good lord people of Bradley County and Cleveland! Can you believe this latest hellabaloo is over a road that gives access to a plant?

One road…..to pay for it we are borrowing our own money, financing it and we have no forseeable way of paying for it! What on Gods green Earth are we going to do when we have a real dilemma like the one coming up at the end of the month when a comprehensive growth plan is put into action! This albatross is going to cost us conservatively 6 to 10 billion and no promises it will stay that low! In fact no one knows what it will cost but one thing I can tell you is not one person has debunked that cost estimate yet!

You are seeing the dilemma we are having with one road thats going to cost the taxpayer about 20 to 30 million, this is one road! We have hundreds to build with a comprehensive plan! This one we are loaning the money out and placed on a payment plan for 12 to 20 years on your dime, this is borrowed money for one road!

Can you imagine the cost load on you the private citizen to pay for this huge comprehensive growth plan? Can you imagine what will happen to our local economy when we keep stacking layers of debt on top of each other? Can you feel the strain on our economy if our city and county mayors and planners have their way!

What we have done is disrupted the open free market! Instead of letting the market take care of itself by demand we have politically selected the businesses we want to survive and have forced an unnatural selection process!

We have decided forcibly who survives and who does not! The end result through this selective narrow process is we have placed the burden of this selection on you the taxpayer instead of letting capitalism run it’s course!

We have squeezed out the “little guy” by charting the course of the free market, which in turn it goes from being free to a being a pawn of local government! This is a disaster waiting to happen, an economy just waiting to hit the iceberg so to speak, much like the Titanic!

Our demise is near! Our Mayors are setting the course! Let their legacy be along with the council and commission they manipulate be the heirs solely responsible for our future collapse! Don’t listen to the premeditated talking points that this is good for our economy! Add it up for your self and you tell me if it is good for the economy! When you do the math, you know this is not better for you! Ask who this is really good for! The answer will not surprise you!

Sure we get a little grant money, guess what happens when the Federal grant money runs out? We are left holding the bag and the bag will be heavy! Proportionately with every new debt that our locally elected representatives place on us the greater the burden on you and your future generations! Our planners and mayors cam not be looking to the future with clear goggles! If they were they would take off in the other direction an run for the hills! The debt load on future citizens will be great and potentially one that will not be able to stand the load! So everytime you hear annexation, comprehensive Growth plan, new roads or schools think about that heavy load they must carry and consider this! Will it be worth it if our future generations cannot afford to live in it!

Council moving to annex property
by By DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor 5 hrs ago | 285 views | 0  | 1  |  | 
The Cleveland City Council has moved to help break the deadlock between it and the Bradley County Commission over how much each local government will pay for right of way acquisition for road improvements to the new Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike.

The city agreed to annex property along Durkee Road and Benton Pike already in the urban growth boundary in order for the city to share equally with Bradley County.

The Council will also float a short-term bond to pay for the project. The bond could either be variable or fixed rate. Options include a capital outlay note for 12 years for $2 million. It would be at a fixed rate at 2.39 percent. The other two proposals are for variable rate debt for 20 years, and for fixed rate debt set up to be amortized over 20 years, but required to be renewed after five or seven years.

Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said she did not recommend the capital outlay note since the county will repay its portion within four years, which would leave the city with the option of doing the same.

The Council is expected to make a decision at its Jan. 23 meeting.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is funding 100 percent of the construction cost and 50 percent of property acquisition under the State Industrial Access road program. City and county governments must pay the remaining half of right of way acquisition before the state proceeds to widen Benton Pike (between APD 40 and Michigan Avenue Road) to three lanes and to widen the two lanes and shoulders of Durkee Road between Benton Pike and U.S. Highway 64.

Casteel said the annexation plan would affect property along the length of Durkee Road, including flag lots.

According to the financial website Bankrate.com, “Flag lots are so named because of the long, slender strips of land resembling flag poles that extend from the typically rectangular main sections of these lots — or the ‘flags’ — out to the street. Each ‘flag pole’ typically provides just enough frontage for vehicle access and is often shared by several neighbors.”

“[The annexation] actually takes in the boat company as well because it is a flag lot,” Casteel said. “You think of it as being on Highway 64, but technically, it’s a flag lot off of Durkee Road. The reason we’re looking at this so hastily is because if you would like to participate in the funding with Bradley County, then Durkee Road needs to be in the city prior to any commitment to sharing that funding.”

Through annexation, the Council would only pay for areas of the project within the city limits.

Mayor Tom Rowland said Whirlpool corporate officials in Benton Harbor, Mich. are closely watching the progress made toward getting the road built.

“They consider the city and county as the local governmental entity. They don’t look at us as two separate entities,” the mayor said. “They are very concerned and want us to get along with this project.”

The city will provide funds to TDOT in the amount of $1.998 million to purchase additional ROW and pay for additional utility costs. According to TDOT’s estimated costs as of Oct. 4, 2011, subject to the city’s successful annexation of the property and if the County Commission agrees to reimburse the city for its share of the costs, including proportionate fees including accrued interest on the county’s portion. Repayment is to be made within four years from the date funds are transferred to TDOT for the project.

The Bradley County Commission would also be required to amend the Minnis Road sewer agreement for Park View Elementary School. Under the amended agreement made June 24, 2009, the county would forgive the city of any further costs related to that project, which would be about $450,000.

The County Commission will vote on the agreement at a later date.
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Conservation Easements (CE’s): Read the fine print before you sign

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Bradley Countians beware of the latest tool to grab your land by Conservation Easement! A plan that at any given time could turn on you and rip your property rights away from you in a minute! Sure, as they say it is all voluntary and its all up to the property owner to do what they want with their own property! The individual should have the right! Right?

Just as the property owner does indeed have the right, the trickery is in the vagueness in the wording of the contract that can come back and bite that person in the backside a few years down the road!

Think about it? Why do you need a Land Trust to have control of your property? Why is their this big push by these private entities acting as government officials to claim the rights to your land? Can’t the owner simply keep his or her property rights and simply tell his heirs what they want to do with their land by deed! After all you can’t touch my land anyway without my approval! Its the money and the small tax break you may get! Isn’t it funny that so little money can make you give up the farm for a false security which is man made and can never be regained once lost! Read on and let me know what you think! Pleasure me with some good conversation about this! Enjoy!

The PPJ Gazette
by W.R. McAfee, Sr.
________________________________________________

”A normal easement by a landowner usually grants a right to someone to do something on the landowner’s property; but a conservation easement gives away the landowner’s rights to do something on his or her own property.
Land trusts and environmental groups regularly use conservation easements to take control of private property.”
_________________________________________________
Read the fine print before you sign

A basic Constitutional tenet of private property ownership in America is the landowner’s right to determine the use and disposition of his or her land. This ownership gives the property owner the right to occupy, use, lease, sell, develop, and deny public access to his or her land.

Today, landowners can lose these rights simply by signing a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ conservation easement (CE) offered by ‘nonprofit-environmental-friendly’ land trusts, NGO environmental organizations, or government agencies unless the easement has been worded to protect the landowner’s rights.

The growing number of land trusts

In the early 1950s, there were some 50 land trusts in the U.S.  Today, there are more than 1,700.  Among the largest are the:
Nature Conservancy (TNC),
American Farmland Trust (AFT),
Conservation Fund, and
Trust for Public Land.

Land trusts exist to remove private property from production
They do this by acquiring ranch, farm, forest, or other private land either through donation, purchase, or by acquiring CEs to property as well as water.  They act as unofficial arms of government agencies—third party intermediaries or ‘land agents’—and routinely flip (sell) donated as well as purchased land and CEs to these government agencies.  When they do, they’re paid with tax dollars which, in turn, are used to purchase more private property.

In 1994, the Government Accounting Office reported approximately 61 percent of the Trust for Public Land’s operating revenue was gained from the sale of donated land.

In 2001, the U.S. Forest Service and TNC signed a five-year ‘memorandum of understanding’ to ‘protect the land’ from things like ‘invasive species’ which, according to some eastern congressmen, includes cattle that graze federal land even though their owners pay the government a per unit (head) fee to graze it.

That same year, government officials at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, made available to the TNC several million dollars to acquire water rights from private property owners around the base through the use of conservation easements.
Primary recipients of land trust acquisitions are the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Government already owns almost half the land in America.
Why land trusts are used to acquire land for the government
Government agencies are prohibited by the Constitution from buying land within a state unless the sale is approved by that state’s legislature—a pesky, time-consuming process that usually has to withstand legislative scrutiny and public debate as the Founders intended. Article I, §8, 01.07 of the Constitution states that:
[Congress is authorized] “…To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States (emphasis added), and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be (emphasis added), for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings…”

Once fed agencies gain control of private property, they have difficulty maintaining it.  The reason being the money to purchase the land comes to them unearned in the form of tax dollars.  In April 2002, the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General estimated the agency had an $8-11 billion dollar maintenance backlog affecting land and facilities it already owned.

Lester Thurow gave a good explanation why this happens in 1986 when he wrote:
“… government ownership of production fails because it cannot answer the   question:  Who should stay up all night with a sick cow?

“In America, it’s the owner. In a socialist country, the answer isn’t clear and is often—no one.”
Land trusts operate with few restrictions
Land trusts are under few restrictions when it comes to landowner transactions. They:
Buy targeted land (a ranch, farm, or private property location) for federal agencies when it becomes available; then hold the land until the agency that wants it has the tax dollars to buy it.
Provide what appears to sellers an alternative to having to deal directly with government agencies.
Are not required to buy a real estate license or provide full disclosure of their transactions.

Can be less than forthcoming about their agenda when signing up  ‘willing sellers’; often conducting their ‘real estate transactions’ in a manner that best suits their causes and goals.
Are generally accountable only to their boards.
Mostly are immune from civil and criminal litigation due to hold harmless clauses in their ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE agreements.
Congress won’t check these land trusts.

Conservation Easements take private property rights away from landowners

A normal easement by a landowner usually grants a right to someone to do something on the landowner’s property; but a conservation easement gives away the landowner’s rights to do something on his or her own property.

Land trusts and environmental groups regularly use conservation easements to take control of private property.

Read the fine print before you sign a CE

If a landowner is seeking a CE to reduce taxes on a part of his or her property, then he or she must make sure the easement agreement meets the required IRS codes.
To meet IRS requirements for a tax deduction, the CE must include the following:
Be granted in perpetuity (forever) to a government agency or ‘nonprofit’ land trust or organization,
Prohibit all surface mining on the easement, including oil and gas exploration, and
Allow public access onto the easement if the leaseholder—the party with whom the landowner signs the easement agreement—so specifies.

Beware the ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE

‘Standard’ or ‘model’ CEs offered by government agencies, land trusts, and environmental organizations to landowners as a means to reduce taxes can later lead to problems if landowners sign the agreement without fully understanding its contents. For example:

Their children and their heirs are bound forever by what’s written into the CE.
They can’t build, drill, or put a road on the CE without the leaseholder’s permission.
They can’t lease or sell the CE to another party.
They can’t develop the CE.
They’re still responsible for taxes on the CE.
They’re still responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, improvement, and financial support for the CE.
Leaseholders can enforce CE requirements
Many landowners don’t realize the recipient of their CE—their leaseholder—becomes the fulltime landlord and dominant partner over their easement land after a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed.  Plus, the leaseholder can enforce the requirements of the CE on the landowner and has the authority to:
Review and approve the landowner’s activities on the CE,
Monitor the landowner’s ongoing use of the CE and visit the property any time to ensure all CE restrictions are being met, and
Legally enforce the CE’s restrictions on the landowner if the leaseholder feels they aren’t being met.
CEs affect the value of private land
The value of CE land—other than that realized through a reduced tax rate on the CE property—drops dramatically once the CE is signed.
It becomes difficult—if not impossible—to borrow against CE land because avenues for foreclosure are extremely limited for the lender if there’s a default on the loan.
Title insurance on CE land becomes difficult to obtain.
Developers are hesitant to buy land attached or adjacent to a CE
A landowner’s CE can be conveyed
The easement holder—the party or organization with whom a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed—can convey a landowner’s easement to a third party without the landowner’s permission.
The landowner has no control over the boards that govern either the actions of his or her easement holder, or the third party group to whom the CE is conveyed by the assignee.
Vague terms in a CE can be costly

Lease holder boards can and often do interpret vague, general terms and wording in  ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE agreements in ways that help their (environmental) organizations meet goals and agendas; thus putting the landowner at the mercy of the officials who govern his or her CE.

An example of a vague, general term is the phrase “…no use inconsistent with the conservation purpose of this easement…”
This harmless-sounding statement purposely leaves the door open for leaseholder boards to change the interpretation of what’s allowable on a landowner’s CE, and can put his or her heirs in court with the leaseholder.

Litigation can be expensive

Litigation resulting from ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CEs can be costly for landowners in face-offs with organizations like the Trust for Public Land or TNC who stay flush with tax dollars from:
Land sold to government agencies,
Tax deductible donations from multi-national and Fortune 500 corporations, and
Donations from wealthy individuals and endowed charitable trusts friendly to environmentalists.
Extensive litigation usually follows, but if the CE wasn’t worded to protect the landowner to begin with—and it has been signed—then he or she usually is out of luck.
Other situations can arise after a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed.
For example, a state highway department may want to condemn a portion of the CE for a new road right-of-way.  When they do, they normally pay the lower value of the land that resulted after the CE was signed.

Then, once the road is in, the landowner cannot—unless it’s written into his or her CE—put in a business, franchise, or gas station alongside the new road because the standard easement rules will still apply to the remaining land.

Advice for landowners considering CEs

Get good, solid legal advice from an experienced real estate transaction lawyer.
Draft the CE in specific, limited terms that will protect your rights.
List the terms and length of the easement.
Draft the easement so that you are the dominant estate partner in the agreement.
Write into your CE a no assignment provision.  In other words, the organization with which you’re signing the CE must have your permission before they assign your easement to a third party.
Strike any hold harmless language or clauses in the CE that the organization wanting the CE seeks. For example, The Nature Conservancy and other land trusts often want you to indemnify them in the CE with language or clauses. Don’t!

Get good accounting advice as well.

If a landowner feels it is in his or her best interest to sign land over to an organization, then the landowner should:
Get good accounting advice and make sure the CE meets the required IRS codes and regulations for a tax deduction before the agreement is signed.  The landowner—not the recipient of the CE—is responsible for this.
Pick a good organization with whom to sign a CE.  Environmental groups and land trusts are not landowner friendly.
There are other ways to reduce your property and estate taxes. Find a good, experienced, estate tax attorney, sit down with him or her, and explore your alternatives.
Finally, a landowner needs to look at two layers within his or her CE.
Will your CE partner accept your terms for the easement?
Will the IRS accept your CE and allow you the deductions if reduced taxes on your property is one of your goals?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then a landowner needs to re-examine the CE he or she is about to sign.
References
* Information compiled from notes taken at a 2004 presentation on Conservation Easements by attorney Paul M. Terrill, III, of Hazen & Terrill, P.C., Austin, Texas, at the Stewards of the Range annual conference and meeting, Reno, Nevada, and from GAO

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