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Residents Raise Concerns Over Planning Program

Several came out to poke holes in a sustainable communities initiative.

A presentation requesting that the town of Windham partake in a sustainable communities initiative turned into several residents and some Board of Selectmen members raising concerns about the plan.

The initiative, which was presented by Rockingham Planning Commission Executive Director Cliff Sinnott, drew fire from residents who felt that the plan was reaching too far.

One of those residents, Eileen Mashimo, said the initiative "overreached the scope" of a regional land plan.

"I would highly encourage you to take a look at this and really think hard about this because there are things in the framework that have nothing to do with land planning," she said.

Mashimo offered examples from the plan, including a section labeled "healthy eating active living" and another related to family assistance for early care and education.

Sinnott defended that master plans aren't just about land, but rather everything from water, housing and commercial development.

"It's about planning for the future, and if that's something that you think is a bad thing, then you're not going to like this," he said.

But that future plan, which Sinnott said stretches to about 2035, is something that Ken Eyring, another Windham resident, disagreed with.

Eyring said that 35 years ago, there was no way to predict where society would be from a technological standpoint, an item that he said the board should consider.

Eyring also picked apart other parts of the plan, including a section saying that the public relations firm ActionMedia will serve as a contractor.

ActionMedia, according to the initiative, will provide $43,500 in grant funds to develop the communications strategy and train RPC staff in effective outreach technique.

But Eyring referenced one part of the ActionMedia website, questioning whether it was the type of company the town wants associated with the regional planning.

"Our work is about the power of communications to shift the advantage, to mobilize support and neutralize opposition," said the site.

Commenting on Eyring's concerns, Sinnott said that the plans are not mandating that Windham or any of the other 26 towns in the RPC do what they suggest.

"What we do is advisory, there is no regulatory piece to this at all," Sinnott said.

A third resident – Bill McNally – opposed the plan completely, saying that he believed the planning commission is coming directly or indirectly from the United Nations Agenda 21, an action plan related to sustainable development.

"I'd like to see people keep their initiative here in Windham and not be getting into a regional commission," McNally said.

Sinnott said that the RPC has "no connection whatsoever" to the United Nations.

"Before we got involved with this project, I had never heard of Agenda 21," he said.

According to Sinnott, funding for the regional plan was approved in December. It had originally been turned down in 2010.

That funding is contingent on enough towns participating in the initiative.

Sinnott said that the project will take three years and is federally funded, with a 8.5 percent of local dues going into it as a match.

That number amounts to $37,500 in dues over three years from the RPC towns. The entire grant is worth $300,000.

The goal, as Sinnott explained, is to build individual regional plans for all nine commissions in New Hampshire.

Those plans will specifically cover items such as vision, goals and objectives, housing, transportation, infrastructure, natural resources and environment and economic development.

The idea after that will be to bring the plans to the state from the bottom up.

"When we're done with our individual regional plans, the idea is to combine those plans at least to summarize them into what are the common pieces that are found throughout the state," Sinnott said.

The RPC is comprised of residents from the 27 towns, with Peter Griffin serving as Windham's member.

18 of the 27 RPC communities provided letters of support when the grant was first applied for. Windham's support letter indicated a willingness to sign a partnership agreement to provide input for the project.

Sinnott said that Hampstead was the only town that explicitely did not want to participate.

"From what I understand it was simply a philosophical desire not to accept federal funds to engage in this," he said.

Selectman Phil LoChiatto also took issue with the federal dollars.

"It always comes out in the end that when the federal government give you something they always want someting else in return," he said.

But Selectman Ross McLeod backed up the idea of the master plan, agreeing with the planned outcome of bringing efficiencies to the state level once the regional initiatives are complete.

McLeod said that too many towns are "in it for themselves and themselves only," leading to inefficiencies on the state level.

"It's incumbent on us to try to help the state more efficiently," he said

Following the suggestion of McLeod, the board tabled the discussion until next month so that it can research all of the concerns brought up by residents.

Smacca April 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
This is what they call "communitarianism", a nice word for communism. You should consider getting rid of this Cliff Sinnot guy as well for even considering it. Even "IF" this were not a part of Agenda 21, this IS an international program. The idea of bringing an international program and using a PR firm like Action Media to manipulate the public perception is completely twisted and should tell you right off it's not about HELPING YOU. Use local ideas! Get rid of Obama boy Cliff Sinot.
Smacca April 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The " effective outreach technique" used by Action Media is nothing more than what is called the Delphi technique. Look it up! It is a public manipulation technique, ignoring people's concerns and creating the appearance of public acceptance to ram through their agenda. The ones in Windham saying this an over reaching initiative are smart. Listen to them! DON'T DO IT!
Jane Aitken April 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Very smart of you to recognize this. Yes the Delphi technique is also used on teachers who are instructed to promote this agenda in the schools, especially if they buy into the IBO's program. They are led to believe this is something good that they chose. Part of the UN agenda which they wish to be spread to our students is Agenda 21, or the management of our towns and cities with regard to 'sustainability' as the UN defined it in Rio de Janiero in 1992. Here is information on how our government is dangerously close to complying and why this must be fought on the national level as well. --Sustainable Development for the Next Twenty Years--United States Views on Rio+20: http://www.state.gov/e/oes/sus/releases/176863.htm (As you read this ask, "Is this not what the Obama administration is now doing?". --High Level Dialogue on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development: www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/remarks/2011/176361.htm (pay particular attention to paragraphs 1-4-5-6-11) --Objectives of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development: www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/remarks/2011/157993.htm (see paragraph 15, "Good governance at all levels is critical to our ability to make good on our Agenda 21 commitments.")
Jane Aitken April 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
"Sinnott said that the RPC has "no connection whatsoever" to the United Nations." And yet, it's tied to federal funds.. which... as you can see from the above documents from the feds themsleves, IS indeed tied to and being done on behalf of the UN's Agenda 21. Nice try Mr. Sinnott..
Smacca April 25, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Thanks for confirming what I'm saying. They are so crazy that it sounds crazy explaining what they're doing. I looked on the Action Media website, and if you look in their library they have a defending Agenda 21 PDF which goes into explaining how to manipulate the part of the public who they call "the tea party". As if everyone who doesn't believe in communitarianism is the in tea party! This is not about economic progress or healthy environment, this is about control and social engineering. And they refuse to acknowledge the importance of individuality or localized government, or even debate it. Their protocol is to ignore what you say and repeat the same lies over and over.
Jane Aitken April 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM
@SMacca: True, and this is what they do regarding IBO in the schools. (See my Bedford Patch Blog) They cannot tell us the value added of paying a UNESCO partner for a program to improve their schools. There is only one reason to have that, and that is to promote the UN's pet projects and promote their agenda.
Jane Aitken April 25, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Action Media website also makes no bones about being activists for 'social change'. They are experts in the Delphi Technique. If something is so good for the residents of Windham, why do town officials need to hire a PR company that uses obfuscation to convince people of it?
Smacca April 25, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Exactly. I just hope more people see through this and become aware. If it's good it doesn't need to be manipulating. They obviously see everyone as idiots. The only thing good about it is the free money and that's all some elected officials see.
ObserverNH April 26, 2012 at 01:18 AM
http://www.cnht.org/news/2012/04/25/planners-hire-group-to-delphi-residents/
Bill McNally April 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Tennesee is waking up on this issue. See: http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11637-tennessee-passes-resolution-slamming-socialist-un-agenda-21
Bill McNally April 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Tom DeWeese gives an important overview at :http://www.screencast.com/t/LzTpKmGwW2T Also watch my Agenda 21 presentation filmed at the Manchester Library this month to be aired on Windham Cable TV during the first week in May 2012.
Susan April 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM
It is Agenda 21. I looked for Local A21 and Agenda 21 under the State of New Hampshire. Although the state itself does not have "regulations" pertaining to such, the Governor belongs to an outside environmental/energy group that does. He just hasn't been able to push it through the state level, so it's now being spread throughout the cities and towns. It is Agenda 21.

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