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Video: The Councils of Governments Amongst Us – Scott County Adopts Ten Smart Planning Principles Resolution, 5-0


It needs to be noted that in individual conversations with board members, the primary reason given for adopting this non-binding measure was to ensure that Scott County was eligible for future potential state and federal grants, related to Sustainable Development and Smart Planning incentives.
While the financial impetus for rubber stamping this measure was brought up by staff in public on January 20th, on February 3rd, Supervisors Cusak and Minard, in their public remarks, did not include grant eligibility as a reason they were voting yes on the staff recommended measure.

Rather, the reasoning leaned towards whether an additional layer of government was needed in the county so cities and counties could "accommodate themselves" in determining the "quality of life we think they should have."

Supervisor Bill Cusack felt assured from staff that these were only guidelines, while supervisor Larry Minard extolled the virtues of layers of regional councils of governments such as Bi-State Regional Commission.  Further, Minard asserts that not only is Scott County powerless to refuse any new taxes to support such a new entities that may emerge as a result of adopting these Smart Planning Principles, but Scott County would be an active participant.

William Cusack on Subjecting County to Outside Pressures:
“I just want to say I’ve done a lot of checking on this, and thinking, and based upon staff’s assurance that this is a guide and will not subject us to any outside pressures or influence, I plan to vote for it.”


Larry Minard on Regional Councils of Governments:
“I don’t think there’s ever been a time in the Bi-State Regional Commission where we haven’t held one of the four major offices. I mean it’s just the way things work. I think this layering is necessary.

The state government, has allowed these structures to develop, they’re not perfect, but they’ve allowed them to develop to meet all those needs, and if such an organization does develop that relates to planning and other issues that might come before it, Smart Planning Principles, the state will decide that and they will decide whether it’s a taxable organization or it doesn’t tax.
They will decide what’s going to happen, we won’t. But I can guarantee you that if we have that organization that Scott County will be a participant and play an active role.
And we always have and we will continue to do that and we will do what best reflects well of the citizens of Scott County and allows our people to have that quality of life that we think they should have.”

Full transcript of the Supervisors' comments are found below.
Video here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ScottIFATV#p/u/1/-XPKxo4lg4w


February 3, 2011 | Davenport, Iowa – The Scott County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to adopt the state's Smart Planning Principles for the County Comprehensive Plan.
This resolution, first proffered by staff via the Planning and Zoning division of the county structure for a recommendation, came before the supervisors for a single public hearing as required, two weeks prior.

(Note: It was previously incorrectly reported on this blog that there would be a second public hearing for this matter. Resolutions require only a single reading or public hearing, and are NOT cited as “one of one readings” when posted. Ordinances require two to three readings/public hearings prior to a vote by the Board and are cited “one of two” or “one of three readings” in the Agendas and Minutes.)

Concerns about additional layers of regional governance, future unaccountable taxing bodies and threats to personal and individual liberties and freedoms espoused by Agenda 21 and now being echoed in the state's statutory Smart Planning Principles were shared at the January 20th public hearing.

In addition, each board member was provided a copy of the document published by FreedomAdvocates.org entitled “Understanding Sustainable Development - Agenda 21.”
http://www.freedomadvocates.org/page,shop.product_details/flypage,flypage.tpl/product_id,2/category_id,4/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,54/

More details and video from Jan 20th public hearing are available here: http://scottcountyifa.blogspot.com/2011/01/regional-governance-more-taxes-being.html

The first copy of the resolution being voted on Feb 3rd was made available for the Committee of Whole on Feb 1st (http://www.scribd.com/doc/48307812/Scott-County-Iowa-Smart-Planning-Resolution-Feb-3-2011)

At the Feb 1st Committee of the Whole meeting, I proposed to the board to add a section to the Resolution to be voted on this Thursday that precludes this body from ceding any authority to a multi-jurisdictional council of governments and that precludes any new taxes to be levied to pay for such a council of governments.
http://scottcountyifa.blogspot.com/2011/02/mcgreevy-addresses-scott-county-board.html

The board did not reply on Feb 1st to this, but on Feb 3rd two of the five member board did offer their thoughts on why they were supporting this Resolution to amend the county's comprehensive plan document.
It needs to be noted that in individual conversations with board members, the primary reason given for adopting this non-binding measure was to ensure that Scott County was eligible for future potential state and federal grants, related to Sustainable Development and Smart Planning incentives.
While the financial impetus for rubber stamping this measure was brought up by staff in public on January 20th, on February 3rd, Supervisors Cusak and Minard chose not to include grant eligibility as a reason they were voting yes on the staff recommended measure.

Transcripts:
(Thank you Diane Holst for transcribing.)
William Cusack
“I just want to say I’ve done a lot of checking on this, and thinking, and based upon staff’s assurance that this is a guide and will not subject us to any outside pressures or influence, I plan to vote for it.”

Larry Minard
“I would like to address the issues that I think that they are, or at as I see them anyway. I think the Smart Planning Principles do align with our comprehensive plan that was recently revised, and therefore have no problem with them.

Scott County has an average of 350 people per sq mile. The Ten Principles I think when you have that level of density of population in the county are necessary really and provide framework for people to have their interests met and their needs in organized open and flexible way in a way that will in fact probably change with the times and it might be that in 2040 there will be an 11th Smart Planning Principle and maybe even before that. The list doesn’t necessarily imply that it is locked together, with everything else forever.

The second issue that ‘s here, is one which Supervisor Cusack alluded to, that a new Council of Government or Regional Council with whatever authority the State might give it would be another layer of government and take away some of the independence you might say or authority that Scott County might have at this time.

My comments are this. Iowa counties are small, Scott County - I looked this up today- is 450 sq miles. By any standard, that’s a fairly small area, and our county was created in 1837 in a design that was appropriate for that time and place, 175 years ago, and obviously those years have past and with it a whole host of new issues and technologies have arisen which, um, place us in a situation where what might have been adequate at one time may not serve the needs of Scott County residents in this new century.

So we have all kinds of ways that governments can work together, for instance, 28E agreements. They allow cities and counties, or cities and cities, or counties and counties to work together. There are literally thousands of 28E agreements throughout Iowa that enable us to function and meet the needs of people as they are now. We have community college districts, that (unintelligible) our case a certain set of counties, and they can tax, but that was created in the 1960’s to meet the needs of Iowans at that particular time and they continue to be true today.

We have judicial districts that we’re in that are another set of counties, 5 counties. Now we don’t tax in the judicial districts, the state provides funding for judicial districts, but, uh, we do have a 28E agreement with staff in helping accommodate some of the issues that arise with the prisoners in these 5 counties, and it saves us money, cause 5 counties can be more efficient than one, especially some of these very small ones.

We have Bi-State (Bi-State Regional Commission) that we work with, five counties, three in Illinois, two in Iowa, that provides a variety of services for us and serve the needs of all the citizens in this County.

And, I’ll mention one, which I know that there’s controversy about, the Scott Emergency Communication’s commission (sic: Scott County Emergency Communication Center, or SECC911), is an organization of with the County and the largest communities and a private organization, Medic, all participating together to provide services.

I think this layering is necessary. You’ve got an 1837 government structure and you’re living in the 21st century, and so the state, over time, has created these very layers of government to meet the needs of people as they have arisen.

We sit at the table of all of those organizations. Supervisor Sunderbruch is the chair of SECC. I’ve been chair of the 7th judicial district for the past few years. Carol Earhardt is now treasurer of the Bi-State Regional Commission, much to her surprise. Chris Gallin was before that. I don’t think there’s ever been a time in the Bi-State Regional Commission where we haven’t held one of the four major offices. I mean it’s just the way things work.

Iowa has, the state government, has allowed these structures to develop, they’re not perfect, but they’ve allowed them to develop to meet all those needs, and if such an organization does develop that relates to planning and other issues that might come before it, Smart Planning Principles, the state will decide that and they will decide whether it’s a taxable organization or it doesn’t tax.

They will decide what’s going to happen, we won’t. But I can guarantee you that if we have that organization that Scott County will be a participant and play an active role.

And we always have and we will continue to do that and we will do what best reflects well of the citizens of Scott County and allows our people to have that quality of life that we think they should have.

So, I don’t see this as anything negative. It’s a way states and counties and cities accommodate themselves to an ever changing citizenry and ever changing technology, and, and the things that have to be done in a smooth way.

And so, we will, if such a things comes about with the state of iowa, we will be a part of it and we will exercise those obligations in making sure it works well for all of us. So, I’m going to vote yes on this, and do not have a problem.”

Note: The 7th Judicial District entity Minard refers to is the “Court Services Board.”
Check pages 74-75 of the 2010 Appointments list: http://www.scribd.com/doc/48305754/Scott-County-Iowa-2010-Boards-and-Commission-Appointments


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