Editorial: A lost chance
By Journal Record Staff
Posted: 12:24 PM Thursday, December 9, 2010
Edmond city leaders gave in too easily Monday night to a few disruptive residents.
The city planned a sustainability conference well in advance and publicized the discussion topics. The Edmond Sun, on at least two occasions, ran a short item inviting public input. The city’s statement was clear: “The Edmond Sustainability Plan will include subjects such as water conservation, land use and transportation planning, green jobs, waste management, energy consumption, parks and green space, public and alternative transportation, green infrastructure, building retrofits, alternative fuels, education programs and more.”
The impetus for the Sustainability Plan was nearly $1 million available to the city as part of the Recovery Act. City staff members drafted a plan that would use the money to pay for CNG conversion kits for city vehicles, energy-saving devices for city facilities and water wells, and some energy-efficiency training and supplies for building inspectors. The rest was tagged for a Sustainability Plan the residents would help create.
All of that is noble. It’s federal money coming to the local economy in a recession to help the city become more environmentally friendly, and the public had a chance to provide ideas Monday night. At least they were supposed to.
The effort was thwarted by a couple of guests with half-baked conspiracy theories who were outspoken enough to derail a positive, orderly meeting. They were concerned that Edmond’s Sustainability Plan fell under the purview of the United Nations’ Agenda 21.