Our FACEBOOK PAGES are up and running,
so you can keep up with our day-to-day activities at:
Columbia Climate Change Coalition:
HOWEVER, there is a lot of great information on this site, so please click on the links underneath the pictures up top, and PLEASE CONTINUE READING BELOW for more information about important upcoming events, including our ongoing efforts - with many other community groups - to address runaway growth in downtown Columbia.
Bringing Sustainability, Public Health, Climate Change, Jobs, Better Community,
Cultural, Social, Environmental, Economic Justice
"A GMO-FREE ZONE"
GENERAL MEETING &
ORGANIC, NON-GMO POTLUCK
(VOTE WITH YOUR FOOD $$$*)
PLEASE BRING ORGANIC DISH,
DRINK, or SNACK,
Also: Eating/Drinking Utensils
to Take Back Home & Wash, or
Compostable Bio-Organic Disposables
Sat. June 7, 2:00 PM
Amphitheater Steps of Boone County Courthouse Commons or Boone County Commission Chambers (if Rain*)
Co-Sponsored By: Columbia Climate Change Coalition, Columbia Area NOW: National Organization for Women, Democracy for Missouri, Sweet Ethics Sustainability, KOPN Public Radio, Food Not Bombs, Native American Support Group, Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, MORE: Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment, Mid-Missouri Move to Amend, Peoples’ Visioning Mizzou
Facebook Groups/Event Pages, www.ColumbiaClimateChangeCoalition.org or 573-443-4717, 573-777-2216
Peoples’ Visioning: A Different Community Vision
Topic Group Small Meetings Schedule:
Saturday, May 10, 2-5 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Saturday, May 17, 2-5 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Energy/Transportation/Infrastructure/Ballot Effort & Announcement
Wednesday, May 7, 6:00-8:00 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Monday, June 9, 6:00-8:00 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Neighborhoods /Water & Food Security/Public Health/Zoning & Land Use
Saturday, May 10, 3:30-4:30 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Tuesday, June 10, 6:00-7:30 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
With All other Topic Group Meetings until Late Fall 2014 & TBA*/Call*
Bringing Sustainability; Public Health; Climate Change; Jobs; Better Community; Cultural, Social, Environmental, Economic Justice
GMO FREE ZONE
GENERAL MEETING/**ORGANIC, NON-GMO POTLUCK** (VOTE WITH FOOD $$$)
BRING ORGANIC DISH, DRINK, or SNACK, &
Eating/Drinking Utensils to Take Back Home & Wash, or Compostable Bio-Organic Disposables
Saturday, June 7, 2 PM
Amphitheater Steps of Boone County Courthouse Commons &/or Boone County Commission Chambers (if Rain*)
Facebook Groups/Events, www.ColumbiaClimateChangeCoalition.org, 573-443-4717, 573-777-2216 (over)
Sustainability; Public Health; Climate Change; Jobs;
Better Community; Cultural, Social, Environmental, Economic Justice
"Get Growing" Healthy Foods & Bodies!
"Green Your Groceries"
It’s All About Food, Dirt, Your Health & Your $Money$
SATURDAY, MAY 3rd, 1:00 PM
Compost ‘How To’
Location: 120 Benton, Columbia, MO
Co-Sponsored By: Columbia Climate Change Coalition, Columbia Area NOW: National Organization for Women, Democracy for Missouri, Sweet Ethics Sustainability, KOPN Public Radio, Food Not Bombs, Native American Support Group, Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, MORE: Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment, Mid-Missouri Move to Amend
A Different Community Vision
ALL Topic Group Small Meetings Schedule:
Saturday, May 10, 2-5 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Saturday, Apr. 12, 2-5 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Energy & Transportation/Infrastructure
Wednesday, Apr. 2, 6:00-7:30 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Monday, May 5, 6:30-8:30 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Neighborhoods /Water & Food Security/Public Health/Zoning & Land Use
Thursday, Apr. 10, 6:00-8:00 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Tuesday, Apr. 29, 6:00-7:30 PM, Food Court, MU Memorial Union North Tower
Overlapping with other Topic Group Meetings until Late Fall, or TBA*/Call*
THIS PAGE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING BELOW:
- Upcoming Events/Meetings/Brainstorming Topic Groups/Next Steps
- Hot Actions:
1) TIFs-‘NO Blight,Taxpayer-Supported Development!
2) Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
3) Net-Neutrality: the Courts, Congress, FCC** YOUR HELP NEEDED!!
- ‘TIF Talk!’ Tax Increment Financing: ‘Who Pays & How Much?’
- ‘NO TIF!’ Peoples’ Visioning ‘Plan B’: 7 Steps/Summary & Full Language*
- Nationally Noted Fracking Researcher, Dr. Susan Nagel, PhD on Fracking Chemicals & Public Health
- General Meeting: Short Docs on Bankers/Iceland/The Federal Reserve
- Round-Ups: Regroup with Your Votes & Input!
- Fall 2013: Join us in Our Fight Against Fracking & Bringing Renewables, Instead!
- 16 Reasons We Oppose Fracking for Unconventional Fuels
- Contact Info. for Local Action / Additional Documentation
- "Gasland II": A Documentary Showing & Community Discussion
- What is Peoples’ Visioning? (A Primary Project of CCCC)
- Peoples’ Visioning "Birthday "with Ingraffea & McKibben
- Columbia's First Net-Zero Energy Affordable Home
- Say NO to Tar Sands
- Peoples’ Visioning Panel: "Dish on Organics" Panel
- Earth Hour 2013 & (Earlier)
CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY
FOR ‘WHAT’S UP’ with CCCC & PV!
ON CNG & EVERYTHING ELSE--WE WILL NEED EVERYONE’S HELP & COMMITMENT TO KEEP FIGHTING FRACKING & ALL “DIRTY ENERGY” & GET RENEWABLES ‘THE PEOPLE’ HAVE BEEN WANTING, ASAP!—‘NO FRACKING’, ‘NO TAR SANDS’, ‘NO GMOs’, & MORE—GET CORPORATE INFLUENCE OUT OF GOVERNMENT at ALL LEVELS*** MOVE SOLUTIONS, CHANGE OFFICIALS***
Sustainability; Climate Change; Good Jobs; Better Community; Cultural, Social, Environmental, Economic Justice
‘TIF’ Tax Increment Financing
‘Who Pays & How Much?’
Tuesday, April 3rd, 6:30 p.m.
Live Music! Refreshments! 6:00 p.m.
Boone County Commission Chambers, Government Building
Sponsored By: Columbia Climate Change Coalition, Columbia Area NOW: National Organization for Women, Democracy for Missouri, Sweet Ethics Sustainability, KOPN Public Radio, Food Not Bombs, Native American Support Group, Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, MORE: Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment
Facebook Group, Event Pages, www.ColumbiaClimateChangeCoalition.org or 573-443-4717, 573-777-2216
A Different Community Vision
ALL Topic Group Small Meetings Schedule:
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2-5 PM, DBRL—Library
Saturday, Mar. 1, 2-5 PM, DBRL—Library
Saturday, Mar. 15, 2-5 PM, North Tower MU Memorial Union Food Court
Energy & Transportation/Infrastructure
Thursday, Feb. 27, 6:30-8:30 PM, DBRL—Library
Tuesday, Mar. 18, 6:30-8:30 PM, North Tower MU Memorial Union Food Court
Neighborhoods /Water & Food Security/Public Health/Zoning & Land Use
Monday, Feb. 24, 6:30-8:30 PM, DBRL—Library
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 6:30-8:30 PM, DBRL—Library
Tuesday, Mar. 18, 6:30-8:30 PM, North Tower MU Memorial Union Food Court
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 6:30-8:30 PM, North Tower MU Memorial Union Food Court
AND Overlapping with other Groups’ Meetings or TBA
**RALLY/‘RED ALERT’/COLUMBIA, MO!!**
MONDAY, 3/17/14, CITY COUNCIL MEETING
CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS, 7 PM!!
Thanks, ALL, in rallying for the fight ‘to listen to the public’---ALL of whom, not standing to be a direct financial beneficiary to these 3 proposed development projects, have adamantly stated their strong opposition both in public, to the council and media, surveys, online groups, NAs, organizations, the DLC, etc...all expressing, at the least, an opposition to the ‘favoring’, expedited government process for the developers, when public voices, without conflict of interest, are saying this:
* 'Cart before the horse'
* Unfair process, offered to some but not the rest of us, when the 'some' are NOT even our citizens--but powerful, out-of-town developers, driving bargains and thwarting our citizens and the public, intending to 'suck huge profits out of our community’, leaving citizens saddled with further rising utilities the Mayor claims NOT to favor unless it’s for this big-developer group instead of for programs that would actually drive down utility costs!! This leaves us a huge debt for which they propose to offer only 10% of costs for just one small piece of infrastructure they will demand, throwing presently functioning utility infrastructure, though needing some maintenance, into chaos as a result—‘but for’ these developments!!
* Where’s the proof and the data?
* Incompatible with our community input through limited, rushed process and long time publically formed Visions and other guiding documents
* Is this sustainable, cost-effective and fiscally responsible to the fiduciary demands on our public voice and taxpayer demands, dismissed in this process, so far…
WE MUST BE at CITY COUNCIL, MONDAY, 3/17/14, 7 PM in huge numbers to PRESS HARD & STOP this at CITY COUNCIL MONDAY, 3/17, 7 PM---Bring Friends---
PEOPLES’ VISIONING ‘PLAN B’
(*INSTEAD OF TIF*) SUMMARY POINTS:
1) Zoning codes ahead of new development—until then, a development moratorium
2) Always carefully consider and use full definition of Smart Growth included herein
3) Green Buildings, Building Codes and Renewables: 100% Renewable as Goal
4) Hard and Soft Infrastructure to be assessed to new and redevelopment, as if new, at significantly higher costs or Impact Fees, User-Based Rate Structure, and/or Trip Generation models
5) Consider Bill Weitkemper’s suggestions on billing, available funds from rate and billing changes, sewer concerns, potential rearrangement of certain projects and work timeframes
6) Look at City Department Finances, Bonds, Tax or Rate Increases or Refunds As Appropriate
7) Full investigation and audit of all our financial balances and present funding situation and 18 month running financial report at every 3rd Monday of the month City Council meeting.
PEOPLES’ VISIONING PLAN B
From PV’s Visioning, which often meshes with Columbia’s Vision process results in the original Columbia Vision, as well as large parts of the Comprehensive Plan, out of that earlier document, we request the following Seven Steps:
Step One: Get thoughtful, public-supported, proper and updated zoning codes in place ahead of ANY NEW development or redevelopment that considers these documents and the voice of the public especially the downtown neighborhoods bordering the District and surrounding area. Consider a zoning overlay that would account for historic preservation and appropriate density, other principles of smart growth, as well as form based building codes, mom and pop stores, and net-zero energy building requirements for all of Columbia, but especially this portion of our city as we struggle with infill and density. Until then, maintain a moratorium as the public and Downtown Leadership Council asked for over a year ago, strongly supported by many in the community, and asked for again with the Niedermeyer ‘uproar’.
Step Two: Always use the full definition of Smart Growth:
Smart growth values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health.
Consider our own Columbia, citizen-created documents. Then consider additional information such as Eban Fodor’s Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community, which notes: ‘Contrary to accepted wisdom, rapid urban growth can leave communities permanently scarred, deeply in debt, with unaffordable housing, a lost sense of community and sacrificed environmental quality.’, along with other works, some cited herein, for a much better understanding of a more thoughtful, just, fair and sustainable development that most Columbian’s are calling for.
About 15 years ago, a Carnegie Mellon professor named Richard Florida quantified something many of us had long suspected, that throughout the last half of the 20th century, well-educated young adults were leaving industrial cities such as Buffalo and Cleveland, and moving to high-tech cities such as Seattle, Minneapolis and Austin. He coined the term "the creative class," to describe these affluent, well-educated young adults, and praised cities that attracted them by prioritizing cultural districts, thriving downtowns, LGBT acceptance, farmers' markets and greenways and green space. Not surprisingly, Richard Florida had a fair amount of praise for Columbia, and other small Midwestern college cities such as Madison, Bloomington and Ann Arbor.
Dr. Richard Florida, PhD from New York’s Columbia University and Director of the Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the University of Toronto, in early 2012, made a rather startling statement about the cities that had been so successful in pulling in members of the creative class, a term he coined. Or at least it was startling to him, and to others that it came from him. For most of us, it was something that we had been experiencing or long suspected. He said new data showed that the people who had already been living in those creative class cities often wound up being no better off than they were before the influx of new people and in some cases were worse off. Sure, perhaps there were some more job opportunities for some of them in retail or construction, for example. But the cost of living had skyrocketed. Commute times had also risen tremendously. Small gains folks may have made in hourly wage or hours worked were more than offset by all the new costs of this ‘creative class driven’ growth. This sounds like the case for Columbia, as we’ve added nearly 2,000 new residents per year for the last 15 years, and have grown by nearly a third in that time period.
Some Columbians and many others in America have long accepted that we must fear the absence of growth. In the Midwest, that is a strong fear because we’re occasionally surrounded by places that have done the opposite of grow, and we have seen their consequences. The real concern is: ‘Why did this happen there and what can be done about it?’ Some of this is driven by what has been explained in 2 books referred to time and again in our local debate over EEZ: ‘The Great American Jobs Scam, Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation’ by Greg Leroy, free to read online at www.GreatAmericanJobsScam.com , available for check-out at our library; and, the other is Colin Gordon’s story of negative consequences in St. Louis with these types of funding mechanisms associated with negative growth in ‘Mapping Decline’. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. What Columbia has gotten is an unprecedented strain on roads, all infrastructure including public schools, public health and safety and more.
So it is time to quickly and completely reconsider our viewpoint of growth, put much more of a focus on what type it is, how fast its occurring, what it looks like and its real costs, rather than accounting only for touted or certain perceptions of the benefits of some types of growth. Data less than a year old shows, those benefits of certain types of growth have been overstated.
Step Three: It is Peoples’ Visioning’s recommendation, as part of our Vision and community guiding documents, that green building codes and ‘stretch green building’ codes, providing new opportunities in both materials and design, be quickly adopted, to include all buildings, commercial as well as homes, and that these improved building codes be immediately and strictly applied. This step regarding ‘green buildings’ and building codes was also part of the Burns and McDonnell November 2013 Report on Columbia’s utility and energy supply, backing our PV recommendations as of December 2012, as a quick way to greatly reduce energy demand while significantly improving sustainability as it eases utility and resource demands that are provided by infrastructure for electric, sewer, water, and solid waste. We must also vigorously continue to educate and ‘train’ ourselves, our residents, both old and new, and our business persons to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE, in that order, while expanding opportunities for them to do this easily. Taking both of these important additional steps will reduce amounts of use, need and demand, reducing costs for less infrastructure and utility services demand, contributing greatly to our long term sustainability and to Columbia becoming more and more powered, in future, by 100% renewable energy, called for by Peoples’ Visioning in City Council, Public Comments, December 2012, when PV called for 80% renewable energy by 2015. We also offered renewable energy plans to get Columbia all or most of the way to that goal, which we still offer. We brought Council information on other cities with renewable energy already, in 2012, supplied at 86%, 95%, and 100%, as existing models and examples that this is not a ‘pie in the sky’ suggestion, but a ‘doable’ reality.
Peoples’ Visioning has made recommendations through the Boards and Commissions, as was suggested then that we do, regarding raising our request to raise our Renewable Energy Standard, and to raise ALL building code standards for both home and commercial buildings, which will improve building efficiency, greatly reduce demand, offer additional conservation measures, as well as distributed renewable generation, for a variety of utility models and types. We hope PV ideas will move quickly forward not only from the dais, but from staff and from advisory boards and commissions, as with the recent increase in Columbia’s RES and presently as with these very specific steps and specific suggestions that will help the current and present situation we find ourselves in, along with much more, very soon. As the Mayor and many Council Persons noted when passing 2013 improved home building codes; and, as the latest Burns and McDonnell recommendations note, building green is a very fiscally responsible step, easy to take, that the city will reap the benefits of, along with all Columbia residents and construction business owners; other businesses, realtors, staff and policy makers; and, ultimately, ‘green building’ owners themselves—please implement immediately before other commercial or home buildings are approved. This is a Peoples’ Visioning step strongly supported by the community as the excitement for the Net-Zero Energy project demonstrates.
Step Four: Once these other steps are in place, Peoples’ Visioning proposes addressing what others and other Visioning documents also propose in asking development to be fairly charged for the actual and real costs of the Impact of their development that, ‘but for’ it, we would not have the added burden of cost to all of the following infrastructure needs, as follows:
* roads and lower-impact forms of city bus or similar forms of urban mass-transportation modes, walking and bicycling paths, as well as regional high-speed rail and bus services, as these all are aspects of infrastructure costs, are more sustainable and need to be part of assessing impact fees and/or user-based, trip generation assessment models in the transit category and link or extrapolate burden on other needs including
* water, in critical supply in a warming world;
* sewer, with abundant ‘green’ solutions;
* electricity, also with 100% renewable already being achieved or within easy reach in several American cities;
* fire and police protection;
* public schools and libraries;
* as well as many, increased green spaces, crucial to public health and quality of place and life, including all types of publically owned parks, with edible landscaping, urban farming and additional ‘food forests’ in public parks and spaces, along with additionally designated ‘wild, untouched, urban ‘green spaces’’, urban forest or wildlife preserves and greenbelt areas, along with any remaining and/or valuable historic scenic roads and routes as well as potential scenic new routes.
Assess impacts on these hard and soft infrastructure needs and associated costs and link these costs to impacts and user-based models, as recommended by Peoples’ Visioning, as well as to some degree mentioned in the minority report of the Infrastructure Task Force, focused solely on roads in that report, but now recommended by some of those members and others to include all forms of necessary infrastructure, as noted above. Peoples’ Visioning, has also more recently led the community in calling for this, along with our allies and PV co-sponsors as well as many in the broader Columbia public voice, in several, but often ignored, guiding documents and processes supported by the public, as well as a few Council Persons, as the public’s voice on City Council. This also includes results of 2007 studies by Dr. Ben Londree and very apparent, dire need to upgrade our ranking in his list of comparable communities and his note of the national average at that time for development impact fees.
Cost assessments and impact fees must include long-range maintenance, upkeep and general maintenance as a fair and realistic cost of developers fair cost of maintenance ‘but for’ their developments—just as a homeowner plans for repair and maintenance. These development related maintenance and repair fees should be charged at an appropriate rate in any number of creative ways to assist developers, if necessary, to pay them as long as it does not ever come out of public’s pocket through taxation models like TIF, EEZ and others or rates. Some portion of this maintenance fee must be up-front in an escrow-type fund for such services and needs and be a part of any later real estate sales contracts for properties that may change hands. Local business must be given priority and some considerations for sliding scale costs and creative pay arrangements for smaller, mid and large size local companies so as not to discourage or inadvertently prevent local businesses of all sizes from being able to develop in the face of bigger companies coming here to invest, develop and siphon all their profit off the community. We should favor local developers, but within constraints of paying for their ‘true development costs’.
Peoples’ Visioning supports a ‘flip-flop’ or close to a reversal of our present development model with regards to costs assessed to accommodate the above areas, necessary for sustainability and a high quality of life, infrastructure needs and services. We also recommend something like what is also being confirmed and supported by public input, over and over again, and in an ‘unofficial’ but significant poll non-the-less, Councilman Thomas’ poll on development fees and models. Our Peoples’ Visioning suggestion is 70% to 80% is fair to assess all or most developers for development fees and costs to pay their fair share for infrastructure for developments (and development profits) which must be there to support their impact on the community. Most development, except some local development corporations and small business companies, take their profit way out of the community. We need an impact development fee and policy that rewards developers who do not do not take profits way out of the community and that doesn’t harm smaller business persons and/or local developers, putting them at risk in competing with the much deeper-pocketed and usually out-of-state or region big corporations, there should be a part of this new impact fee policy that levels the playing field and helps reward smaller and more local developers who keep and spread profit in Columbia, our the local economy and the community. This model would help serve other communities.
Step Five: Adopt all of Mr. Bill Weitkemper’s suggestions, coming from nearly 40 years of experience in our Public works department, to improve funds in his area of expertise, not only to improve funds collected, while fairly assessing use and corresponding rates to encourage more customer conservation at all levels, but also essentially adopting a ‘conservation rate structure’ across the entire utility spectrum to reduce costs of related infrastructure to all parties and be distributed more equitably and fairly with a user-based system and/or conservation rate pricing structure. Also assess results of efforts to improve sewer and other infrastructure for effectiveness in both cost and results delivered. Consider Mr. Weitkemper’s, and other’s ideas, of which PV also approves, to shuffle and/or re-prioritize a few carefully assessed and considered, pre-approved monies and projects to lessen the system’s downtown bottleneck and upgrade infrastructure, enhancing the whole system while addressing repairs, public health consequences and our current and ongoing relationship to the EPA regarding pollution levels and our storm water run-off, which always needs to be kept on the front burner from here on out. To this Peoples’ Visioning adds that we must set an example for diligent and continuing strong reduction and use of strong, toxic chemicals across public lands, public and private lawn and garden care, disposal of cleaning, building, paint, auto, batteries electronics and all toxic chemicals and their application across all our systems to aid in water quality and EPA compliance. A strong public educational effort of this problem is necessary and required. These ideas and ideals are held by many in our community and have strong support from many allies, Peoples’ Visioning, our co-sponsors, and many others.
Step Six: Finally, after the preceding steps and methods are in place, being utilized, and ‘development costs reassessment’ policies are in place, we then, and only then, look at city finances and department balances or fund balances, or consider bonds or tax increases to pay for what is a true and fair cost of development, new and/or redevelopment, as well. It is high-time to upgrade these old policies, asked for many years ago, with these guiding principles, city documents, other available models and processes directed above and herein. We are just now learning that we must listen to the people, follow their written voices in our guiding documents, and further public voice, confirming and requesting this and adding, many times by some of us, ‘just how it is that we can get there’.
As we revamp zoning, to include historical overlays and form-based zoning, etc… it is the right and appropriate time to also upgrade this and other policies and codes, listen to the people, and implement a ‘new cost to develop’ in Columbia to reflect the real costs, and need for costs to be fairly shared. Just because developers have been able to pay less in ‘the forever past’, does not make it ‘unfair’ to finally change to a more fair policy and, that somehow doing so is unfair to them. For far too long, inequitably, and clearly unsustainably, it has unfairly fallen to the poor and the public to do without, as we have, or pay more in taxes, as we have! It is unsustainable and fiscally irresponsible to the ‘peoples’ money’ to say we, the people, must continue to shoulder the cost burden of unbridled development or it will ‘sprawl’ and just develop elsewhere. We must also work on this with our neighbors, our County and surrounding areas to help them not be similarly burdening their public and taxpayers. And, homeowners, other consumers, will pay their ‘fair share’, as a ‘market will bear’ developer cost, passed on to that market limit to those specific consumers of development products. This sixth step is unlikely to be necessary if the important prior Five Steps above are taken.
Thank you for remedying this long time inequitable, fiscally irresponsible, and unsustainable imbalance with the present and immediate circumstance we face.
Step Seven: Once these six steps have been accomplished, or going on simultaneously with the assessments and calculations required for correction of this situation, an internal investigation and audit of all our financial balances and present funding situation is called for. It must be done in a responsible, transparent fashion, with the public able to easily follow, online or in some other way, to fully ascertain the accurate state of our shared public funds, then determining appropriate balances, uses and adherence to our City Charter, laws and ordinances regarding those funds and balances, or lack thereof, with appropriate explanations for the circumstances we would find. If it is finally determined there is some excess cash, after this full audit and investigation, then those appropriate monies will need to be fairly refunded to utility customers, according to the charges and rate structures during which those excess monies were acquired, rather than be used, yet again, to subsidize more development that falls outside the call of the City Charter and may put Columbians at serious legal risk if expensive services are not supplied.
For these and other many reasons displaying fairness: that the public has been paying more than its fair share for far too long, we suggest these appropriate, more fair payment options for handling our present and future development infrastructure problems, that ‘but for’ new development, we would need ‘some’ upgrades, but how some look at it now is as if development has just arrived on an empty plot of land and that these repairs and upgrades will cost not more in that scenario, and could possibly cost less, than any development in that ‘just arrived on an empty plot of land’ scenario would cost developers if they had to pay themselves rather than receive subsidization from the taxpayers. Some complain that their rate or tax money might go to help an individual lower their rates or utilities with modest policies to meet our ordinances and operational goals of our utilities, yet when business persons with far more demands are supported by those monies its just fine, or great. This is a philosophical ‘double-standard’ of who we might consider ‘worth’ our rate or taxpayer assistance. Automatically provide a full report, monthly update, in a full18 month financial running ‘full audit’ statement or accurate statement of financials in a report each month at each 2nd regularly scheduled monthly Council meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month for the public and Council to base input and important decisions on, easily accessible to all.
Thank you very much for your time to listen to us. We hope you will quickly implement all or a large part of these carefully vetted, important policy recommendations, important improvements and important changes to preserve and protect our loved and shared community, our home!
Columbia Peoples’ Visioning
Columbia Climate Change Coalition
Interfaith Care for Creation
Your Help Needed*
The Next Corporate Payment Scheme to STOP is TIF!
TIF is a nearly identical version of shouldering taxpayers for corporate driven development that the majority of taxpayers do not want that we, in Columbia, fought back, becoming the first in the nation to ever ‘stop the march of the EEZ’! EEZs, TIFs, TDDs, etc, are nearly identical versions of paying for development with money needed for other infrastructure including fire, police, schools and libraries, money for maintenance, roads, water, sewer, electrical utilities, etc…
Peoples’ Visioning was formed to help STOP EEZ! We won this battle in December 2012 and now we hope to STOP TIF! This time we are ready to bring/push ‘the solution’ and will propose a more balanced and fair development model for ‘who pays for development?’.
Join us MONDAY, 2/4/2014, in Public Scheduled Comments at City Council at 7 PM City Hall downtown, to help ‘stop old models’ and instigate newer, more just models!
Join us every Council meeting, speaking anywhere on the Agenda that is discussing ‘who pays for development?’, or plans for approval of more ‘unplanned’, helter-skelter development, ruining our historical downtown core, nearby neighborhoods and the fine character of our community!
CALL & E-MAIL BEFORE COUNCIL MEETING & ONGOING, UNTIL WE WIN THIS FIGHT!!!
WHAT IS PEOPLE'S VISIONING?
A RECENT STATEMENT FROM OUR FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR: MONTA WELCH
A Peoples’ Visioning For a
Different Community Vision
The Columbia Climate Change Coalition (CCCC), as well as many members of the general public, feel Columbia can create as many -- or more -- just and inclusive jobs for less taxpayer cost than those proposing the EEZ and Blight tax incentive plans.
How can we preserve and improve our historic neighborhoods; the overall beautification, character and integrity of our community; build trust and true neighborhood community; raise standards of living; improve quality of life and public health; address issues related to climate change; and create good jobs?
Much of our public infrastructure has been postponed for lack of funding: road maintenance, schools, transportation, bus and other alternative transportation, storm water projects, historic preservation, and so on. What if, instead of "Corporate Giveaways", Columbians used public funds to create local jobs, encouraging Columbia’s small and mid-sized companies to bid, upgrade, build, rebuild and maintain necessary public infrastructure? We could get funds from the federal Transportation and Jobs Bill and state and local funding!
Studies show beautification and gardening activity ‘heals’ individuals, communities and neighborhoods. We could address local/regional water and food security and quality issues, create more urban and neighborhood gardens, expand all manner of homeowner and individual neighborhood improvement projects, creating greater local food security, ‘spin-off jobs’ and new businesses in the process!
Columbia could promote a larger, community-wide energy efficiency and, in many cases, an ‘Apollo-Type Project’ or a World War II-style Initiative, in an ongoing effort that would provide job-specific mentoring and training to all, including particular populations for which the EEZ is said to be tailored and designed. Many of the jobs created would be able to be filled by those unemployed populations with special needs and individual challenges such as poverty, low education or training, little or no transportation, former offenders, individuals with health or addiction problems, veterans, our youth, etc. by incorporating a specifically designed mentoring program and would be targeted for local small and mid-size business contractors and companies.
Where is the justification in giving tax breaks to corporations or special offers to some business over others?
Our educational communities need to work closely together. The University of Missouri, could investigate keeping more of its ideas, products, new businesses and the jobs they would create right here, along with our best students and faculty, our innovators and entrepreneurs. This should be part of a broad K-Tertiary educational effort and be collaborative within all our educational entities, including private, community colleges and our public schools. The high-school and tertiary business incubator concept and business mentoring would be an essential part of this integrated vision.
Columbia Climate Change Coalition submits these ideas to you, our neighbors and broader community, to flesh out and modify. We invite you to join us in building an inclusive, just, more sustainable future for all.
Please note: Our CCCC www.ColumbiaClimateChangeCoalition.org website is in transition to a more webmaster-friendly version. Please check back frequently where we will have info, news, future events, important online actions, etc. to keep you informed. Please contact us to be put on our e-list for important online and other action alerts.
Sincerely, AND Thank You So Much for All Your Activism!!!
Founder/President, Columbia Climate Change Coalition
and Interfaith Care for Creation
Director, Peoples’ Visioning, Columbia, MO
Daytime Phone: 573-443-4717
‘A Peoples’ Visioning’
Address Global Sustainability/Climate Change
Create Good Jobs & a Better Community
Taped ‘Birthday Address’ by:
Taped Lecture on ‘Fracking’,
Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University
Exploring Energy & Impacts on Transportation, Health, Food & Water
Thursday, August 29th, 7 p.m.
Live Music! Refreshments! 6:30 p.m.
Friends Room, Library, Broadway & Garth
People Visioning to Create:
*jobs, job training, mentoring, *small business startups, *neighborhood improvement *energy conservation & renewables *public transportation, *local food & water security, *historic preservation & public infrastructure, *focus on youth, veterans, homeless, former offenders, those in poverty, with low education, poor health or addiction problems, *funding this
Sponsored By: Columbia Climate Change Coalition Co-Sponsors: Columbia Area NOW: National Organization for Women, Democracy for Missouri, Sweet Ethics Sustainability, KOPN Public Radio, Food Not Bombs, Native American Support Group, Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, MORE: Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment
Search: Peoples’ Visioning Facebook Group & Event Pages
‘Peoples’ Visioning’ for a ‘Different Community Vision’
VISIONERS RALLY & ATTEND CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS:
Each 1st & 3rd Monday, Sept-Oct!!
Rally: 6:30 pm/Mtg: 7pm
**Speak on Various Group Concerns!!**
ALL Topic Group Small Meetings
Early Fall 2013 Schedule/Below:
Saturday, Sept. 14, 3-5 PM, Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL)
Saturday, Sept. 28, 3-5 PM, DBRL—Library
Saturday, Oct. 5, 3-5 PM, DBRL—Library
Saturday, Oct. 19, 3-5 PM, DBRL—Library
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6:30-8:30 PM, DBRL—Library
Neighborhoods /Water & Food Security/Public Health/Zoning & Land Use
Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:30-8:30 PM, DBRL—Library
Overlapping with other Groups’ Meetings & TBA
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 6-8 PM, DBRL—Library
Very Disappointing 1 Vote Shy Council Decision on CNG:
September 3rd, 2013, City Council meeting just after the Labor-Day Holiday weekend, rolling City Council meeting to the following day, Tuesday, 9/3/13, rather than the 1st & 3rd City Council Mondays, had a vote scheduled on a contract with ‘Clean Energy’ to build a regional Compressed Natural Gas/CNG fuel station in Columbia, MO (see 15 Points below with documentation and educational links for reasons Peoples’ Visioning and our Co-Sponsor organizations oppose this expansion of CNG into our region).
A close 4-3 vote at this meeting approved the CNG ‘Pickens’ Plan contract with T. Boone’s ‘Clean Energy’! We are now looking at several options to resolve this in a more favourable way.
READ MORE ABOUT THE CLOSE CNG VOTE HERE:
WHAT THE FRACK: Happened at the last CoMo City Council meeting?
By Ken Midkiff at: http://www.columbiaheartbeat.com/index.php/news/headlines/613-091313
Say No To Fracking!
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m.
at Columbia City Hall
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY!!
Unless you support Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in city vehicles, and a CNG fueling station in our community, then you need to be at Columbia City Hall at 6:30 PM!!
Following the rally at City Hall, at 7PM, City Council starts where you can speak in public testimony, to say you & yours do not support actions by the Council to quickly move in support of fracking! Please ask Council to ‘pause’, listen to our voices, and move quickly, instead, on 100% Renewable Solutions coming out of work by the People's Visioning.
PLEASE Call & Email Council Members & Mayor PRIOR to this Council Meeting! Contact info below 15 Reasons to Oppose CNG. PLEASE, ALSO, ‘SHOW-UP’ TUESDAY for the vote!! Your Face/Body there=70 calls/emails. BRING FRIENDS!!
Say No To Fracking!
MAJOR REASONS TO OPPOSE ‘FRACKING’ for CNG:
1) Fracking is taking place here, in Missouri on the Kansas border as well as in the New Madrid Fault area in the ‘Boothill’.
2) Hydraulic Fracturing: ‘Fracking’, has been scientifically proven to infiltrate and contaminate underground fresh water!! (Fracking is why we have a NG boom!!)
Fracking Water Concerns: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/fracking-Wastewater-FullReport.pdf
3) Fracking for NG has been proven to release methane, unable to be captured, over 20 times more potent than the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) CO2; and, it’s ‘front-loaded’! Shale Gas GHG Footprint: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/web/Marcellus.html
See also: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/publications/
4) Fracking for NG requires extreme volumes of municipal, public, county, etc…fresh water, which is, then, loaded with toxic ‘Fracking’ chemicals and sand, high-pressure blasted below ground to break up underground bedrock, releasing NG! Some stays and does not return! What does return has even more toxins than previous: heavy metals, radon, etc! This even more toxic, recovered ‘slip’ must be stored or ‘treated’! Ingraffea Link Below and:
5) Large amounts of sand are required to Frack! Getting it is causing something akin to ‘mountain top removal’
which is devastating the environment and communities in these areas. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/frac-sand-mining-wisconsin-health_n_2256753.html
6) The Fracking combinations of toxic substances cause human, animal and plant illness and toxicity near these Fracking areas! These chemicals do NOT have to be revealed or reported to the public and are exempt from our Clean Water Laws and EPA oversight by the ‘Halliburton Loophole’. Some folks have actually lost their lives due to fracking, many their health, their healthy lands, their livestock, farms and other livelihoods, property values, etc!! http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/08/19/a-toxic-spew.html
7) Earthquakes and sinkholes, more frequent since the ‘new’ version of Fracking has begun, which utilizes horizontal drilling along with the original vertical Fracking, are being linked to activity related to this new ‘Horizontal Fracking’!! Fracking is taking place in seismic areas including around the New Madrid Fault in Missouri, as well as California’s San Andreas!
Arkansas has been having quakes now every single day since horizontal Fracking commenced:
Dallas earthquakes caused by fracking
From MIT: Studies Link Earthquakes to Wastewater from Fracking
8) There are other options! If there was political will to invest as much in an ‘Apollo-Type’, WWII-type development
and deployment of wind and solar, current and tidal, geothermal and a few other good renewable options, where
we are right now, we would not need what those who influence government directions, call this ‘energy bridge
technology’=’Fracking bridge,’ with all the above negatives** Instead we could eventually, and quickly, have ‘free
energy’ for ‘the people’— NOT what those who want to keep selling us not-free and non-renewable energy want!!
9) NO ‘Free Power’ for the People –not for as long as this ‘bridge energy’ can be ‘sold’ to the public ‘as necessary’—
a ‘bridge’ that will be built with the plan for it to last for a ½ century or more, no doubt, with the kind of investment there instead of towards renewables*** Not a very short-term bridge as is proposed, ‘sold’ or described!! This ‘bridge investment’ displaces and challenges investment in renewables.
10) Fracking, along with other polluting non-renewable fuel/energy receives 6-7 times more taxpayer assistance than does renewable energy** http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/
11) The cost of NG gas is kept significantly lower due to taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks.
Prices WILL Change As Circumstances Influence Markets:
See also: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-drive-261-mpg-volkswagen-110000361.html
12) The cost is further kept down because of a large glut of NG now on the U.S. market. The plan is to export NG to supply global energy markets! Once this happens, there will be huge NG/CNG price adjustments, upwards, so the cost that Columbia’s decisions are calculated on will be significantly different and will able to be manipulated by markets and production for more and higher profits to corporations focused on their greatest maximum profit!
13) This local CNG direction supports not only Fracking, but also local public investment in an energy being described, inaccurately, as a ‘bridge’, as well as ‘low-cost’ (for now), climate and environmentally friendly, hugely inaccurate criteria/data/considerations supporting an investment taking our energy and tax dollars out of the community, essentially derailing
and ‘starving’ investment in the real direction people want government to go---‘level the playing field’ with equal or
no taxpayer assistance or give support only to more recent clean, renewable energy directions, far better for public
health and the environment! Environmental and public health costs have NOT been factored into this direction requiring this form of fracking!! Give the people the ability to generate their electricity by decentralizing and diversifying renewable,
cleaner options locally/(here in Columbia) allowing each of us a plan to generate our own electricity on our own homes and
property and/or buy ‘shares’ we own in a community or neighborhood solar (or wind, current, etc) installation,
lifting all our boats!! This is what we, CCCC along with Peoples’ Visioning (PV), have proposed to City Council, Boards,
Commissions, Water & Light Dept! Please ask Columbia City Council, to implement PV’s ‘Renewable Energy Plan for All’ (PV-REPA)
in your emails, calls and comments!!!
14) Investment in CNG/LNG/NG is further ‘risky’ as fracked wells are not all producing as strongly as hoped! The idea we have 100 years worth of this hard to reach and extract (read: ‘risky’) shale gas is promoted by folks with financial and political gains in their sight. This is discussed more here: http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/09/26/shale-gas-and-foreign-policy-highly-uncertain-prospect
15) The possibility of a leak, poor workmanship and construction, faulty design, or other ‘accident’ causing a
natural gas explosion of significant destruction and magnitude is quite real! We only have to look at all the leaks, oil
spills and other large explosions with just NG across the country and with our own history here, as well, to know
this is certainly possible. The land for the CNG fueling station, purchased with $300,000.00 of our public money, is
located immediately next to two health care facilities and a FEMA site, all 3 providing/storing oxygen tanks for customers, patients and victims of disaster! If this station had a problem, any explosion would impact 4 locations, taking out the FEMA response unit and would likely spread to 2 more volatile business a block or 2 away: the MFA and Break Time gasoline fueling stations and mini-marts. ‘Great’ location…Duh!
16) There is further concern regarding safety of large or increasing numbers of CNG vehicles being
driven in our society, the safety of these vehicles on our roads with cell phone users, smokers and other sources of volatility including severe,
growing and quite negative ‘road rage’, with some people willing to go to extreme lengths expressing it!! Fracking rigs prohibit on site use of cell phones for reasons of extreme volatile potential!!
There are many good solutions coming out of Peoples’ Visioning
so we can go straight to them & NOT ‘purchase’ in the ‘wrong direction’!! See Peoples’ Visioning Renewable Energy Plan for All (PV-REPA) AND Excellent Educational Links/Below**
Tell your own and ALL Council Members, Mayor and City Manager to ‘listen to the people’ and Peoples’ Visioning for clean, safer, energy solutions to benefit all!! Call, E-mail, Bring Family & Friends to Monday’s City Council Meetings, 7 PM, Columbia, Missouri City Hall, on first and third Mondays each Month, (unless a Holiday Monday, when it moves to the next day, Tuesday)! PLEASE Thank the 3 who voted against the CNG Station and listened to the people!!
FREE ONLINE SCREENINGS of GASLAND & GASLAND II:
Gasland (original 2010 release): http://twomovies.name/watch_movie/GasLand
Gasland II: http://viooz.co/movies/20372-gasland-part-ii-2013.html
Frackademia: The People & Money Behind the EDF Methane Emissions Study—Initial Report Just Released 9/16/2013 http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/09/16/frackademia-people-money-behind-edf-fracking-methane-emissions-study
‘What’s Up with the EPA?’ Water Studies Stopped!
Censored EPA Study Uncovered?Determining the origin of methane and its effect on the aquifer/EPA Study Power Point:
Watch Dr. Anthony Ingraffea’s Important Presentation on Fracking and Natural Gas Methane Emissions Research:
Ingraffea is the Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University:
Former Mobil VP Oil and Gas Industry Expert, Cites Ingraffea:
Many States’ Citizens Oppose this Very ‘Controversial’ Energy Source Which Needs Governors Conference in Colorado MORE Local Investigation BEFORE Citizen Investments***
AND, Here’s This Disclosure**: http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/08/06/fracking-ties-flawed-state-dept-keystone-xl-environmental-review