by Diane Benjamin
Most people have never heard of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, but this board is the conduit from state and federal sources to implement an agenda. This takes control away from local government. Check their website: www.mcplan.org. Plans are listed for every level of government. Tari Renner is a member of this commission.
Some of the ideas that have originated with this commission:
Main Street re-development plan
East-side Highway Bypass
Route 66 bike extension
Note: This commission is not elected!
They may not be elected, but local government does implement much of the presented agenda because MONEY comes with it. Grant money is always involved, but never enough to cover the entire price. So, anything presented to local governments from this commission is going to cost you money.
From the McPlan.org website:
This plan presents a guide for sensible growth that supports efficient development, transportation alternatives, suitable housing for a variety of needs, local agriculture, and the enhancement of natural resources, human heritage, and quality of life
Priority Initiatives of the McLean County Regional Comprehensive Plan
• Identify communities, neighborhoods, and business districts to be targeted for revitalization activities and funding.
• Periodically review and update land use plans and ordinances to provide for more compact development patterns in urban areas to achieve more efficient use of land, energy, environmental, water, mineral, and fiscal resources.
• Investigate the creation of a transit district to support expanded and enhanced public transit service throughout the Bloomington-Normal metro area.
• Consider alternatives for local governments to share costs and revenues from property and sales taxes resulting from future economic development.
• Support the development of a comprehensive digital database and directory of McLean County natural resources to provide an improved guide for making development-related decisions.
• Create a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of historic and archaeological resources throughout McLean County to provide an improved basis for preservation efforts.
• Explore the costs, benefits, and alternatives for providing inclusionary housing in McLean County communities.
• Review the current structure of development fees to help ensure efficiency and equity in the provision of community facilities and services throughout McLean County.
Because of this new level of uncertainty about the future, the updated Regional Comprehensive Plan calls for sensible growth with a renewed focus on alternative transportation, more efficient infrastructure, and an overall view towards environmental sustainability. If sustainable growth practices become our “business as usual,” there is a likelihood that our community will continue to attract economic development, jobs and families. However, if outward growth is excessive and not well-managed, it is likely that tax levels will rise, government services will shrink, transportation costs will increase and the imaginative, creative and hardworking people we want as neighbors will be drawn to other communities.
Remember, this commission is un-elected, although some elected officials or their representatives may be on committees.
Why do we elect City Councils and Mayors to represent our views when decisions are being made by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission? Why do the cities also have planners? The points listed above seem to cover a lot of what we expect cities to do, not the unelected! Understand now why the current councils are mostly YES people and why Mayor Stockton appointed his choice to the council?
I spoke with Tari Renner about the MCRPC. He thinks they only offer advice. Funny how much of their “advice” costs you money.
More from their site:
Community Facilities and Services The community facilities and services element presents strategies for water service; sewer service; schools; parks and trails; solid waste management; libraries; cultural and entertainment facilities; fire, police and emergency services; and energy and telecommunications. The plan addresses future water supply and distribution and wastewater collection and treatment. It also advocates coordinated planning for schools among communities and school districts, including consideration of development fees. The plan also identifies proposed sites for future parks as well as an interconnected regional trail system. The plan encourages the inclusion of libraries and cultural and entertainment facilities in the local budgetary process. Further coordination and cooperation among fire, police and emergency service providers is also encouraged. The plan recommends increased commercial and industrial recycling, and expansion of residential curbside recycling consistent with the McLean County Solid Waste Management Plan. Finally, the plan encourages continued communication and coordination among local governments and utility companies to help ensure adequate levels of service with minimal impacts on the community.
Is this an agenda you support for the un-elected?
Also from their site:
The implementation element identifies a long range implementation strategy and a list of priorities for early consideration in carrying out
the plan. The long range strategy encapsulates the strategies identified for all elements of the plan and summarizes key policies for
implementation. It also identifies priorities for early consideration as outlined in Figure B. The implementation policies and priorities reflect the input of the plan review committee and provide a synopsis of the major issues identified and conclusions drawn in this update of the McLean County Regional Comprehensive Plan.
Their goal doesn’t sound advisory!
Where does their funding come from?
53.5% comes from the Illinois Department of Transportation(IDOT). Only 8.9% comes from local governments. 32.7% comes from GIS, the on-line mapping service that is available on the County website.
Who’s interests are being represented? Does Bloomington really need a mayor who thinks decisions made by unelected people are best for the citizens?
Tired of your opinions not mattering? Now you know why they don’t.