Why hide the ’empty box’? | TheUnion.com

Why hide the ’empty box’?

Machiavelli wrote, “No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed form the enemy until it is ripe for execution.” Unfortunately too much of NH 2020 has been concealed from Nevada County landowners and residents. The planning department states, “It’s just an empty box” and “We can’t answer your concerns until the end.” That’s like ignoring design flaws in the Titanic until after it’s built. This is not how government is supposed to work.

We should be leery of politicians who take on noble causes for us with little information other than, “Trust us.” This is especially true when the public’s work is partnered with a private non-profit outfit, the Sierra Business Council (SBC) whose major funding comes from an agenda-driven foundation. The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, in 1999, donated $82.5 million to environmental and animal rights groups according to the Foundation Center of New York. The $600,000 coughed up for implementing NH 2020 by the SBC, is a Packard grant. No special interest donates money into an “empty box” without expecting a specific outcome.

Just suppose a council of investment developers offers front money and partners with the Board of Supervisors in future land use planning. Then they hire a Geographic Information Specialist (GIS) to conduct the county’s land use mapping. When asked for the credentials of the GIS man, the county says he is doing county work but is paid by the council. The council says we are a private non-profit and don’t have to give out that information. But to prove their sincerity and good intentions, the council checks their own GIS man’s work for us. Low and behold they find his work is damn near perfect. Would you feel comfortable with the results? Me neither, but that is exactly what is happening in Nevada County from the other side of the pendulum.

Robert Ingram

Grass Valley

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