Under pressure from the Jefferson Area Tea Party and other citizen-activists, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) opened the Livability Partnership (guidance board) as a “mechanism for input” in the $999,000 HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. Program (and grant) beneficiaries are Charlottesville City, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia, who will use the money (through TJPDC) to implement the 1998 Sustainability Accords—a subversive Marxist-themed document which represents a dangerous assault on individual liberty.
But, the fox (TJPDC) is guarding the hen house (taxpayer interests). In naming participants of the Livability Partnership, as of July 6, the TJPDC had approved individuals representing 25 “community groups and organizations,” at least 44% of which have direct personal, professional, governmental, or economic ties to one or more of the above designated grant beneficiaries!
Brokering government interests on the Livability Partnership:
Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population
- Policy advisor, and beneficiary of $25,000 (Albemarle County) and $11000 (Charlottesville City) government taxpayer dollars for “sustainable population” study
Albemarle Economic Development Authority
- An entity of Albemarle County government
Albemarle Housing Improvement Program
- Direct recipient of Albemarle County and City taxpayer dollars
- Referenced on Albemarle County web site as a real estate development “partner”
- Championed by Mayor Dave Norris and a noted “collaborator” with the city of Charlottesville
- Organization recognized by Charlottesville Planning Commission as “Citizen Planner of the Year”
Blue Ridge Care Connection for Children
- Part of University of Virginia Health System (indirect beneficiary of $1 million HUD grant)
Children, Youth & Family Services
- $70k annual beneficiary of City and County Taxpayer financing
Livable for a Lifetime Steering Committee
- Affiliate of JABA (direct recipient of city and county financial support)
- Meets at TJPDC and has City, County, UVa and TJPDC members on committee
Pantops Community Advisory Council
- An official adjunct of Albemarle County Government
- Stated organization mission is to “serve” City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County
- City Planning Commissioner (Genevieve Keller) on board of directors
- Also, linked on Charlottesville Government web site
Southern Environmental Law Center
- Represented by former Mayor, Democrat Kay Slaughter, on Charlottesville’s Citizens Committee on Environmental Sustainability, charged with implementing the 1998 Sustainability Accords
Will any of these organizations through their designated representatives dare challenge government benefactors? Would they bite the hand that feeds? The answer is obvious. Each organization has a subservient relationship with one or more of the grant awardees. These groups have applied and were appointed solely to promote government interests through participation on the Livability Partnership panel.
Citizens rightfully should demand that accessory organizational beneficiaries of government largess be disqualified from serving on bodies charged with oversight of government-funded processes meant to benefit local governments and politicians. The questionable 44% of TJPDC’s approved appointees represent: a clear, pro-government conflict-of-interest; an egregious abuse of administrative “discretion”; and a flagrant violation of the public trust. They should be removed forthwith.