A bi-partisan group of legislators, new citizens groups, a URI Professor, the Providence Journal editorial staff, and multiple advocacy and political individuals and groups have joined with the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the RI Public Expenditure Council, and the Property Rights Alliance of Rhode Island (PRARI) to call for postponement of action on the highly controversial RhodeMap RI plan, derived from a federal sustainable developmentagenda, which is scheduled for an adoption vote tomorrow morning by the State's Planing Council.
"The legitimate questions being raised by an increasing number of organizations and people demand that we not rush into another 38-Studios style debacle," commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center, who has an economics degree from Harvard University. "With the exception of some of the ideas produced by actual business leaders via the Rhode Island Foundation's Make It Happen process, there is virtually no other credible economics in this plan. Rather, it is nothing more than a loose collection of vague social-equity goals."
URI Professor, Len Ladaro, echoed the 38-Studios analogy, calling the plan "amateurish" and telling the Center that with no meaningful due diligence, the RhodeMapRI program will lead the state to "fly blindly, as usual prior to adopting major changes." Ladaro, known for his satirical wit, said that the unofficial name of this plan, if adopted, should be "TrainWreckRI."
The letter submitted yesterday by legislators pledged to extend the statutory deadline to adopt a plan this year by the planning council. This deadline has been repeatedly cited by RhodeMapRI supporters as the primary reason the plan must move forward this week. "Now, there is no longer a viable reason to rush this flawed plan through during this lame-duck period," concluded Stenhouse.
At the Thursday morning planning council meeting, the Center will submit a letter of opposition to the RhodeMapRI plan, that includes research of negative impacts of similar sustainable development plans implemented in other parts of the country. The letter will be co-signed by dozens of advocacy organizations, political figures, and every day citizens who express outrage that the state of Rhode Island would hand over control of many local housing and land-use decisions to any federal government agency in Washington, DC.
Co-signers of the letter, include: RI Taxpayers Assoc, RI Tea Party, Libertarian Party of RI, OSTPA, Portsmouth Concerned Citizens, Little Compton Taxpayers Assoc, Bristol Taxpayers Assoc, Citizens Against RhodeMapRI, Alliance for Safe Communities, the Gaspee Project, Northwest RI Tea Party, the Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights, PRARI, current and former town planners, former U.S. congressional candidates, and individual citizens.
The Center encourages concerned citizens to attend an informational meeting this evening at 7pm at the Carriage Inn & Saloon in North Kingstown, which will be conducted by PRARI, a citizens group formed after the RhodeMapRI controversy erupted last month.