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Cary Delphi


Last week, I was a participant in the iImagineCary town meeting in Cary, NC. In a word, it was classic Delphi. I’ve been to several, but this was the slickest I have seen yet. There were about 700 sheep shorn, and the overwhelming majority never knew it happened.

Not only was there room-wide multi-media with four huge flat screen TV's, but superb, humorous, professional facilitators herding those sheep right into the sheering pens. Most importantly, there were those carefully crafted questions designed to persuade even the most skeptical to ask questions, but nevertheless inexorably steering them toward a pre-determined outcome that had long ago already been decided.

Oh, let's not forget the seating! Each guest was strategically seated at pre-determined tables-their addresses carefully recorded and displayed on the multimedia pin map. And then, there was the table master to take written questions for submission as if they actually mattered to the outcome. And don't forget the electronic transmitters for each of the guest so they could dutifully respond to the carefully crafted questions-each showing bar graph tallies after ten or so seconds. Slick as a state fair shell game!

So slick that if you didn't pay close attention to the questions (that steered all answers toward "mixed use walkable communities," complete with bike trails, greenways and light rail), you wouldn't know it happened. It was a Sustainablist’s dream come true, and lo betide those nasty old automobiles and suburbs: no more of that nonsense!

With the exception of the PPP for the development, what was never discussed was the high vacancy rate every place it's been tried (they used recession proof Arlington VA, as their example) and not once did they mention the pecking order of who gets paid first when the green dream doesn't work out as Rosa Koire describes in Behind the Green Mask: just think underwriters and bankrupt Stockton, Ca., and oh so many more.

Nor did they mention Stanley Kurtz's excellent book, Spreading the Wealth, and his description of how suburbs and automobiles would be taxed into these "stack and pack" environments as yet the third fourth and fifth estimate of the time and cost to finish their latest light rail boondoggle was proffered. Ah, but then it’s too late.


And oh the billions those “stakeholders” and “public private partnerships” would make not to mention Cary would be one step closer to dove tailing right into the United Nations Agenda 21 template.

In a word, great for the public, private partnerships, the bullet proof underwriters, and the twenty-somethings looking for their first apartment. Not so great for the rest of us, our freedom, and America.

Hello Agenda 21. Goodbye to the America we loved!

Louis Stannard