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To Town Council Members,

Ad hoc private sponsorship of public policy should not be taken lightly.

Imagine Cary is not a spring  festival or fair. It has been strongly aligned with New Urbanism and Sustainable Development ideologies. It will redefine regulatory, tax, debt, zoning, economic, welfare, social, spending, quality of life and other Town governmental policies. Charrettes introduce a new governance model for citizen participation. They shift representation and accountability through  elected officials, over to a few hundred select citizens and a Steering Committee hand selected by an unelected Planning Department.

The Imagine Cary process itself has been outsourced to private Sustainable and New Urbanism companies, selected by an unelected Planning Department. Now we learn that the process has decided to private sector sponsorship. Before you dismiss these concerns please consider ACP's Imagine Lubbock project. It has also been expanding into public-private-partnerships. Under the guidance of Lubbock's Chamber of Commerce they have already organized and lobbied for a special sales tax to fund Imagine Lubbock polices, and are
pursuing other fees and tax mechanisms.

Is it purely coincidental that all three of Imagine Cary's sponsors are deeply committed to Sustainable Development?

These represent significant vested interests in light of their sponsorship donations. With millions of our tax dollars being spent, why is due diligence left to the citizen?

It is not difficult to imagine how these sponsors stand to benefit from alignment of their policies with the public sustainability policies being advanced by the Town, the Steering Committee, Leinberger, ACP, Global Green, WakeUp Wake, EPA, HUD, and the other adherents driving Imagine Cary.

I do not see any substantial difference between what Mr. Ulma calls "defraying costs" vs "raising revenue".  Perhaps I just did not understand his reply.  It remains unclear to me what policy governs such revenue sources, or what budget they are reflected in. However, the bottom line seems to be that public employees accepted money from private interests without signed contract terms, conditions, or disclosures of vested interest.

At best, our governmental process is up for sale to advertisers, and we now have mutual public-private endorsement of common Sustainable Development ideologies.  At worst, we citizens are left to speculate on the quid pro quo since this money exchanged hands.
"Corporate citizens" with deep pockets who agree with Planning Department ideology are provided "an avenue to show their civic commitment to to the community". Actual citizens who commit our time yet disagree, are shown to the curb.

Imagine Cary was sold to us as a citizen input process. Since the Leinberger summit embarrassment, its integrity continues to diminish rapidly.  I request that you, our representatives, investigate this matter and take policy actions to protect the citizens from this increasing corporate, federal, and other conflicts of interests that now subsume our local government process


Scott de Deugd
Cary, NC