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Executive Order No. 14 Regarding Gov. Minner’s “Livable Delaware” Agenda

WHEREAS, Delaware has a well deserved reputation as an ideal place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy recreational activities;

WHEREAS, our natural resources, sound economy, opportunities for personal and business success, and overall quality of life will add almost 190,000 additional Delawareans by the year 2020, a growth rate faster than any northeastern state;

WHEREAS, Delawareans are concerned that the quality of place in our state is threatened by sprawl, traffic congestion, loss of farmland and open space, diminished air and water quality, and a shortage of affordable housing;

WHEREAS, residential, transportation and employment patterns can have direct impacts on the means by which we move about the State and attainment of Delaware’s air quality goals and the protection of public health;

WHEREAS, haphazard sprawl and unplanned growth create an inefficient demand for public infrastructure, services and facilities that all Delaware taxpayers must finance, no matter where they live;

WHEREAS, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues has undertaken an extensive process of analyzing long term growth trends, soliciting public opinion, and considering the implications of expected growth throughout the State over the next 25 years, and has approved a comprehensive set of goals and strategies set forth in “Shaping Delaware’s Future: Managing Growth in 21st Century Delaware, Strategies for State Policies and Spending” to guide Delaware’s overall development and to ensure efficient, rational and cost-effective investments in necessary infrastructure;

WHEREAS, those development goals are restated herein:

Direct investment and future development to existing communities, urban concentrations, and growth areas. Protect important farmlands and critical natural resource areas. Improve housing quality, variety and affordability for all income groups. Ensure objective measurement of long-term community effects of land use policies and infrastructure investments. Streamline regulatory processes and provide flexible incentives and disincentives to encourage development in desired areas. Encourage redevelopment and improve the livability of existing communities and urban areas, and guide new employment into underutilized commercial and industrial sites. Provide high quality employment opportunities for citizens with various skill levels to retain and attract a diverse economic base. Protect the state’s water supplies, open spaces, farmlands and communities by encouraging revitalization of existing water and wastewater systems and the construction of new systems. Promote mobility for people and goods through a balanced system of transportation options. Improve access to educational opportunities, health care and human services for all Delawareans Coordinate public policy planning and decisions among state, counties and municipalities. WHEREAS, these planning goals provide an opportunity to promote sustainability of our economic and ecological growth and will maintain and enhance the qualities that make Delaware a unique place to live;

WHEREAS, the State must provide leadership and set an example by bringing its policies, programs, regulations and expenditures in line with the approved goals and strategies, and must play a major role in encouraging growth in areas that we’ve agreed are appropriate to accept it;

WHEREAS, my State of the State Address of January 25, 2001, calls for the development of “Livable Delaware” principles to keep sprawl in check, reduce traffic congestion, strengthen our towns and cities, improve our environment and protect our significant investment in roads, schools and other infrastructure;

NOW, THEREFORE I, RUTH ANN MINNER, by the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, hereby declare and order on this 22nd day of March, 2001:

1. As part of Livable Delaware, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall immediately make available to all State departments and agencies a copy of the “Shaping Delaware’s Future” report and the adopted state development goals, along with instructions for preparing the implementation response called for herein;

2. All State departments and agencies shall, no later than August 31, 2001, complete and submit an implementation plan for these development goals and strategies which:

(a) Identifies all Department programs, policies and actions which are impacted by or can be used to support the state development goals and strategies; (b) Identifies administrative, organizational, regulatory, or statutory actions to be taken, including those already taken or underway, to ensure compliance and consistency with the state development goals and strategies;

(c) Identifies existing laws, programs, policies and actions that impede implementation of the development goals and strategies;

(d) Identifies how capital and budget planning will be used to implement the State investment strategies;

(e) Identifies essential legislative actions needed to ensure that state agency authorities and programs are consistent with and support the development goals and strategies;

(f) Sets forth an action plan, schedule for undertaking such actions, and proposes measures to gauge progress toward achieving the State development goals and investment strategies.

3. No later than October 31, 2001, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues shall review and provide comments to the agencies and Office of State Planning Coordination on the implementation responses required in this Executive Order.

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Liberalgeek is throwing a party, a wind party. It is a must- read for anyone who knows deep down in their chromosomes that Delaware has to go down this future path if it wishes to survive.

Hyperbole aside, yeah we will still be around like withered figs, but as a viable state, we will not grow new jobs. Instead, our legislature will concern itself with how to survive on less and less, while our neighboring states around us, steal what should have been our opportunity and subsequently, the economic vitality that goes with it.

Ladies and Gentlemen: This decision is the BIG ONE.

You know THAT decision….. that comes around every twenty years or so. The last “Big” decision occurred in the early eighties, with the changing of Financial Center Development Act that flip-flopped us into a banker friendly state. The ” big” one before that, was the Delaware Coastal Zoning act, attributed to former governor Russel Petersen, that has kept Delaware beautiful and not looking like the shores of Brooklyn.

This trend, that of finding a gem every twenty years or so within the Diamond state, goes back to our state being the first to ratify the Constitution.

As outlined here, you can write some letters. You can also write some friends and ask them to write letters.

So how do you write a letter to a legislator or governor?

Here are some inside tips on how to get noticed………….

Don’t try to sound high minded. Be yourself. Write like you talk. Government officials spend lots of time with sycophants trying to impress them. Sometime they want to hear from someone real.

Keep it short: try to say what you want in five lines.

Don’t resort to slogans: “Wind power is great! Hooray! Boo to Coal!.” Politicians see so much of that crap, (bloggers too) that they are not only are immune, but also prone to consider the slogan’s author too stupid and too shallow to be taken seriously.

Make it personal. Before you write, think about why you, personally, believe in wind. Then say it.

So here is an example.

To The Honorable Dori Connor Senator 12th District

Dear Ms Conner:

I work forty hours a week as a Pipe welder. I want you to support Blue Water Wind’s proposal. Clean healthy air is very important to me. I have respiratory problems when Delaware City smoke settles over my house. Wind is free , but the price of coal will triple over the next ten years, and I cannot even afford to pay my utility costs now.

Again, please help us and support Blue Water Wind’s proposal.

Sincerely:

________

Open, Honest, Personal, Brief, Effective.

Is it worth the time or effort, will your letter make the slightest iota of a difference?

Well if you look at local election results, you can see that in close races, often a couple hundred votes determine who wins. In primaries, the margins of victory are even tighter. So,………. yeah, your letter makes a difference!

Much hand wringing has taken place on the “other side” of the aisle. Their erosion of power, while uplifting to their opposition, tends to have a psychotic depressing effect upon those who suffer the actual convulsions, caused by aneurysms regularly occurring along their arterial chains of command.

This feeling is perhaps best put by this phrase: “We were doing so well……..how could this have happened to “us”?”

Eloquent as always, Jud’s Rant sounds the alarm.

To echo, I would like to borrow a this phrase from Lord of the Rings: The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife: stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all.

And so along this vein, it was sad to read of Copeland’s upcoming support of Delmarva Power’s status-quo decision, when it was leaked that Delmarva not supporting ANY of the three options to generate new power in Delaware.

To paraphrase his comment, he said something like,… “a company should be allowed to make the decisions that affect it’s own well being. Government should not dictate to a corporation how to run its business.”

To be honest, if someone who had possibilities of achieving a future governorship, were to tell me that government should stay OUT of my own personal decisions that affect me and no one else, I would say “whoopee” and pledge my support.

But if I were, and forgive the insensitivity for no malice is intended, being raped and a potential governor came out and defended the rights of my rapist to “run her business as she saw fit”…….. my support would, and should go to anyone, even former enemies, who would step up and champion my rights for a change.

Figuratively speaking, all of Delaware was and still is, being financially raped by Delmarva’s rate hike last year.

Having the most touted Republican gubernatorial candidate, far more interested in pandering to future contributors, than in alleviating the suffering of his own state’s people, amply gives credence to the growing disbelief that, perhaps it really is true, the Cheney/Bush ticket has morally bankrupted and effectively killed the Republican party everywhere, as recently evidenced in the Republican dominated seventh district’s election.

However I would be remiss if I were not to confess that as a dull, self indulged, overwhelmed by daily life citizen, I did not find the Republican Party currently far more fascinating than the old guard Democrats who still wear their pants too high, and currently run the politics of this state.

The excitement generated by Dave Burris in standing up for American principals, as opposed to Republican ones, awes me.

Tyler’s last campaign, long on solutions, short on “old guard” support, signaled that political bravery was not “just” a provincial Democratic one.

The current buzz in today’s Republican House of Delegates, now void of Wayne Smith, is both refreshing and hopeful.

The Republican push for “Karen Petersen’s Vision of ‘Open Government’ ” is smart, inspiring, and long overdue.

And on the national scale, shadowing the local trend, Mitt Romney’s campaign, as viewed through unfiltered non-partisan eyes, still generates exciting possibilities when compared to front-runner Hillary’s campaign, who by some accounts has already been prematurely ordained as our next president.

So it behooves me to understand why this party, now on it’s death throes here in Delaware, still continues to insist on its adherence to the “old” ideas of energy generation, instead of being forward thinking and becoming supportive of Blue Water Wind’s proposal. This is the one proposal which allows Delaware the freedom to create it’s own cheap energy, instead of buying it from its high priced neighbors.

One would think someone at least would look at the numbers. 94% of Delawareans support wind power. The Democratic old guard, labor, and Minner’s inner office are vulnerable on this issue, having been caught with NRG’s coal dust underneath their fingernails. If Republicans ever needed a popular campaign issue at the right time, this is it.

Those of us who watch politics are always surprised and amazed when a new issue that political pols think is insignificant, resonates through the general public and becomes the central campaign divider and emphatically decides the election.

The Republicans have an opportunity to do that. Just as they attempted with open government his year, they can use this issue to again make themselves relevant to Delaware’s voters.

For those of us paying 60% more in energy costs this year, it is not too late.

Let us hope that Copeland has not hammered too many nails into the coffin’s lid, still allowing for their sleeping corpse to wake up, raise its head and look around, and climb out of the casket before it’s buried six feet under.

No one seems to be reporting the news from yesterdays PSC hearing in Legislative Hall in Dover. How could the most important decision affecting Delawareans for the next twenty five years, be subject to a news blackout?

Searching Delawareonline, WDEL, and WHYY, yielded no mention to Delaware’s public that the meeting took place. The only news source I could find in our state that even mentioned the happenings in Legislative Hall last night, was the Delaware State News. It led with this line.

Most of the comments Tuesday at Legislative Hall in Dover supported Blue Water Wind’s offshore Atlantic wind farm generation proposal or NRG’s proposal to expand the Indian River power plant in Millsboro to include coal gasification generators.”

There was little of no support for Connectiv’s or Delmarva Power’s proposals. Connectiv’s bid won the most points from Delmarva Power and the state’s independent consultant’s report. Read ( The public does not support our little inside plan).

NRG supporters, mostly NRG employees or retirees, read (coerced), touted the reliability a coal-generated power plant provides. “Wind is a pretty hip, sexy energy option,” Delaware resident and NRG employee Doug Netting. “‘Wind, however, is intermittent “ he said.

Jim Sadowski, NRG’s environmental manager (oxymoron) for the Indian River power plant, said it would take gale-force winds to create three megawatts of electricity. (not true: strong breeze to near gale)

Instead of choosing one of the three proposals, Delmarva Power favored ” conservation strategies, continuation of a new east-west transmission line and increasing its portfolio to more renewable energy sources from the existing power grid.” Read (if forced to, we will buy some other state’s wind power and tack on percentage and sell it to Delawareans.)

If there was any consensus, it was that something new had to be done about electricity in Delaware. “Inaction is not the answer,” said Wilmington resident Harry Gravell, who represented Delaware builders.

Apparently “the public” beat up Delmarva pretty bad last night as evidenced by the response from their spokesman. When he was questioned about whether Delmarva would be willing to change it’s position in face of overwhelming public support for Blue Water’s proposal, Delmarva Power spokesperson, Tim Brown, kept repeating the statement that “the utility stands by its recommendation,” Most of us who have been around, know this to be the common last ditch defense, always given by a spokesperson defending an indefensible position, against irrefutable evidence and facts. It smacks of admitting one knowing he is in the wrong, but who fears to lose his job should he budge one iota from his company’s position. We saw this trend all the time with Motiva, or almost any other corporate spokesperson.

Delaware’s small size is sometimes advantageous. We know our opponents personally and often conduct business in a less caustic manner than do some of our neighbors. However, our small size can be a detriment, when progress for it’s citizens comes in secondary to the profits of its movers and shakers. Sometimes personal friendships existing in the vacuum of scrutiny, bear more weight than the ultimate public good.

So why was there no news about the meeting last night, except by one newspaper. Was it truly a coincidence that led almost every of the state’s news sources, to fail to report the first of the most important meetings of this century, that will affect the future expenses of all Delawareans?

Expect a lot of coverage over Thursday’s meeting in Wilmington. Word has already gone out to Connectiv and Delmarva employees that they are required to be there to support their company (or lose all chance of future promotions) Within a packed auditorium, the appearance of support will appear more equal than it actually is, and the news coverage will be swayed accordingly. Those who speak in Blue Water Wind’s favor, can be expected to be shouted down. Those lining up to speak, will be weighted in favor of the status quo.

Sometimes coincidences occur. But other times so many coincidences happen coincidently that one wonders whether or not it is a coincidence at all. Sometimes when there is NO NEWS about a topic, it has far more significance than what news IS actually reported.

Last night the public spoke very strongly in favor of Wind Power. It spoke very strongly against Delmarva Power. It appears that great effort was made for you not to know about it.