MARK POPE: Nov. 18 Election Contains Bait-and-Switch Ballot Issue (OPINION)
Lafayette Parish voters go to the polls to decide four issues on Nov. 18: (1) the state treasurer’s race, (2) re-vote for the renewal of a property millage for the parish jail (failed in April), (3) re-vote for the renewal of a property millage for the courthouse (failed in April), and (4) re-dedication of the property millage for health issues. I’m voting YES on No. 2 and No. 3 above. State law requires the local governing authority, Lafayette Consolidated Government, to pay for the operation and maintenance of the parish jail and courthouse.
For me, however, No. 4 is an unquestionable NO vote because I believe our elected officials either purposely are trying to deceive the voters, or sorely ill-informed the voting public, on the purpose, methods, and motivation for the new CREATE (Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, and Economy) initiative. If approved, CREATE will receive part of the 3.56 property tax millage that brings in revenue millions of dollars in excess of expenses to operate (a) the parish health unity, (b) the animal shelter, and (c) mosquito spraying. Yes, drainage would also receive funding if the re-dedication is approved, but the bait-and-switch for CREATE is troubling, and it just doesn’t fit Lafayette. If the re-dedication fails, the full 3.56 mills remain in the health millage fund to support a, b, and c above.
I have read the 22-page CREATE plan, which is part of “Plan Lafayette.” It is full of references to “sustainable development,” which is code language – a euphemism – for utopian plans to spend money on things like bike paths, mandated recycling, community gardens, and gloom-and-doom environmental education for the masses, etc. Implementing smart city initiatives (synonymous with “sustainability”) is a slow, insidious creep, to be foisted on an unsuspecting public. The opposite of “smart cities” is not “dumb cities.” Who doesn’t want to be smart, right? The “smart” name lulls the public into conformity, like the frog which is boiled by slowly raising the temperature of the water . . . he never notices. Government regulations will grow ever-more bold if Lafayette Parish citizens do not respond to this misguided governmental effort to control the populace and limit our freedoms and liberties.
Consider the following excerpt from the CREATE document pertaining to advisors for implementing this devious utopian plan: “Our public/private sector advisors perceive the creative industries as key factors of sustainable economic, social, cultural & environmental development.” Look long and hard, and think even harder, about that statement. It means the “ruling elite” will tell us what we must do, not just for tourism, but in all aspects of our lives. They will save us from ourselves.
Moreover, the first name on a list of “recognized models,” upon which CREATE will be based, is UNESCO, which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. UNESCO is an uber-left international organization that, although created in 1945 to “promote peace,” has morphed into a branch of the United Nations to strive for a one-world government and control of the masses under the guise of “sustainable development.” This stuff is real, it’s not conspiracy theory, and it’s not an overreaction on my part. UNESCO proclaimed the decade of 2005-2015 as “the decade of education.” UNESCO was instrumental in composing and implementing Common Core Education. The organization invited the Palestinians into their ranks; UNESCO has been shunned, even by Barack Obama, for its anti-Israel philosophy. President Trump has tried to withdraw the U.S. from the ranks of UNESCO. Think about it, if the CREATE initiative were strictly related to promoting the Cajun culture, why does the defining document contain so many references to “sustainability,” and focus so much on “re-education”? It’s because the effort is based on “group think” and how to control, scare, and re-educate the masses. Finally, CREATE is a totally unnecessary and wasteful duplication and expansion of government – LCVC does a good job of promoting tourism in Lafayette and Acadiana – and if not nipped in the bud, CREATE will turn into a government behemoth.
When you see “public/private” sector, or partnerships, like in the bold excerpt above, run for the hills. It means government will grow to be more controlling and oppressive under the ruse of “sustainable development” regulations and policies. Some nation-states currently in the European Union (EU) are protesting – some are trying to exit the EU – in part because of the massive overreach of “smart city” initiatives. If Lafayette Consolidated Government wants to put more funding into the property millage for drainage, they need to do it through a transparent, honest effort, and leave out CREATE.