The Schedule was Orchestrated
|Minutes from July 26th SKATS-PC Meeting|
Due to public and agency involvement requirements, a joint jurisdiction/agency/Interested Party public hearing will likely be scheduled in mid-October. The purpose of involving multiple participants is to ensure that all parties receive the same information along with everyone hearing public testimony at the same time. Confusion is likely to be less if all parties are provided with the same material, information, testimony at the same time.
|Minutes from August 23rd Cherriots Work Session|
Director Lincoln asked how the Board can review the Technical Reports. Ms. Warncke said the reports will be available seven days before the public hearing on the City’s website for land use records.The schedule was compressed on purpose and information was withheld from other Public Agencies in addition to the general public.
The Document Dump was a Blizzard
Part of the plan was clearly to overwhelm critics and other citizens with an impossibly large burden of reading material.
Here are the total document lists late on Friday the 7th.
|26 documents under "staff reports"|
|17 texts of written testimony|
|50 "supporting documents"|
Even on Friday, there were Shifting Sands
Throughout the period of Wednesday to Friday, there were an unknown number of additions, deletions, and modifications to the document list.
Many of the documents are historical padding, important as supporting material and context, but not directly relevant to the analysis at hand about the proposed UGB expansion.
But a key is that it is not possible for the citizenry to be able on very short notice to winnow the chaff and isolate the most relevant documents for closer analysis.
Even if you think seven days notice is adequate (and that is not the position here), by the project's own plans, there should have been a stable document list by the end of Wednesday.
The project team failed to do this.
Here are some details of the changing document lists. I didn't get a screen capture of what I think was the first set from late September, so this starts with at least the second iteration on 10/6 - on Thursday, after the seven-day window should have closed.
|This list was from Thursday, 10/6|
|With new headers and at least one deletion|
this was from early 10/7
|With many new documents and some reposts, late on 10/7|
Certainly in Spirit, it Fails Citizen Invovement
On Statewide Planning GOAL 1: CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT, OAR 660-015-0000(1):
The citizen involvement program shall be appropriate to the scale of the planning effort. The program shall provide for continuity of citizen participation and of information that enables citizens to identify and comprehend the issues....We see here a plan for an orchestrated last-minute document dump, a blizzard of documents in that dump, and a continually revised document list even after the seven-day advance window had closed.
4. Technical Information -- To assure that technical information is available in an understandable form. Information necessary to reach policy decisions shall be available in a simplified, understandable form. Assistance shall be provided to interpret and effectively use technical information. A copy of all technical information shall be available at a local public library or other location open to the public....
3. Adoption Process – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to review and recommend changes to the proposed comprehensive land-use plans prior to the public hearing process to adopt comprehensive land-use plans.
|DLCD preliminary comments|
At least in the ordinary sense of the words, a sense that ordinary citizens would recognize as reasonable, the totality of information was not conveyed in "an understandable form," the "general public...[lacked] the opportunity to review...prior to the public hearing process," and the "involvement" on the UGB Hearing has not been "appropriate to the scale of the planning effort."
The blizzard of documents is in no way "understandable" in the time frame "prior to the public hearing process." In the disjunction between the size of the document dump, its shifting nature, and the nearness of the Hearing, it is not at all "appropriate to the scale."
It violates the ordinary sense of all of these.
It might satisfy some legalistic, technical definition of these, but in the spirit of the Statewide Planning Goal it is an EPIC FAIL.
Update, October 11th
The Hearing is tomorrow, and they're still adding official reports to the document dump (not just citizen comment)!!!