Board member resigns
By Michael Howell
With no subdivisions to deal with, Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Ravalli County Planning Board was set to hear a presentation from Commissioner Dan Happel of Madison County about Agenda 21.
But first came the prayer.
Planning Board Chairman Jan Wisniewski opened the meeting by asking for public comment.
Shannon Plocher spoke up.
Plocher, at Wisniewski’s invitation, gave a prayer at the start of a Planning Board meeting a few weeks ago. Planning Department Manager Terry Nelson received some complaints about that and made an inquiry with the County Attorney’s Office. The response was that nothing could be found related to planning boards and prayer but if the board wanted to have a prayer his office would do further research. The Board decided instead, on a five to three vote, not to have a prayer at the beginning of its meetings, primarily because it would probably be illegal.
Plocher told the board that the Montana Constitution states that we, the people are “grateful to God” for the quiet beauty and grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains and so on.
“It states right there that we are grateful to God. We are a Christian nation,” said Plocher. He said it was on the money, “In God we trust.”
He said that he recognized it was a free country and people can worship as they choose.
“But you’ve got to take a look at our history,” said Plocher. “You’ve got to figure out what country you are in. We are a Christian nation, founded on Christian values. I’m not a political person. I don’t even want to be here. But I’m going to open this meeting in prayer.” Plocher proceeded to offer a prayer and ended “in the name of our precious Lord Jesus Christ.”
Then came Agenda 21.
Madison County Commissioner Dan Happel said he was involved in the liberty movement most of his life and was well informed about Agenda 21.
“A lot of people have never heard of Agenda 21,” said Happel, “but it drives 90 percent of federal legislation.” He said it is an agenda, a blueprint for the 21st Century, that involves creating a one-world government, socialist in structure and communist at heart, that will destroy our constitution and destroy the middle class, transferring America’s wealth to the Third World.
He traces the beginning of the agenda to a meeting of 35 to 40 international bankers and world leaders called the Club of Rome which met in 1968. It was here that the decision was made to use “environmentalism” as the tool to unite people worldwide and subsequently bring them under one government.
“They decided to use environmentalism as a tool to promote political ideas and agendas which otherwise would be so wildly unpopular that they would have no chance of being implemented,” said Happel.
The agenda began to be implemented through ideas of Smart Growth, zoning regulations, wilderness bills, wildlands and endangered species initiatives.
“In this way private property can be increasingly controlled and ultimately eliminated,” said Happel. He said that government agencies, especially federal government agencies, have been co-opted by the oligarchic elite that designed the agenda and are implementing it with the use of facilitators in the “public process,” a method he said was invented in Stalin’s Russia to control the people with a semblance of participation.
The agenda calls for the establishment of wilderness zones with corridors that would involve relocating most Montanans to some large city, like Seattle, where they would be housed like sardines in compact housing developments, deprived of automobiles, and basically held hostage to some job in the city. Meanwhile vast areas of land would be reclaimed for wilderness to be used by the rich oligarchy.
Happel claims the bulk of environmental legislation is a result of this agenda, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Natural Grasslands Act and the Endangered Species Act. He said they are part of a plot to create wilderness corridors from the Yucatan to the Yukon, “and it all involves taking property and taking the rights away from anybody left with any property.”
Happel said it came down to whether you believe in the United Nations Charter or the Declaration of Independence. “Which side are you on?” he asked.
Happel then launched into politics, stating that RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and turncoats had taken over the Republican Party.
“At the national level we don’t have a prayer,” he said. “At the local level we can do it. I did it.”
Planning Board Chairman Jan Wisniewski then stated that the county was paying nothing for this presentation by Commissioner Happel so he was going to pass the hat around for donations.
Several people then spoke, many of them currently running for public office.
Some pointed political remarks were made.
At one point a speaker referred to President Obama as “that critter in the Whitehouse.”
Jim Pearson, who is running for a seat on the Public Service Commission, complained about “too many stinking RINOs.”
“We’ve got control of Ravalli County right now,” said Pearson, “but we need to vote in others who are aware of Agenda 21.”
At this point Board member John Conlan made a point of order that the meeting had digressed into a political conversation.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Planning Board member John Conlan subsequently turned in his resignation to the Planning Office. Conlan serves on the Planning Board as a member of the Park Board. He hopes to remain on the Park Board.
Conlan said it was not so much the Agenda 21 presentation that pushed him to resign.
“That was on the agenda,” said Conlan. He said it was all the stuff not on the agenda that he is not willing to put with. He said the meetings had become too “politicized” and did not stick to business or proceed according to rules.
Conlan said that he was disappointed that the board chairman let the meeting be started with a prayer despite the fact that the board had voted at its previous meeting not to start with a prayer. Conlan said he was also put off by the chairman’s action in “passing the hat” to collect money at a public meeting.
Conlan also complained about how the meeting was allowed to disintegrate into a blatant partisan political discussion over which candidates best represent those concerned with the Agenda 21 movement.
He said it was obvious that some training was needed in how to set and adhere to an agenda.
“With all due respect to the current Board President, he does not yet have the skills needed to run an open public meeting,” wrote Conlan in his resignation letter. He said that in his estimation about half of the discussion at the last meeting was not related to the advertised agenda.
“I believe in good government and following the rules and procedures of the board, usually defined in a policy manual or by-laws,” wrote Conlan. “I cannot in good conscience participate with a group that does not adhere to these standards.”