Unnecessary Fear in the Foothills vs Blunt Facts

First, the bad news: It was Fear Night in the Foothills last Wednesday. Stocker Calls Special Town Hall Meeting: The Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and planning staff are all trying to pull a fast one! Railroading an issue through without a public vote! The Voice of the People once again choked off by a sinister group of special interests. This time The Developers from The Dark Side are sowing the secret seeds of Cluster Housing destruction. Don’t trust having any more folks moving up here. They’ll just suck the aquifers dry and then, these clustering newbie’s are more likely spark the wildfires of Stocker’s Development Apocalypse. . .which for some reason has never materialized.


Scaring the bejeebees out of an admittedly uninformed and older audience should be a crime. . .but as Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to deceive someone, than to prove to them that they’ve been deceived.”


Blunt Fact: Prosperity will never take root in the Foothills when Stocker’s lopsided attempt at a Town Hall event is produced and controlled by apparent propagandists. The nine “official speakers” on the agenda were each hand-picked and in with Stocker on his issue. His moderators then, not only denied an official speaker spot to the known and qualified Stocker opponent (mentioned by name in his mailer) but they also refused to project his slide materials which were presented to them earlier. Apparently, the projector could only be used for their side’s benefit. Some behavioral professionals refer to this type of controlling activity as “fear of the other.”

Blunt Fact: Stocker’s official speakers went on for over 70 minutes listing repeatedly negative after negative. A fog of anxiety, barely visible, drifted down from the podium, hugging the floor, slowly spreading through the room, and chilling the alarmed attendees. When “the other” was finally allowed to speak, the moderators tried to limit him to only 5 minutes. Numerous audience members vocally objected to this obviously prejudicial treatment, and so he continued. Seconds later, moderators next tried to shut down his reading of a paragraph from a verbatim transcript of Hal Stocker’s own words (as Supervisor) from the official Supervisors’ meeting focused on Cluster PUD’s in the Foothills. Moderators said the transcript was “off-topic, and in the past.” Audience members again objected, as did the speaker who continued to read.


Final Blunt Fact: The verbatim transcript revealed that Supervisor Stocker not only knew all about this issue way back in March of 2011, but also, further readings of official records indicated. . . cluster requirements and provisions have actually been in our general plans and ordinances since 1996, and all of it fully within Stocker’s overview as 5th District Supervisor for 20 years.


Blunt Question: Who has really been pulling a fast one since 1996?


Fortunately, 5th District Planning Commissioner Warner Phillips, who had not planned to speak at all, unexpectedly did come forward and reassured the audience that in fact, as was described by “the other,” there is nothing hidden about this issue. He added that cluster housing has indeed been in our General Plans and Development Codes going back to 1996. While he invited public participation, he did encourage a more diplomatic approach by the public when airing grievances before the Board of Supervisors.

Nick Spaulding

Oregon House

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