I must have hit a nerve.
Governor Chafee’s recent op-ed, defending his administration’s oppressive RhodeMap RI scheme to impose national control over local housing and land use decisions, claims that I misunderstand the plan. I have studied it for two years.
What the Governor either does not understand himself, or refused to tell us, is that the “plan” was designed to conform with principles created by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C., that implementation of similar plans in counties across our nation has indeed brought the loss of individual property rights and local sovereignty, and that in recent public hearings Rhode Island taxpayers overwhelmingly and vehemently spoke out against it.
RhodeMap RI will be a major setback to our state’s economy and to the rights of property owners, yet this plan has been advanced without any genuine public or media scrutiny. In response, I challenge the administration to engage in a public debate so that we can shine light on the plan and determine how people really feel about the provisions that are sure to come down the “rhode.”
I respectfully suggest that the RI Foundation host the forum. While the foundation’s leaders are advocates of the plan, themselves, they have also been a leading voice for productive debate and may be unique in their ability to conduct a first-rate, fair, and high-profile event.
RhodeMap RI is either everything the governor claims, or it is just another disastrous 38 Studios–style government boondoggle, as I claim. For the good of our state, shouldn’t we find out?