Citizens work to evict ICLEI from Edmond, Oklahoma

March 9, 2011

Reported by Elwood “Sandy” Sanders

Edmond, OK is a epicenter of the anti-ICLEI fight!

It started in December when city leaders scheduled a “Sustainability Forum”; the intent to was implement their pro-ICLEI plans without opposition.  Thanks to patriots and liberty activists, about 200 citizens came to the meeting.  They were determined to fight sustainability and expose ICLEI:

Forum participants were asked to form discussion groups to share ideas regarding water conservation, greenspace parks and energy efficient buildings to save money. City staff would then take those recommendations to implement in a grass roots community plan, Entz said.

“We’re telling you we don’t want to do that. We want to talk about sustainability — its history — where it comes from,” Edmond resident Robert Semands said amid widespread applause.

The city community development director, Shannon Entz, tried to move the meeting back to sustainability but was not able to prevail.  Anti-ICLEI flyers were distributed; all but one of the the speakers asked the city to withdraw from ICLEI.

That one exception came in the form of Benton Howell, a member of a local group called “Sustainable Edmond.”  He used his time at the microphone to extol the virtues of ICLEI’s preferred methods of sustainability, to promote the theory of “global warming”, and to suggest various (some credible) conservation methods for residents’ consideration.

The entreaties were on deaf ears; the usual excuses were rather given out:

“We don’t even know what you’re talking about with Agenda 21,” Entz said. “This isn’t part of our conversation at all. It’s absolutely not. We’re not part of that; we’re not interested in that.”

Semands said the language of sustainability comes from Agenda 21 which is a U.N. agenda.

“Edmond did not sign off with any international agenda,” former Mayor Dan O’Neil said.

Yes, you did, Mayor O’Neil!  ICLEI has political and foreign policy goals.  But the December 6 meeting was aborted when the audience refused to go along with the ICLEI agenda:

“We’re going to cancel for tonight and after the first of the year, we’re going to have a general forum to discuss and answer some of your questions,” Entz announced.

Another December meeting was unhelpful.  A few days ago, on March 7, about 200 citizens attended another sustainability meeting.  33 or 34 speakers again called for the City of Edmond to withdraw from ICLEI:

All but one of 34 audience members who spoke at a City of Edmond forum on sustainability Monday night warned that the city should revoke its membership with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), a sub-group of the United Nations.

No elected official attended this meeting; one citizen warned the absent city council not to expect her vote if they won’t withdraw from ICLEI:

[Gloria] Rehrig said she would not vote for any City Council candidate who supports the city’s membership in ICLEI.

Good for you, Gloria!  Maybe you should consider running for council!  The responses were predictable:

“The city staff has not requested or received any information from ICLEI pertaining to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 21 program,” [City Manager Larry] Stevens said.

*  *  *

Sustainable Edmond member Benton Howell said sustainability is important for Edmond, the country and the world. He cautioned that emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels and utility and carbon emissions have caused climate change, or global warming.

I recommend the city manager and Mr. Howell go to the ICLEI web site and read what ICLEI stands for.  At the end of the meeting. there was a begrudging comment that maybe people are concerned with ICLEI and Agenda 21.  Hurrah for the organized opposition to ICLEI and Agenda 21 in Edmond, OK!  I recommend that at the next election, April 5, by the way, they will do what Carroll County did – get a new city council and vote out ICLEI!