|By Scott Orr|
PRESCOTT - Saying that Yavapai County's newly completed Comprehensive Plan is a road to the New World Order, two Camp Verde men have filed paperwork to put it to a public vote.
The plan, a 99-page document approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, is a guide that addresses the way land will be used in the county. It's mandated by the state Legislature and is updated regularly.
Called the "General Plan" in previous versions, it is divided into eight sections: transportation, land use, growth areas, water, energy, open space, environment, and cost of development.
The last plan was developed by professional consultants at a cost of about $250,000; this time around, it was done in-house by the Development Services department with public input, including a volunteer citizens' advisory committee.
The Comprehensive Plan is a kind of vision statement, with goals, objectives, and recommendations outlining the way Yavapai County should be developed in the long term.
But the Committee to Repeal the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan wants the entire document scrapped, and it has filed paperwork to have the plan taken to a vote of the people in a referendum.
Two men from Camp Verde are named as officers of the committee: Chairman Mark J. Pentecost and Treasurer Charles Warnacutt, Both listed their occupations as "retired."
Their application to hold a referendum said the county's Comprehensive Plan "appears to install United Nations Agenda 21 protocols that confuse Yavapai County land use regulations and disregard the sovereign constitutional laws of the U.S. and Arizona and also appear to increase regulations on use of private land within the county."
According to the United Nations' website, "Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment." President George H. W. Bush, along with 178 other government leaders, signed the non-binding agreement in 1992.
However, some people believe Agenda 21 goes much further than environmental impacts.
Deputy County Attorney Jack Fields acknowledged that there are hot-button topics associated with Agenda 21, which he called a sort of comprehensive plan for the planet. "It does contain some sections that address controversial issues such as population, birth control, those kinds of things," he said.
He said he had heard that some people believe Agenda 21 is "a conspiracy to rob us of our rights and become a part of the New World Order or a world government," but that "it is not binding on the United States, it is not a treaty, it's not been voted on by the (U.S.) Senate."
Contacted by phone, Warnacutt said, "We're not really giving out too much information at this time," and referred calls to Pentecost, who seems to have a cell phone that does not have voicemail. He did not answer calls made over several days.
County Development Services Director Steve Mauk said he believes Pentecost and Warnacutt are confused.
"The issue is, there's a perception that because Agenda 21 calls for a comprehensive, global, sustainable plan, and since we have a Comprehensive Plan for Yavapai County that does promote sustainable development within the county, that somehow that's in coordination with the U.N.'s Agenda 21, but it's not," Mauk said.
"It's a misperception. State law requires us to have a Comprehensive Plan," he added, "And our plan is consistent with state law."
Supervisor Chip Davis said the Comprehensive Plan has "absolutely no relationship at all (to Agenda 21). What we're trying to do is good planning to keep a healthy county, and I think what their concerns are is the United States in a world government. The two do not connect."
Mauk said the effort to place the plan on the ballot will not keep it from being implemented.
The committee has until July 7, 2013, to gather 8,148 petition signatures to get the measure on the 2014 general election ballot.