CZA Regs Meetings to be Shrouded in Secrecy – Part 1

Filed in National by on October 9, 2017 27 Comments

John Carney has a real penchant for secret meetings. We are currently developing a story based on a (DNREC) invitation to “stakeholders” regarding Coastal Zone Conversion Permits. The meeting invitation promises participants that their participation in the Regs writing process will shrouded in secrecy and cloaked in confidentiality.

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

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  1. jason330 says:

    Here is part of the DNREC invitation which emphasizes that “stakeholders” will be able to comment in secret:

    The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act directs DNREC to develop and promulgate regulations for the issuance of conversion permits by October 1, 2019. DNREC will convene a Regulatory Advisory Committee to develop – by consensus to the greatest degree possible – the framework and approach to these new regulations. The Advisory Committee will also assist with drafting proposed regulations and ensuring public engagement…

    Before DNREC assembles the Regulatory Advisory Committee, CBI will be conducting separate, confidential conversations with key stakeholders, including local government officials, businesses, labor representatives, environmental advocates, and others. To reiterate, these conversations are confidential—CBI will not attribute statements collected in stakeholder conversations to individuals or individual organizations in its final convening report.

    A question that leaps to mind is… why? Why all the secrecy and promise of confidentiality? Are public agencies supposed to conduct the public’s business in public?

    Who, among the “stakeholders” has a position that is so toxic that they do not want to be associated with it?

  2. mouse says:

    Voting for the Republican would have been different how?

  3. alby says:

    @mouse: We wouldn’t have even heard about it until it was over.

  4. mouse says:

    LOL, maybe

  5. RE Vanella says:

    I do know this. We’ll never be “stakeholders”.

  6. chris says:

    Any word from Sen.Townsend or Rep. Osienski, the prime sponsors of the bill, about this development?

  7. RE Vanella says:

    You mean one of our progressive saviors Bryan Townsend? Yeah, Chris, you know, that’s an excellent question.

  8. Carney’s penchant for secrecy must not be allowed to stand. He has not proven worthy of trust when it comes to the confidential nature of almost everything he’s doing. BTW, ‘everything’ he’s doing in secret appears designed to advance the platform of the Chamber of Commerce, not the people of Delaware.

    I think it’s time for Matt Denn, who is not running for reelection, to challenge Carney’s Confidential Cabal.

  9. Frank Sims says:

    No public referendum (first amdt) no openness. Secrecy will prevail until we can exercise our First Amendment Right to Initiative and Referendum. Don’t blame the politicians for the secrecy, blame our inaction to petition.

  10. chris says:

    Yes, the AG’s office could flex some muscle on this nonsense if it chooses to….and hold them properly accountable.

  11. Nope, Frank. Blame our politicians. Anyone who thinks initiative and referendum are the answer need only to see how that’s worked out in Cali. Shit’s thrown out there in order to rouse the ire of the Great Unwashed and are funded by hundreds of millions of lobbyist dollars. Grover Norquist, anybody?

    Carney is becoming known for his penchant for conducting public business behind closed doors. It’s up to our elected officials to challenge this. And, yes, it’s up to us as well. Especially us.

  12. puck says:

    The Biden AG regency paved they way when it meekly let Markell off the hook without repercussions for his secret charter school meetings in blatant violation of FOIA, meetings which provided cover for his infamous charter school giveaway bill HB165.

  13. Bane says:

    To play devil’s advocate, there probably are business owners and developers who may be asked to simply provide insight and may not want to do that in the public sphere. They aren’t politicians and environmental advocates are great people, but they are also lunitics. I could see a person who owns land or represents landowners along the coastal zone not wanting to subject their conversations with regulators to public ridicule, as they will not be as forthright. Any changes that come from those conversations would have to go through a public process. Transparency is important, but does the public really need to be involved in every meeting held in government?

  14. alby says:

    “does the public really need to be involved in every meeting held in government?”

    Yes. Next question.

  15. RE Vanella says:

    Pretty much, yeah. Unless the government is planning Operation Overlord or discussing the security protocols at nuclear silos in the Dakotas then guess what, it needs to be on the record.

    Just because business and corporate interests want secrecy doesn’t mean they get it.

    Corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech regardless of what Mitt Romney or five justices on the Supreme Court say about it. It was my understanding that the government was by the people and for the people. I realize this is a very quaint notion. I don’t care.

    What are the reasons that some developer or corporate interest would not be totally forthcoming in a public conversation, do you think? They want to be on these secret government panels and they don’t want to be subjected to public ridicule? That’s fucking rich, isn’t it?

  16. gigi says:

    In my opinion, these interviews will be used to identify who will easily roll over on the regs, and get them on the RAC. Separating out groups/individuals only serves to divide and isolate those who want strong regulations and oversight. Everything about the modernization of the CZA has been handled secretly, with limited public input. Being the email was sent out from a DNREC staffer, some are trying to find out exactly who is being considered a stakeholder through FOIA.
    This puts some of us in the position of either protesting the opaque process by refusing to participate or losing the ability to have a say..even if it is ignored.
    The membership of the RAC will be telling.

    “These interviews will be used to identify and capture the range of interests, opportunities, concerns, and ideas held by stakeholders about industrial redevelopment in the coastal zone, and to gather advice on how best to design a collaborative process in terms of membership, ground rules, sequencing of issues, and other process design considerations. The outcome of this initial step will be a brief report outlining the key issues, ideas, and concerns expressed by stakeholders regarding the creation of these new regulations and designing the consensus building process. DNREC will then establish the multi-stakeholder Regulatory Advisory Committee to begin the collaborative work.”

  17. Yep, it looks like another case where some people get to secretly decide who the stakeholders are. Just like that secret business group that, thanks to our elected officials, is exempt from FOIA.

  18. chris says:

    With the demise of real reporting by News Journal, local talk radio has become a total joke , the invisibility of Common Cause, no one shines a light on this stuff anymore …. Yes, elected officials of both parties could and should say something!! But that is not the infamous Delaware Way —which has led to the decline in overall economic prosperity in our state over the last ten years! and its only getting worse.

  19. john kowalko says:

    This is merely a continuation of this Governor’s policy to have a closed minded and closed door attitude. When I debated this terrible bill on the House floor before it flew through I questioned Cerron Cade and his assistant’s contention that “over 35 business had considered coming to Delaware but withdrew because of the CZA restrictions”. I specifically asked Mr. Cade to name me one, just one, of these companies and he insisted that “privacy privilege” was given them. When I scoffed at the ridiculousness of the premise that he wasn’t able to give the House chamber one (no details, no plans, no promises made) only one name he reiterated his vow of silence. When a reporter interviewed me afterward about what had transpired on the floor I suggested that I would have preferred that Mr. Cade (acting head of DEDO) be hooked up to a polygraph in light of his response. This obviously insulted Mr. Cade and he sent me an email protesting my remark as unkind. There are a host of questions still to be answered by this Administration and its agency heads regarding the environment, the budget, public education (and the funding cuts to it), economic development and health care costs. As long as this current leadership chooses to stifle transparency and conduct matters of public importance in a closeted environment of secrecy it will never adequately represent the interests of the taxpaying public.
    Representative John Kowalko

  20. john kowalko says:

    Let me be clear about my previous statement. I am not in any way shape or form questioning Cerron’s integrity or honesty. It is a shame however, that individuals in Delaware government agencies are effectively muted by a climate that prohibits open dialogues and discussions that can lead to better understandings and decisions being made.
    Representative John Kowalko

  21. mediawatch says:

    I think it’s also reasonable to assume that the 35 businesses that decided not to come to Delaware because of CZA regulations are the same ones that decided not to come because of New Castle County’s restrictive and time-consuming rezoning process, and because of the exorbitant personal income tax rate imposed on top executives, and … when you get to the bottom of it, because they never had any intention of ever coming to Delaware (but the CZA, the zoning code, the tax rate, whatever was a convenient rationalization that they could whisper into the ears of Alan Levin, Bernadette Whaley and now Cerron Cade.)

  22. Nikola says:

    Rep Kowalko–You clearly did not slight Mr. Cade’s character by calling him a lying sack of shit. Not at all. Very civil of you old boy.

  23. jason330 says:

    JK implied that Cade was not credible. Nikola inferred that Kowalko was calling him a sack of shit. The inference is a stretch. The implication isn’t.

  24. john kowalko says:

    Yeah Nikola, very “Trumpian” of you to draw that conclusion from my statements. Suggest that you seek out a course in reading comprehension
    Rep. Kowalko

  25. mouse says:

    Is there any requirement for new corporate polluters to clean up the sites they takeover or will they just be using the toxic sites as a cover to pollute more?

  26. alby says:

    Just for the record, Mr. Cade himself invited the implication that he was a lying sack of shit by refusing to answer the question in even a limited manner.

    He could have chosen to side with the people who put his boss in the office, but he chose instead to side with the people who are trying to take advantage of the citizenry. Just like his boss apparently has.

    So, while Mr. Cade may not be a lying sack of shit, he is still a sack of shit. Just like his boss is proving himself to be.

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