To many, it may well seem that our organization has done nothing to affect major issues; that all we do is meet once a month to gripe. The following article due to be published in the Syemour Hearld Wednesday May 1st dispells that notion.
I am proud to say that because of your participation, Our Smokies Our Future (OSOF) is all but dead. A special thanks goes to two instrumental members of the steering committe for their research and perserverance; Marc Hayes and former chairman Rob Bremer.
This is only the beginning of our effectiveness. Among other projects the steering committee has planned, we will soon be tackling Common Core an Sharia Law, both of which affect all Tennesseans.
" We are under the yoke of evil men who intend to enslave us,
and one of the few barriers left to them is the Second Amendment. "
By Joe King, [email protected]
Sevier County- A county-wide visioning project that was launched last summer remains idle largely due to an outside force of residents opposed to the process.
Our Smokies, Our Future, a self- described visioning process, has a stated goal on their Website of transforming Sevier County with endless possibilities for improvement.
OSOF began with organized public groups where facilitator-led discussions would ask residents what improvements could be made to the county.
Later, in November of 2012, OSOF eventually held a summit in Pigeon Forge where all of the gathered ideas where put to a vote and ranked.
However, aspects such as admitted consensus building, a strong presence of environmental concerns, the involvement of Urban Planning Specialist Gianni Longo, and the similarities between OSOF and other visioning processes connected with the U.N. spurred a concern and soon opposition for many residents that a global plot called Agenda 21 was infiltrating their communities.
Since the summit, OSOF has remained largely inactive aside from publishing the results from the summit on their Website.
“We will be more than happy to reconvene,” said OSOF Co-Chair Allen Robbins.
Robbins said since the summit OSOF has been waiting for anybody interested to take up the mantel based on the results of the surveys, but has yet to any interest generated.
“There was so much of an underlining concern that this was some sort of conspiracy and that has been a big hurdle for us,” he said. “That’s not what this is about.”
Despite its idle status Sevier County Tea Party Chairman Steve Osborn, one of the many residents leading the charge against OSOF, is still concerned about the organization.
“The steering committee for OSOF seems to have gone strangely silent,” he said. “There's always the possibility that they are still coordinating with Gianni Longo but I find that unlikely. Typically, when projects such as Chattanooga's version of OSOF reached their final public meeting to announce their consensus results, the steering committee acted quickly to establish Non-Government Organizations seeking federal funds to implement their projects. Neither I nor others involved in the opposition have heard of any such action.”
And while there has yet to be any conclusive evidence to either deny or support OSOF’s connection to U.N. Agenda 21, Osborn doesn’t feel the efforts of the opposition were wasted one way or another.
“It's never wrong to speak up to defend freedom, our Constitution, property rights, or any such issue,” he said. “Being silent is what allows the erosion of such things to occur. Remember the good old days of the ‘silent majority’? If that majority had not been silent, our nation wouldn't be in the situation it is today.”
And although Osborn has a strict disagreement with the OSOF process, he also recognizes the differences people will have on controversial issues such as this.
“I would also once again give public kudos to Stephanie Johnson (OSOF Coordinator) for her integrity and honesty,” Osborn said. “She could have easily manipulated the consensus building results behind closed doors, thereby removing the Constitution and property rights from the top two concerns to the bottom two ranking. If the committee has indeed abandoned OSOF or at least put it on hold, I would like to think the opposition from The Tea Party was instrumental. Many of our members were dedicated to opposing OSOF. They made sure they attended every public meeting. By turning out in the numbers they did, they ensured their voices and concerns were at the forefront.”