As many people are now aware, there is a region-wide, Cape Cod Commission Withdrawal Movement afoot. It entails a county-wide petition drive divided by the fifteen Cape municipalities.
Why is this happening? For many reasons, but the denial of the Dennis Lowes project was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
According to the Cape Cod Commission, its overall mission is to… “keep a special place special”
“…to protect the unique values and quality of life on Cape Cod by coordinating a balanced relationship between environmental protection and economic progress. “
We say that after nearly a quarter-century in existence, the Cape Cod Commission has turned out to be an taxpayer subsidized, unaccountable, less-than-transparent and controversial multi-million dollar regional bureaucracy which has failed miserably on all segments of their stated mission.
It is a detrimental, fiscally expensive and unnecessary extra-layer of county government which has stifled economic development on Cape Cod to the point whereby our next generation of citizens is now fleeing in multitudes because there are no decent paying jobs and they cannot afford to reside here.
For these and other reasons listed below, we simply believe that the voters in each Cape Cod town deserve to have the right to at least weigh-in on this important issue. The collective voices of Cape Codders need to be expressed as to whether their particular towns should continue on as a members of the Cape Cod Commission, or if they believe that their town would be better off without it.
The voters should be able to decide, and these petitions, if successful, will help to provide the opportunity and forum for that to happen within each municipality on this peninsula.
In addition to a staff nearly of 50 lucratively paid county government officials (many with six figure salaries plus benefits), the Cape Cod Commission is composed of fifteen APPOINTED and NON-ELECTED municipal representatives, a minority representative, a Native American representative, a representative from the Barnstable County Commissioners Office, and an appointee of the Governor’s Office.
Since 1990, when all is said and done, the Cape Cod Commission has systematically mutated its mission and outlived the purposes for which it was originally intended. It is no longer useful to Cape Codders and their respective towns but a hindrance to economic prosperity, affordable housing, and environmental protection.
Over the years, the Cape Cod Commission has consistently failed to carry out its stated mission, by:
· NOT sufficiently pursuing a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to planning, environmental protection, and economic development
· NOT adequately identifying regional opportunities to improve infrastructure and make progress on economic challenges
· FAILING to provide the community with accurate, up-to-date and/or unbiased data and research.
The CCC has managed to incessantly increase its annual budget and bloated staff of overpaid bureaucrats to the tune of millions of dollars! Despite having enormous power over the economic, social, cultural and environmental status of the Cape, by their own self-decreed policies, Commission representatives clearly state in writing that they are NOT answerable to ANYONE other than themselves, including the municipal officials who originally appointed them, as well as YOU, THE VOTERS AND TAXPAYERS of Cape Cod!
Finally, it is contended that Cape towns are overcharged for the services they receive from the Cape Cod Commission, and underrepresented relative to its membership and input into its governance and activities. Furthermore, the Cape Cod Commission has outlived its usefulness for which it was originally intended. Moreover, it wastefully duplicates the functions of numerous federal and state environmental and regulatory agencies, municipal departments, committees, boards and commissions like their planning department, conservation commission, zoning board of appeals, regulatory services or inspectional services division, licensing authority, engineering department, growth management department, historic commission, old king’s highway historic district committee, community preservation committee, water department, water quality or wastewater committee, and their building department, among many others.
The Cape Cod Commission believes that it makes the rules, but does not have to play by them. As the voters of Cape Cod, let’s show them that such an outlandish bureaucratic view and senseless behavior will not be tolerated by us, the governed. In the end, we are supposed to be the bosses, not them! By signing the petition for your particular town, you are doing exactly that. They only have as much power over us as we allow them to have. We can and should restrict that power as we see fit.