Roanoke County’s ties with sustainability group questioned

Cody Lowe|The Roanoke Times

Speakers at a board of supervisors meeting said a worldwide group is using global warming as an excuse to meddle in local government

A political group that claims credit for helping persuade the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors not to adopt new urban development planning rules last month was back before the board Tuesday.

This time, about 10 speakers, many mentioning ties to the tea party movement, put pressure on the board to disaffiliate from an international organization the speakers said helps promote those types of regulations.

The county has been affiliated with ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability since 1997, adopting initiatives for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other conservation causes. The group was founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

Until Tuesday, no one had ever spoken before the board in opposition to the affiliation.

Apparently at the urging of the Roanoke Tea Party’s leadership and Web page, which predicted an end to the connection if people expressed their concerns, speaker after speaker called on the board to abandon its $1,200-a-year affiliation with the group.

Lawrence Alldridge summed up the concerns of many by linking ICLEI to what he called the “questionable theory of man-made global warming.”

He warned of the group’s links to the United Nations, which was roundly condemned for trying to take over control of local government.

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ICLEI’ s United States Member List