This month I planned to discuss the professional background of Council member Randy Stagner. I wanted to question why a highly placed retired Colonel who worked in the Pentagon with the State Department would choose to devote all of his time to the Raleigh City Council (RCC). In particular I wanted to ask the retired Colonel if his extensive military experience prepared him to help transform Raleigh into a sub compact city. Council Member Odom, the only alleged Republican on the Council, objected that I address a specific member of the Council during my allotted 3 minutes. (It’s also telling that the RCC routinely permits certain people to go well over 3 minutes but most who object to RCC polices are strictly limited to 3 minutes.) Mayor McFarlane also interrupted me. It seemed absurd that the Council was threatened by my citing what’s included on Stagner’s bio posted on the RCC website.
Councilmember Stagner retired from the US Army in 2008 at the rank of full colonel. After tours of duty in the 25th Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps, he served as a detachment commander, company commander, battalion operations officer, and battalion commander in the US Army Special Operations Command (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, NC. After battalion command, he was assigned to the Pentagon with duty at the Department of State. His major deployments include Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia) and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Councilmember Stagner speaks Russian and holds advanced degrees in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Kansas and in National Security Strategy from the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC. His last military assignment was as the Washington Office Director for an element of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). After military service, Colonel Stagner served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC before returning to his home in Raleigh.
Stagner and the RCC are proud of the new UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) which is openly designed to increase population density in Raleigh. At an RCC candidate forum held on September 16 current RCC members as well as least one candidate openly endorsed increasing population density in Raleigh. Increasing population density is sold as a component of “sustainability”. The ordinance to adopt the UDO proudly reads at its inception,
Whereas, the City of Raleigh adopted a new Comprehensive Plan in 2009 calling for more of the City’s growth to be directed away from rural and environmentally sensitive lands, and towards major transit corridors and walkable mixed use settings
Sustainability is a euphemism for Agenda 21 or the United Nations Agenda for the 21st century. Raleigh is deeply committed to Agenda 21 – the city has been a member of ICLEI. ICLEI is a UN front group that was founded in 1990 as the ‘International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’. ICLEI retained the same acronym but changed their name in 2003 to mean Local Governments for Sustainability. Raleigh also operates an Office of Sustainability.
The Mysterious Office
An email I received from the Raleigh OMB dated 8/6/13 reads, “The FY14 operating budget for Sustainability is $569,351. In the FY14 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Council appropriated an additional $1.5 Million for a sustainability revolving fund. The Sustainability Office is currently designing the program to use those funds.” This “Office” has a full time staff of 5 with combined salaries of $350,544. And we can be certain that some program will be developed to spend the additional $1.5 million. Much money can always be spent by bureaucrats intent on transforming Raleigh into a sub compact city – however it’s never been a priority to sustain the public’s money.