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Planners opt not to hear controversial speaker

The Mathews County Planning Commission voted 4-3 Tuesday night to deny a motion by member Tricia Stall to invite a controversial speaker to address the commission and board of supervisors regarding his views on private property rights.

The vote followed a lengthy discussion, which Stall began by sharing her own views on Tom DeWeese, author of numerous books, booklets, and pamphlets decrying the United Nations’ set of principles for sustainable resource management, which were outlined in a 1992 U.N. paper known as “Agenda 21.” His writings paint the environmental guidelines as a socialist attack on personal property rights and a war on free enterprise, and they provide readers with ways to challenge planning regulations in their own communities. DeWeese is on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of extremists.

Stall spoke of regulations that are “so onerous that the property owner is prevented from using the land at all” and said that, because failure to pay taxes results in ev...

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