Asheville City Council will hear a report about some free money it got from the federal government and what they did with it. The grant was for a two-day workshop to solicit community input for Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Supporting Equitable Development. In other words, government programs, now as profligate as teenage bands, must now come up with similarly strange names to be unique. Anyway, when one thinks of things like the national debt and limited government, it is hard to consider something this fuzzy and obtuse as an enumerated power. (I know, broad interpretation of the General Welfare and Interstate Commerce clauses empowered the federal government to do everything.) But seriously, is the temptation of “free money” and the fear of being called racist so great that we have to doodle around with these synergy-building energy hoodoos? The story begins:

The core mission of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC)—or the Smart Growth Office— helps to support this mission by working with communities to reach development goals that create positive impacts on air, water, public health, economic vitality and quality of life for residents. OSC created the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to provide quick, targeted technical
assistance on specific smart growth development topics by bringing subject matter experts to communities. Communities request this technical assistance through a competitive application process.

You may read the rest here. I really like Sasha Vtrunski, the person the city charged with the program’s oversight. She’s so much like the folks I hung around with in high school. I mean her no disdain, it is the program that annoys.