Friday, January 29, 2010

PRT "Consultant" Advises Public Officials to Manipulate Public Process

PRT "consultant" Peter Muller, who was at the MnDOT Rochester PRT symposium recently posted this advice to public officials on his website:

Any proposed PRT system that could suffer from adverse public comment, should have a well thought-out public outreach program. Public education and input should commence before there is any chance of members of the public learning about the project and becoming upset, because there are aspects of it they do not understand or that get misrepresented in the press. There are many instances of good public projects being stopped in their tracks by a vociferous minority.

Muller then goes on to describe a sham public process - the sort of manipulative process described by Sherry Arnstein in The Ladder of Citizen Participation:

In the name of citizen participation, people are placed on rubberstamp advisory committees or advisory boards for the express purpose of "educating" them or engineering their support. Instead of genuine citizen participation, the bottom rung of the ladder signifies the distortion of participation into a public relations vehicle by powerholders.

The PRT guys have always avoided a genuine public process... what are they afraid of?

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