Thursday, September 17, 2009

SEWRPC Contest: Test Your Political Skills! Win A Fabulous Prize!

Readers of this blog will know that I have been posting updates - - with no fresh news - - about the incomprehensible delay in the release of an every-four-years certification review by federal authorities who look at the work and outreach effort of Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission - - with which SEWRPC can approve major transportation projects in our seven-county region.

The 2004 review hearing was a public relations bloodbath for SEWRPC, and the resulting federal report forced some changes at the agency - - namely the creation of an Environmental Justice Task Force that since its 2007 founding - - yes, delay is the name of the game with many SEWRPC functions - - has been a growing force for planning openness and innovation.

When the 2008 review had its public 'meeting' phase - - October 22, to be exact - - the Federal Highway Administration officials who were in charge tried unsuccessfully to turn the formal hearing into a tepid, so-called open house, without amplified testimony directed to both officials and the large audience that had gathered.

People who had gathered protested, and a compromise was reached - - though after Federal Judge Lynn Adelman scolded federal officials in the Highway J (164) process for pulling the same stunt, I doubt this deadening format will be allowed as a hearing substitution around here again.

The certification report was to be released in March, 2009. Then May. Then the Federal officials stopped answering my emails and calls about the report's whereabouts and release date, though they have promised me a copy when it's done.

Now that we closing in on an entire year since the hearing-cum-open house, I've decided to enliven the process by seeing who among you can guess when the report is actually released.

Notice my optimism: I didn't say "if." I said "when."

So let's do this: Through my email - - - - or on this blog comment section - - I will gather entries guessing when I will get notification that the report is a released public document, or when that notification gets posted on SEWRPC's or the FHWA's or another public sector website, whichever is sooner.

You should state the date and time.

You will win the following great prize from my personal library - - the very nice and collectible copy of the hardbound and illustrated 1949 Trees, Yearbook of Agriculture, a publication of the USDA.

And coffee and the location of your choice, where I will deliver your prize.

Rules: No entries from anyone at FHWA or SEWRPC: you might have some inside information.

One entry per person.

I guess I can send it to an anonymous entrant, but that will be up to you to resolve.

Have fun!


Jim Bouman said...

October 21, 2009.That's the day our family expects the arrival of a new baby, a first grandchild.

Why not have something equally surprising from a source that should, by rights, bring forth a caterwauling newcomer, guaranteed to give great pleasure to some...and sleepless nights to others.

James Rowen said...

Congrats. Jim, on the impending grandchild arrival and a strategic guess: one day under a year after the 'hearing.'