Fascinating article in the Freeman about the state of Waukesha's application for a Lake Michigan diversion.
Let's read between the lines and see how major players there are positioning themselves now that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources basically tabled Waukesha's application and asked for more information - - a lot of information about options, costs and Great Lakes Compact compliance that was not in the application.
Mayor Jeff Scrima, something of a skeptic on the application -- and who won an upset victory in April as Mayor in part because of that skepticism - - says he wants a dialogue with city officials, presumably meaning officials who are invested in the application.
And says he is looking for a transparent process.
OK. Sounds reasonable...
Water Utility general manager Dan Duchniak, in charge of the application-drafting process, replies a) the information the DNR wants will be provided...no surprise there, but b) emphasizes there will be no new application, just technical edits...something of a surprise on the transparency front, and one that will not be missed by the other states...and c) further emphasizes that it's the Common Council that sets Waukesha policy.
“From my knowledge of the way the process works is the Common Council sets the policy and the 15 members of the Common Council voted 14 to 1 to support what was in the application and submit the application,” Duchniak said. “We need to make sure that the Department of Natural Resources understands that – that the Common Council fully supports the application and moving it forward through the process.”
In other words...not that Mayor guy.
The one who is looking for dialogue and transparency.
Or that won the election.
I worked for two mayors (Paul Soglin and John Norquist) as the top staffer, and thus spent years in city halls, and more as a Milwaukee Journal and Journal Sentinel reporter, too.
All I can say based on that experience watching local politics, and even having a hand in some of it: