Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mary Lazich Rambles On About Water, Wants Separate Peace Wiith Ohio

State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), tells the Waukesha Freeman in an 'update' on the work of a now-defunt legislative committee she helped to obstruct that Wisconsin should join Ohio in essentially wrecking the Great Lakes Compact.

Lazich's interest in water is more about carrying it for the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and less about conserving the Great Lakes in coordination with the seven other Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces.

The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce opposes adoption of the Great Lakes Compact, according to its website, still suggesting inaccurately that a foreign county (Canada) has decision-making power over diversions of water to Wisconsin communities.

Lazich also calls Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett an "extortionist," putting her own special spin on regional cooperation and efforts by New Berlin city government to make a water sale deal with the City of Milwaukee.

Little wonder that Gov. Jim Doyle left Lazich off the working group he put together to pick up the pieces left behind by the moribund legislative committee.

If the goal is to draft a bill to implement, not demolish the Compact, then Lazich had no place on the Governor's bi-partisan working group.

It does, however, still contain members who do not support a strong Compact for Wisconsin, such as Matt Monroney, the executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association.

Among his positions forwarded to the legislative committee was this memo.

Another person on the working group, water law expert Lawrie Kobza, had also sent information and opinion to the legislative committee taking similar positions that opposed a strong Compact.

Kobza is a paid consultant also to the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission's water supply advisory committee - - supplying SEWRPC with the legal foundation for creation of a regional water authority.

Such an authority, if creatively drawn and headquartered, could conceivably end-run the Compact's water diversion procedures by making a large region, including all of Waukesha County, eligible for Lake Michigan water under easier rules intended for individual municipalities like New Berlin that straddle the boundary of the Lake Michigan basin.

And that would satisfy Mary Lazich and her allies in Ohio, all of whom want relatively easier access to Great Lakes water.

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