Saturday, December 15, 2007

Milwaukee County Elected Officials, Including Scott Walker, Endorse Strong Great Lakes Compact

In a little-noticed action on November 12th, a group of Milwaukee County elected officials comprised of the mayors, village presidents and the County Executive unanimously approved a resolution in favor of Wisconsin's approval of "a strong Great Lakes Compact."

The Compact's adoption by Wisconsin has been stalled at the State Capitol by Waukesha County business and political interests who don't want an eight-state management agreement to restrict diversions from the Great Lakes.

Scott Walker's approval of the resolution is noteworthy, as Walker often sides with Waukesha County on regional issues, such as freeway expansion.

The resolution, with very tough language on the diversion question, was adopted by the Milwaukee County Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC), and addressed to the Wisconsin Governor and Legislature - - reading, in part:

"Be it known with one united voice that the mayors, village presidents and the County Executive of Milwaukee County collectively representing approximately 900,000 citizens insist that every effort be exerted to protect our Great Lakes from any attempt to divert, siphon off, ship or otherwise cause harm to the Great Lakes, and...

"Let it be known that we strongly request that these legislators use their good office to put in place strict laws that will forever keep others from diverting or in any other manner making our Great Lakes' water less in volume by the diversion of such water or would make them less clean...

" means of the passage of a strong water resources compact immediately and move to persuade the United States Federal Government to pass laws that will protect the Great Lakes from diversion as well as from efforts to make these waters less clean..."

The chairman of the ICC is Franklin Mayor Thomas Taylor. The Vice-Chairman is Michael Neitzke, Mayor of Greenfield.

The resolution is another signal to editorial writers, policy-makers at the Capitol and especially in Waukesha County that it is more than City of Milwaukee office-holders or the area's environmentalists who are uniting around the theme of a "strong Compact."

It should also be as clear a message as is possible to deliver to Waukesha political and business interests that opinion across Milwaukee County's diverse municipalities - - where several potential water-sellers are located - - agrees that diverting water to Waukesha County is not in the public interest.


Anonymous said...

Once again you demonstrate that you are simply a paid pundit for Compact representatives. You need to point out that urging passage of "a" compact is different from endorsing "the Compact." It is with the specific language of the Compact that Waukesha interests have a problem.

James Rowen said...

And might you be a paid pundit or party? We'll never know, 'P. Wolff.'


I certainly know the difference. And, apparantly, so do the elected officials, between endorsing a "strong" Compact, and not just the bare-bones Compact.

The state legislative council staff laid out to the committee members what could be considered a change too substantive to be added: calls for a "strong" compact, and a weaker one, will surely be negotiated.

All the parties know that.

The specific language that Waukesha interest have a problem with, as you put it, are certainly the return flow requirements, among others.

Maybe the conservation expectations, since Waukesha is new to those practices.

Thanks for the comment.