Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of Four Standing SEWRPC Committees Last Met In 2006

Commissioners making up the 21-member The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWEPC) have four standing committees - - and one, the Intergovernmental and Public Relations Committee - - has not met since November 13, 2006, according to the Commission's website.

And because the committee has not met for more than 18 months, it has not even approved the minutes from its November, 2006 meeting, making the minutes posted on the website for that meeting considered not yet approved, the website says.

That's a long time for a committee to have not met and at least approve the minutes from its most-recent get-together.

Prior to November, 2006, the committee met in February, 2005.

It looks like the commission is saying that intergovernmental and public relations are not high priorities.

Is that a good message for SEWRPC?

The website says the committee is the agency's main vehicle for communications with the seven county boards in the SEWRPC region.

The county boards provide about one-third of the agency's operating budget: Milwaukee County, with the largest tax base in the region, sends SEWRPC the largest of the counties' annual appropriations, totalling more than $840,000 this year, SEWRPC records show.

SEWRPC could make more out of that committe if it used a bigger, broader definition of intergovernmental relations and public relations.

The committee has heavyweight, long-time members, including Commission chairman Thomas Buestrin, from Ozaukee County, and Commission treasurer William Drew, representing Milwaukee County.

Waukesha County Board chairman James Dwyer is also a member.

I'd call it a missed opportunity for SEWRPC to tell the public what it is, what it does, where and when it meets and how the public could get better involved in its work.

If it wanted.

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