Tuesday, December 2, 2008

SEWRPC Hiring A PR Manager

No: That is not a headline stolen from The Onion.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) long said it didn't have the money to redo its 1975 housing study, and poor mouths the salaries it offers when explaining its dreadful affirmative action record, but somehow it has managed to find enough money to create a new position - - public relations and outreach manager.

Here's the job posting.

Looks like another misguided palliative to me: the agency has rightfully garnered bad media because it has failed to genuinely incorporate minority and low-income communities in its committee structures, and in its hiring, and because it treats the public as if it had a collective virus.

Getting a PR person on staff isn't going to fix that.

SEWRPC doesn't need an outreach coordinator - - it needs to simply listen to the Environmental Justice Task Force, the outreach body created under federal pressure in 2007, rather than balking at the broader social equity parameters the EJTF wants added to SEWRPC studies and reports.

SEWRPC needs to evaluate and integrate public comment flowing into the agency on highway plans, water policy and a host of other issues rather than reflexively carrying out "review-and-dismiss" rejection of public comments.

SEWRPC is becoming the master of the self-inflicted wound. This wasteful, clumisly-bureaucratic side-step will not be overlooked by the host of federal, state and local lawmakers and regulators reviewing SEWRPC's performance, spending and output.


Anonymous said...

The PR person/firm will be well connected.
Our tax $$ at work

xoff said...

I'd say it's all your fault, Rowen. Well, you and Gretchen.

James Rowen said...

I could recommend some good people, but, alas, the application deadline passed quickly.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Carl is tired of the private sector?

James Rowen said...

I'd bet either on current outreach cooordinator Gary Korb, or a young refugee from a down-sized PR firm, or a youngster fresh outta grad school.