Monday, February 8, 2010

Several Waukesha Mayoral Candidates To Milwaukee: Drop Dead - - But Sell Us Your Water

Some Waukesha mayoral candidates say they don't want their to get entangled with Milwaukee's social problems.

But still, they want water from Milwaukee's Water Works.

Just without any responsibilities along the way - - no messy interactions with the big bad city to the East.

Just send the water.

The problem - - aside from those candidates' tunnel-vision and insensitivity - - is that Milwaukee's Common Council has said, by unanimous resolution, so its official policy, that a another city purchasing water must commit to assisting the region by absorbing some of the costs of transit, housing and development that face all municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin, but that right now are disproportionately borne by Milwaukee.

Message to Waukesha: Social problems in Milwaukee are social problems in Waukesha. Maybe the scale is different, but people and issues - - good, bad, indifferent - - are present in both cities because we're all in the same society.

If Waukesha officials and taxpayers - - and I heard that same exclusionary talk from some alderman and citizens two weeks ago at a public meeting there - - want to build a moat around the city, that's their business.

No matter how delusional that thinking surely is

But don't expect Milwaukee's aldermen to respond to anti-Milwaukee rhetoric by rushing into a water deal with trash-talking Waukesha politicos - - would-be or incumbents.

I can't imagine a worse negotiating ploy: "We think you're toxic - - just sell us your water."

And give incumbent Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson credit for staying on higher ground when compared to his Milwaukee-bashing primary opponents, though he and his water utility commission have so mishandled Waukesha's water supply planning that Nelson has helped create some of the very hometown opposition that has slimed the political environment in the region.


Anonymous said...

Considering that you don't care about the citizens of Waukesha and the quality of their water, just why should anyone care what you think about their plight?

Let then drink Radium, or pay the troll whatever the troll determines is a fair price?

Expropriate their land?

Hell, you are pathetic.

Wauk Anon said...

To Anon:

You are pathetic and misinformed. The City has already installed radium treatment equipment on a couple of wells and is 98% compliant with the radium standard. If you think James is cavalier about the citizens of Waukesha and their water quality, you should educate yourself about how the City avoided, argued and ignored complying with the radium levels for nearly 20 years! They took their case to the Supreme Court (the federal one, not the state) and lost, spending millions of taxpayers dollars along the way.

You shouldn't criticize James for writing about this issue, unless you're willing to discover all the sad facts about how Waukesha gambled with the health of its own citizenry for years.

From firsthand experience, I know there is a LOT of cancer in this community. I believe that many cancer deaths and illness could have been prevented had the City owned up to the radium problem years ago. Some of my relatives might still be alive today.

So, shut up already.

James Rowen said...

Wauk Anon reminds us that Waukesha fought the radium standard for years.

And read their documents now. They have several options for providing clean safe water.

What they want is to dump the problem, literally, onto Wauwatosa and Milwaukee waterways downstream.

Tod said...

I think your article is a little short cited and rather misleading... first of all I take issue with calling this "Milwaukee Water"... its Lake Michigan water... but Milwaukee controls the infrastructure and flow to other communities that do not have the benefit of living on the shores of such a large body of fresh water. Any agreement made between Milwaukee and Waukesha would then have to be approved by the Great Lakes Governors Council and Canada... why???... because its not Milwaukee's Water!!!

It is possible to buy from Oak Creek or Racine but the the cost is more, but perhaps the additional cost is appropriate if the plan does not work with Milwaukee.

Further, the plan would be the single largest expenditure of money ever made by the city of Waukesha... ever!!! Over $164 Millon... so whether or not you consider Waukesha's water growth needs a problem being dumped on Milwaukee, there is also a hell of a lot of money coming with it.

But the real issue that most people in Waukesha have with the current deal, is something you did not even mention... it has nothing to do with housing, development or transit (thats what the $164 millon is for)... its the "Non-Compete" clause of the agreement. In otherwords, if you buy Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee, Milwaukee wants to own your growth... not a good trade.

Anonymous said...

Radium is treated very simply. A working water softener will bring the radium levels down to a level that isnt harmful. Keep Waukesha Water here, there is too much invested already. Vote for Scrima!