Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waukesha Council Waters Down Mayor's Authority

And increases its own, as the post-election battle with new Mayor Jeff Scrima roils, or rolls on.

The matter at hand was making the City Administrator report not to the Mayor, but the Council itself, so now she has many bosses and not a presumably less-friendly one at that.

But the real issue is the Lake Michigan water application, which Scrima questions, but which the Council and City Administrator support - - and which the state has declined to review until a) the water utility provides more data, and b) Waukesha's government clarifies it it is still open to alternatives other than Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes Compact requires all options to be studied, with a diversion meeting a 'no-reasonable-alternative, last-ditch' alternative.

But as to the political infighting in the wake of Scrima's defeat of Larry Nelson - - who hired the current city administrator:

Can't redo the election, so can the business community and the rest of the political establishment in Waukesha (and nearby) bully him into signing?

Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel reports that some city officials are meeting with Scrima today to see if he will sign a letter to the DNR supporting the application.

The letter will be drafted by the water utility commission - - something of an autonomous level of government in Waukesha - - but not unheard of ("Chinatown?") when it comes to water utilities or agencies that generate revenue for their cities.

I'd love to be in that meeting, but the bright light from the sole bulb dangling over the table at which Scrima will be forced to sign his confession might hurt my eyes.

We'll certainly know how it goes if Scrima walks around town with a large band-aid on his nose.

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