Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flurry Of Activity Could Presage Fury At Waukesha Council Meeting Tonight

The Journal Sentinel has a good summary of the full-court PR oress underway in Waukesha in advance of the Common Council's special meeting at 7:45 p.m. tonight to wrestle with its complicated water politics.

There is a business community petition floating around, and a detailed, documented and lengthy draft letter to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank.

A Journal Sentinel editorial writer also weighed in.

The draft letter seems to be awaiting some language, an alderman's signature and a Council vote tonight.

I hope the drafters let the DNR Secretary see the draft first; no letter recipient in a policy-making position, or perhaps anyone for that matter, likes to see the details reported publicly first.

Anyway: Don't get too dizzy from the PR spin.

I have no idea if public testimony will be taken tonight, but I do expect most of the comments from Waukesha officials will be aimed pointedly, as has been the case for weeks, at new Mayor Jeff Scrima, who like the DNR, has raised basic questions about the application for a Lake Michigan diversion the Council approved in April.

Since then, the application underwent some editing, a public split broke into the open between Scrima and other city officials, and the DNR suspended its review until Waukesha clarified its planning intentions and provided information the DNR said had not been provided.

Waukesha has reportedly spent somewhere between $850,000 and $2 million researching and preparing the application, which to be implemented would need the approval, after separate regulatory reviews, of eight Great Lakes governors.

And a water sale agreement with a providing community - - preferably Milwaukee, according to the application's analysis - - but that is part of the reason that Mayor Scrima objects.

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