Friday, July 16, 2010

Waukesha Mayor Scrima, In Public Letter, Seeks Transparency, Data And Town Border Respect In Water Search

Citing the need for checks and balances in the local government, and a multi-level "imbalance" in water planning that led to the Lake Michigan diversion application, Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima has issued a public letter today to the citizenry urging three lines of focus as the city wrestles with the sufficiency of that application and the city's search for a new water supply.

When I obtain the letter in a format I can copy- - the latest in a series of letters and statements from several players in the water debate - - I will post it in its entirety, but the points Scrima emphasizes in the July 16 letter are:

* The City needs a more complete and independent assessment of options and side-by-side cost comparisons instead of an approach that focuses solely on Lake Michigan water supplied by Milwaukee.

* The City needs a far more transparent and public presentation process.

* The City needs to be more respectful of the Town of Waukesha and not assume that the City's water supply area should be extended into the town, or that such expansion is in the City's financial or environmental interests.

The DNR has frozen review of the application until more cost and comparative source and discharge information can be submitted, but the Waukesha Water Utility has said it would not consider those edits to so change the application as to require another presentation before, and vote by the Common Council.

Here are some earlier letters among the parties.

Scrima has expressed doubts about the application since his campaign for Mayor culminating in his upset election in April, and has engaged in a battle for control of water planning policy with the Council and utility since his swearing-in.

Some of the problems cited by the DNR with the application had been pointed out to the utility for months.

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