Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Uh, Oh: Waukesha Slams Open Meeting Door On Stalled Diversion Application

Tomorrow's meeting between officials from the City of Waukesha and the Department of Natural Resources to review Waukesha's still-stalled application for a Lake Michigan diversion has been cancelled after Waukesha objected to the meeting being open to observers from environmental organizations.

Waukesha's objections were sent to the DNR by letter: The DNR has provided a copy of the letter, which I will post here in pdf format.

The Waukesha letter claims the presence of a "third party" (also referred to as a "special interest") will have a "a chilling effect" on the application process.

And what, may I ask, is the effect on the process of closing the doors and cancelling the meeting?

When I blogged about the upcoming meeting a few days ago, the following comment was received from an anonymous source.

'From the DNR's Southeast Region Leadership Team Minutes....... "Waukesha Water Application "Water staff will meet with City of Waukesha officials on Thursday, November 18, to identify gaps in their application for Lake Michigan water. The application may not be completed until after the New Year. DNR staff will look at return water flows to Underwood Creek among other issues. Waukesha must obtain approval from the Town of Waukesha for any service from the town to the city. Some environmental groups want to monitor, but not participate, in the meeting. Later in the process, DNR will provide a public participation phase. It will include issuing a public notice, establishing a hearing, and completing of an Environmental Impact Statement with a 45 day public comment period."


Anonymous said...

So much for that "open" process that Duchniak has promised the residents. I guess it's only open if it serves the needs of the water utility.

I hope they don't fix the application and let it go to the other states as is. I'm sure Cuomo(D) in NY is just waiting up every night in hopes he can sign the diversion as soon as it gets to his desk.

Waukesha will be lucky to get the governors to sign a good & complete application much less the high school rough draft version they have sent in.

Time for Waukesha to start seriously looking at, and implementing their plan B as option A just is going to work with this new political mix of governors.

Anonymous said...

The only chilling effect for Ybera is that the application is seriously flawed and they know it. The problem is everyone else knows it is flawed also, so they are not hiding anything. This makes them all look like the misfits they are.

As it stands, they are waiting for the Walker administration to give them the green light to submit the application which in the end will be worse for them when it goes to all the other states . The current one has multiple deficiencies that need to be corrected to have even the slightest hope of Waukesha getting permission to divert.

The sooner they understand the flaws in the application the better off they will be. To pretend the application is not flawed and will pass as is, remains comical and shows their complete arrogance and lack of understanding on this issue and the ramifications of such a water diversion.

Max B said...

Anonymous 1:

"Time for Waukesha to start seriously looking at, and implementing their plan B as option A just is going to work with this new political mix of governors."

Did you mean to say: ". . . . as option A just is NOT going to work with this new political mix of governors." ?

Boxer said...

Too bad the meeting was canceled. It would have been oh-so-fun to see which tactic the City would use to try to convince DNR to overlook the gaping holes in its application: begging or bullying?

Anony Too said...

Silly, silly little children. If you're going to play with the big kids, you'd better put on the long pants.

Anonymous said...

Max B,

Thanks, you are correct. I must have been typing to fast.

Anonymous said...

I have had the opportunity to sit in on many WDNR meetings similar to the one scheduled with the City of Waukesha. The parties are usually reviewing a plan and/or application, not who should be hired, fired, sued, not sued or issued a citation. I sit there, observe, take notes and leave. I know I can't ask questions, or provide comments. What is the big deal? You would think the City Representatives would be grateful to have some interested observers at these sessions. Could it be the Alderman and Water Utility Manager only like to be seen and heard when they are on camera. Maybe they won't be wearing their makeup. It is unfortunate the City Representatives are acting this way. What happened to their Transparency Motto? The Alderman and City Water Utility Manager continue to act in ways that divide the community. Rather than retaining a high-paid public relations specialist, the City should retain a consultant to conduct anger management training for the Alderman and their Staff. The civility in City Hall and at the Water Utility Administration Offices is at an all time low. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what statutory exemption does the City of Waukesha Common Council President claim for holding a closed door session to conduct public business?

Something with the content is very wrong in his the letter to the DNR. A city attorney would have know the open meetings law to a tee, probably would have written the letter, and would have cited the statutory exemption for going into closed door session.

A state agency, the DNR, should ask the AG to respond to Alderman Ybarra's request.

What's to hide from the public? Shouldn't the citizens know what their elected officials are up to? Talk about having a chilling effect, this was it and that's scary.

Perhaps there were meeting notes prepared by or for Waukesha for discussion with the DNR.