Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Town Of Waukesha Toughens Stance On Neighboring City Water Plan

After recall elections last year over water policy in the relatively-rural Town of Waukesha - - abutting the larger City of Waukesha - - a reinvigorated Town board is announcing on Tuesday night a “robust public participation process” at its annual Town meeting to bring greater citizen input into water policy planning.

At the center of the dispute is the city's request that the town at the 11th hour agree to be included in a new city-promoted regional water supply service territory map that was drafted by SEWRPC and approved by the city for inclusion in its diversion application and planning  - - without the town's input.

At a recent meeting, Town officials listened, but did not act on the city's request that the Town approve the map as drawn - - opting for the in-depth public input process, instead.

That round goes to the Town, I'd say.

Being in the map would not obligate the town to buy or distribute diverted water from the city, but some town residents who are happy being on traditional, affordable wells  - - fearing either city dominance, sudden development or annexations- - do not want the possibility or the reality.

I'd written several times about the map, its implications and the method by which it was created.

Without the town's agreement, Waukesha's application for water now pending before the Department of Natural Resources for almost a year cannot move forward - - and the map is only one of many deficiencies.

Here is a link to the Town Board chair's most recent report on how she and a new slate of town board members are modernizing town government.

Compared to the office of Waukesha County Clerk, what's happening in the Town of Waukesha government sounds refreshing.

1 comment:

Joe Banske said...

Thank you James for taking notice of the work and the approach being taken by the Town of Waukesha Board. We are working very hard and I am proud of the style and manner in which we are operating.

One of the first actions we took set the tone, and that was to allow citizen comments without restriction to topic or reasonable time allowance. WE have had residents speak to us for 10 minutes during the citizen comments period. No one flashed a yellow card or said times up. Try that at the City, or almost anywhere else. Sure the meeting can go longer, but we WANT to hear the comments and work WITH our neighbors. Joe Banske