Gov. Walker and his Department of Administration, with relatively little publicity, have reconstituted the DNR as an "enterprise" agency - - a sort of junior Department of Commerce - - thereby exempting it from all sorts of pesky rules and procedures so it can become more of a streamlined department.
I'd written a bit about it when an early draft of the plan came my way, including one posting containing a communication from new DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp who said the more business-oriented agency - - Walker put her in charge of the agency for her "chamber of commerce mentality" - - could help development up North.
we could take steps to improve delivery of services to our customers and clients across all programs. A key in this effort is creation of the Office of Business Development and Economic Sustainability, headed by Al Shea. Our goal here would be to work early and closely with new business ventures to assure all necessary permitting steps are known and that we are consistent so that a new business in northern Wisconsin plays on the same field as a business in the southern Wisconsin and vice versa.Just the kind of agency and mindset you'd want if fast-tracked permitting was the new order of the day - - think: mining.
So I had to laugh when I ran across a news release I'd missed - - so I'm correcting this omission and giving it all some context -- from the Wisconsin Builder's Association issued on the very day the agency announced its restructuring with its own release that congratulated the DNR for adopting a "bold restructuring plan to remodel as Wisconsin’s first enterprise agency. Bringing a business sense to create efficiencies that save time and money with more customer service and less bureaucracy will provide a much needed uplift to an already burdened housing industry.
Surely the WBA knew what was coming, as it is well-represented atop the agency.
* Stepp was a home builder, and reportedly worked with the group.
* She/Walker appointed as DNR Deputy Secretary an attorney, Matt Moroney, who was formerly Executive Director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee - - one of the WBA's 25 affiliates statewide.
*The DNR also reports that Stepp appointed Pat Stevens, a former WBA general counsel, to run the agency's Division of Waste and Air.
Do you need a permit to build a revolving door?