Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Water Planning Chokehold Thrown Down On Oak Creek's Water Manager

The now-infamous Wisconsin chokehold as a public policy grappling move now has the Oak Creek water manager in its grip.

Pretty big move to put on one appointed official in a small community, while the strings are being pulled in Madison and Waukesha, as the Journal Sentinel reports:

Waukesha's request to divert Lake Michigan water inland to serve its residents will grind to a halt at the end of this year if Oak Creek's top utility official persists in his refusal to sign and carry out a water sales agreement with Waukesha.


Anonymous said...

How is the Waukesha Water Utility, or the DNR, able to tell Waukesha residents what they will pay per month (currently quarterly)without a public hearing or rate increase request before the Public Service Commission?

The PSC FIRST has to approve of any deal and infrastructure Waukesha proposes.

The PSC has informed the DNR that they are to work simultaneously on any proposal and that the DNR doesn't have final jurisdiction (to approve the proposal).

I'm glad the Oak Creek Water Utility manager is sharp enough to protect his rate payers.

Poor Waukesha saps.

Betsey said...

First, the fault was DNR's for taking a reasonable amount of time to review the application.** Then, it was Milwaukee's--for its unwillingness to carte blanche Waukesha's only vaguely justified application. Now it's Oak Creek's turn to shoulder the blame. Anyone see a pattern here?
Nevermind that Waukesha brought this whole disaster down on itself by 1) prematurely submitting a not-ready-for-prime-time application, though it had plenty of warning from the DNR and environmental groups who all said it needed more details, 2) ignoring the Milw Common Council's resolution and skipping over the part in Compact that says communities applying for diversions "must be without adequate supplies of potable water," and 3) putting the squeeze on Oak Creek to sign a deal that isn't in Oak Creek's best interests--before anyone noticed or read the fine print, and 4) assuming they could steam-roller Franklin as well. Of the 3 potential suppliers considered, it's interesting that only Oak Creek is smaller than Waukesha. (Franklin too.) It's big bully Waukesha threatening and elbowing the other kids into 'volunteering' their lunch money.

** A friend says "Waukesha didn't expect the DNR to actually read it [the application].

Anonymous said...


The majority of voting population in the last mayoral election threw out Larry Nelson because of the Lake Michigan diversion exemption application.

Current rate payers stand to save tens of millions by ending this foolishness as soon as possible.

Betsey said...

Sorry to argue with you, but Larry Nelson lost his seat due to his toadying up to Republicans who voted for his grotesquely unappealing opponent while ignoring the Dems and independents who did elect him, and conducting City business ego-first which person after person discovered firsthand. And--oh yea--his utter tone-deafness about his professional demeanor, press and dress.

However, I so agree with you about current rate payers. They need to rattle the cages of their aldermen, who by a 2-1 margin enthusiastically embrace the diversion. (another bunch of egos run amok.) The Waukesha Freeman is full of articles and letters to the editor complaining about this or that expenditure or minor budget item (or for God's sake their taxes--again! already!) while the entire community ignores the looming financial disaster that threatens to envelope the City for decades, if not centuries to come.

Oh and by the way: the publicity surrounding the way the application has been jammed down the throats of the unsuspecting rate payers and the enormity of the costs to be borne by future generations and homeowners who don't live in Waukesha yet, have made the idea of moving to Waukesha or locating a business here highly unattractive.