Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Smiley-faced WI regulator enabling pipelines, mega-dairies, sand mines

You'd never know by reading a recent, all-staff missive reprinted below from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp that she'd been sent by Gov. Walker to run the people's land, water, air and wildlife protection agency with a "chamber-of-commerce mentality."

You'd figure she been sent there as in-house moral booster, what with her Halloween parties and big game little deer shooting other programmed fun.

Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
DNR photo
Despite the confusion, the agency she says is humming along as "the best agency in Wisconsing overnment" still lags its predecessor iterations in pollution enforcement actions and investigations.

It's enabling a cross-state, north-south tar sand oil pipeline, is forcing citizens to hire attorneys to battle the DNR's sympathetic views of a proposed high-end golf course built on top of and in a forest-and-wetlands-rich nature preserve and into a state park, and is involved in chamber-of-commerce-friendly wrist-tapping or matador-approving frac sand mining and mega-dairy expansions that pose threats to the people's clean air and water.

DNR employees got this cheery, buzzwordy email from Stepp on January 6:

Good afternoon Colleagues,   

I am humbled to be reappointed as DNR’s Secretary by Governor Walker. Working alongside you for the past four years has been the most momentous of my career and I am excited to continue singing about your successes.

Your ideas, your work and your commitment to your careers drives the DNR to achieve excellence. You set the standards for how we work with externals and internals by exemplifying our agency values: integrity, professionalism, collaboration, customer service and respect.

The Department Leadership Team we have in place will lead us into 2015.  DLT’s role is to set the department’s strategic direction and priorities to accomplish our mission.

I also encourage you to check out the Employee Engagement 2014 Snapshot Report. The report “connects the dots” of initiatives that were implemented to improve employee engagement over the past year.  Rest assured engagement work doesn’t stop here!

Stay tuned because 2015 will be an exciting year. I am eager to share more with you about the next four years as the new year unfolds.

One statistic I would like to share with you reflects filling FTE positions with our existing LTE workforce.  In 2013, 33 percent of FTE hires were previously LTE’s and in 2014, 38 percent of FTE hires were previously LTE’s. This shows that as a department, we are making progress in equipping our LTE workforce with the skills and knowledge to successfully compete for FTE jobs.  I encourage you to view other progress that has been made on the DNR Action Plan over the last four years.

Regardless of your job title, program or work station, we are truly One DNR. When we work together we are successful in whatever we put our minds to. How we do business, how we work together and how we support each other makes the DNR a great place to work.  Please take a moment to read through the Employee Engagement 2014 Snapshot Report to see the progress that has been made internally to make DNR the best agency in Wisconsin government. We have achieved this together. Thank you for opening my eyes. Most importantly, thank you for opening your hearts.

Yours truly,

Cathy Stepp
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Additionally, attachments offered agency successes highlights, like:

Goal Area 2 – Customer Satisfaction   Performance Measure: Customer satisfaction post transaction.

Goal:  To be determined based on initial survey data. DLT Sponsor:  Pat Stevens

How to get there –• 

Define, “brand and market” the elements of customer service for DNR. (Lead by Ken Johnson, Pat Stevens, Kristy Rogers) Current Status:  Objective met.

Branded “timely, responsive, informative, collaborative, effective decision makers, and dependable” as the components of providing excellent customer service at DNR

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