Monday, August 17, 2015

Officials downplay water comments, so consult Secretary Stepp's stylebook

I saw in The Freeman last week that a Wisconsin DNR official and Waukesha Water Utility general manager Dan Duchniak weren't bowled over by the comments coming in about the city's application for a Lake Michigan diversion. 

Apparently the issue is not enough originality:
Shaili Pfeiffer, a natural resource specialist with the DNR, said as of this week...[e]very identifiable comment has come from residents within Wisconsin, and although they are nearly all opposed to the diversion, Pfeiffer said many have been form letters sent in by members of groups against the plan.
“An organization will put out to its membership, ‘Let DNR know what you think about the Waukesha Water Diversion’ and then they will send a sample letter and people will forward us that sample letter,” she said. “They will sign it, and either will or won’t add a couple sentences or a paragraph...”
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said it’s a good thing people are allowed to voice their opinions on this issue, but believes the form letters may not be the most productive method of doing so.
“I think the DNR understands that it is not about the volume of comments they get, but it is about the quality of the comments they get,” he said. “So when they are all saying the same thing, it’s really just one comment.”

And I thought, right they are! (Coincidentally, perhaps, the Realtors used the same reasoning.)

So I direct potential commenters from now on to consult DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's stylebook for tips on feeding back to the agency what it would like to hear as the Waukesha water diversion application is open for comments to the DNR through August 28th and three agency public hearings - - Monday and Tuesday - - begin tonight. -(Here is that schedule)

* Use colorful language, like "pollution-gone-wild."

* Don't forget ungrammatical partisan speak:

"On my travels through-out the state, I have found that most of the citizens of the state trust the DNR to do its job. Why don't Democrat State Senators?"
* Cleary state your priorities, and add fresh fonts and color for effect:
Come and join us for our 1st annual Halloween Progressive Potluck    
How does it work? 
Staff on each floor will be designated a food type to bring.  For example, employees on 8th floor are asked to bring meat or a hot dish which will be set up in a conference room on 8th floor.  The same will happen with each floor.  (See attached poster for food assignments).  Everyone will need to go floor to floor to get a balanced meal (unless you are in the mood for only dessert and you can just stay on 7th floor…)
* Don't hold back on the buzz words:  
"We have assembled a leadership team that we believe will transform our human resources function into a unified set of cutting edge services that support DNR managers and employees."
* If technology is at issue, like frac sand mining, think "visuals."
“When people hear the word ‘mining,’ they start to think certain visuals in their mind,” she said. “That’s probably one where I see a lot of nervousness there where it’s nothing new, it’s just that people are all of a sudden paying attention that there’s sand coming out of the ground.” 
Or just go for it - - language gone wild - - as she did in a classic rant, excerpted:
The most crushing/controversial rules that businesses have to follow in our state are--most times--done through the "rule making process" of our state agencies. Without bogging everyone down with some really boring procedure talk, suffice it to say that many of these great ideas (sarcasm) come from deep inside the agencies and tend to be reflections of that agency's culture.
For example, people who go to work for the DNR's land, waste, and water bureaus tend to be anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc...This is in their nature; their make-up and DNA. So, since they're unelected bureaucrats who have only their cubicle walls to bounce ideas off of, they tend to come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with...
O'k, I went waaay wordier than I intended, but here's some language that was inserted into this BudgetPig that should scare everyone--regarding one of our agencies, the Department of Commerce: "it may promulgate the initial rules as emergency rules without the finding of emergency..."
Just another example of the democrats game plan: Change the Rules to Fit the Players.
Shout it with me, now: HYPOCRISY, THY NAME IS DEMOCRAT.


utzinger said...

What efforts have actually been made by Waukesha County to officially reduce water demand over the past 15 years? Any source to point to? I would like comments I make to relate to the actual efforts by Waukesha County

James Rowen said...

I will look around for you. Waukesha city has reduced some usage through low-flush toilet and water restricting programs. Industry has left and many users are simply more mindful and efficient, driving down usage. I am unaware of county-wide policy.

Anonymous said...

Cathy Stepp didn't go to college and she's managing the most scientifically technical and complicated programs in state government. Obama hired a similar fundraising imbecile to run the federal personnel office and she oversaw the leaks of every employee. Hate how the executive branch can further their agenda this way.

Boxer said...

“I think the DNR understands that it is not about the volume of comments they get, but it is about the quality of the comments they get,” he said. “So when they are all saying the same thing, it’s really just one comment.”

I wonder if Duchniak's quality over quantity standard extends to his own 3000-page application?

Unknown said...

Sadly very few folks, and certainly none of our "leaders", understand the word Conservation and the concept behind it.

This has been made clear by their decades of over use.

Back when Waukesha was "Spring City" they thought the water was an endless resource. Folks came from 100s of miles to bathe in it and drink it. The water was bottled and sold.

Now they think the Great Lakes are an endless resource of water. History has taught them nothing.

Conservation does not mean increasing consumption (6 million gallons/day to 10+ million gallons/day.) Greed is driving this bus.