Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mark your calendars: big WI DNR reorg. comes down 11/30

[Updated from 11/19] That long-delayed reorganization or 'realignment" of the purposes and personnel at the Scott Walker-defined-Cathy Stepp-managed 'chamber of mentality' Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 
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 
is to be announced after Thanksgiving and the close of the gun deer season at what the agency is calling a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, November 30th.

In other words, hundreds and hundreds of water, wildlife, land, forestry, parks, air quality, and waste management scientists, technicians, specialists and support staffers will find out if they will remain working with their DNR colleagues on assignments in familiar surroundings, or are to be moved singly or in groups to another DNR office and location across the state, or perhaps to a UW campus or center, or into the bureaucracy at Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection on Madison's far East side, or to a cubicle in the Wisconsin Public Service Commission…or, after next year's downsizing budget…to the streets….

Update: Note that any program or function or policy implementation farmed out to another agency is thus removed from review by the DNR's oversight body - - the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board - - unique in state government history for the citizen input it encourages - - which Walker, with loyal soldier Cathy Stepp's OK, tried to sneak past the people unsuccessfully in his last budget.

So Walker and Stepp are opting for a piecemeal approach this time, using their administrative powers.

If the WNRB is stripped of its purview, you don't get important studies like this one on the frac sand industry which resulted from a grassroots petition to the WNRB. Walker and the 'chamber of commerce mentality' special interests he is serving know this.

Wrapped in obfuscatory and sugar-coated platitudes about 'streamlining' and 'customer service' and consultant-driven metrics and buzzwords - - all cover for faster favor-dispensing to the GOP donors and corporate entities from which Stepp and her senior appointees have come - - forestry, trade, development, etc. - - line staffers and experts alike who won't miss the messages being delivered about who shall be served.

Like the message which was pretty clear not long ago when she wished out loud that her staffers were more like the McDonald's workers she could easily push around when she was a a fast food manager. 

And her original public statement about what she thought of the employees she was soon to supervise because Scott Walker liked what he saw:
Those of you that haven't had the pleasure of peeking behind the scenes of our state agencies like DNR, Health and Family Services, etc...need to know how some of the most far-reaching policies come down on our heads... 
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.
All this ideological, one-dimensional and punitive trampling of public servants and the environment in a state agency once respected nationally for its public health mission - - clean water, clean air, pristine state parks - - and resource stewardship in the public interest - -  but which, under Walker, has become a politicized, partisan and de facto Department of Commerce replacing the he earlier killed by streamlining it into a failed, scandal-ridden public-private job creating corporation, the WEDC.

One thing is for certain: there will be more DNR budget cuts and staff resignations coming, a smaller staff, and a deeper sense of despair as change from above, no doubt cleared with or demanded by corporate special interests and key ideologues in and around the State Capitol, is dropped on an already burdened and dispirited professional staff.

After all, there are big corporate projects on the table and the businesses and donors involved would prefer as 'streamlined' an agency and as little citizen review as Walker can deliver.

And the election is over, so no chance that backlash might jeopardize or embarrass any GOP legislators whose constituents might not like any changes when they hit.

One more thing.

Town Hall meeting! The suggestion of equity, parity, Jeffersonian Democracy, perhaps. 

In the most top-down, buttoned-up Wisconsin administration in memory.


But Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

After the general info on the 30th, they have division meetings on 12/1. Individuals will be informed of their punishment sometime between then and Christmas. The perfect holiday gift for the people despised by Walker and Stepp... .inflict as much pain as possible.

I appreciate your insight to the DNR, you have it right. It was been nuetralized, virtually no environmental protections left, and the remaining employees are a sad lot indeed, except for the ...kissers of course

Anonymous said...

The Walker crew is playing Wisconsinites like a fiddle. To any sportsmen who voted for Walker after the first time, you are no hunter or fisherman or camper or outdoorsman, or whatever else you pretend to be. You are a stupid little pawn in Walker's game of screwing over the citizens of Wisconsin.
Think about the timing, everyone will be done with deer camp, where topics like this will be discussed. The election is now gone and Scooter's hero has won. Yes, I said hero. Anyone who thinks Walker doesn't wish he could be more brash instead of a sniveling little weasel coward is wrong.
The fact that Stepp can use a dead fawn as a prop that convinces all of the idiots in Wis that Walker is helping the sportsmen is disgusting. Here's a brief list of what Walker and his clowns have done:
1. Made it legal to rip open several square miles of woods for the profit of one company.
2. Made it possible to cause damage to the largest freshwater lake in the world.
3. Allowed factory farms to destroy whatever they want.
4. Pulled funding from our state parks.
5. Told DNR law enforcement to stop doing law enforcement.
6. Mandated logging more acreage on our land without any input whatsoever.
7. Began selling off our land, without our input.
8. Closed access to MFL lands, mostly for rich owners.
9. Ignored CWD.
10. Pushed out many of our NR experts.

When are the Walker supporters going to pull their heads out of their butts and realize how foolish they were to vote him in. I know many who will say, "yes, we know he is destroying our outdoor heritage, but he believes in gun rights".

Anonymous said...

The kissers are out of control. It's gross.

Anonymous said...

Will they split the DNR into 2 separate agencies so they can appoint more Walker cronies to high paying managerial jobs? That would make DNR much less efficient so it is probably the next "bomb" they are going to drop.

Unknown said...

The Walker administration is nothing more than elected and appointed criminals.It is going to take a long time turning our once wonderful state back to beautiful blue.

Telemaque said...

It's getting pretty clear that "red state" will soon mean "a place where you should not drink the tap water."

Anonymous said...

Word is Forestry is going to be hit especially hard.

Anonymous said...

DNR will be split in 2 -- one agency approving fecal waste and urine in your drinking water. The other section will approve all the toxins and poisons in our air, water, and environment.

There is just too much thievin' going on and there's gold in the public treasury that must be looted too. It is time for Scott Walker to pay back the Koch brothers and he will do so in abundance.