Thursday, December 1, 2016

WI DNR reorg. closes that 'chamber of commerce' loop, Part 5

[Updated from 11/30] I've lost count (actually, I checked the index and it's 256) of the number of times I've written about, documented and otherwise analyzed the activities and consequences of the 'chamber of commerce mentality' which Scott Walker installed atop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the person of former  developer,  GOP State Senator and McDonald's restaurant manager Cathy Stepp

Here is a summary post of the consequences of that intentional policy direction.
Inside the WI DNR: poor morale, fear, despair over lost mission
This is all particularly relevant now that Stepp wants to change the rules and allow big water users and other permit applicants to self-regulate by writing their own permits, thus dictating the terms of their operations as well as any post-permitting enforcement even if the public's land and water is at stake.

Little wonder, then, that the golf course the Kohler Co. is planning to build on a nature preserve adjoining Kohler Andrae State Park along Lake Michigan south of Sheboygan includes incorporating between four and 19 acres of parkland, and that the proposal is being reviewed by the DNR without a formal permit application by the company.

And when I read this line in the Wisconsin State Journal's account of today's DNR reorganization which hands out deregulatory and privatization favors to big ag, feedlot operators, forest insiders and others, I said, out loud, "case closed."

"From what we've seen we have been very supportive of the plan," Lucas Vebber, director of environmental and energy policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. 
And it dovetails with Stepp having said at her presentation this morning, I'm told - - that she had "run the organization" from her first day on the job "with as much private sector business perspectives as we could infuse into government.”

After all, she had waxed sentimentally about the good old days when she could move around her McDonald burger-flippers a lot more easily than civil servants and union members she was stuck with at DNR:

As reported by The Wisconsin State Journal:
Stepp recalled her days as a McDonald’s restaurant manager as she talked about how state employment rules have hobbled the DNR. Stepp said she could quickly mobilize her fast-food employees when a busload of customers arrived unexpectedly, but the DNR can’t react that nimbly to retirements.
Earlier posts about the DNR's reorganization were posted on Nov. 30th - -  here,  here, here, and here


Anonymous said...

She had "fun" ruining people career. Why doesn't the media just rip her to shreds on this comment? Walker and his entire staff are disgusting human beings.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday Kurt Theide told staff that an "Assurance program" within the External Services Division would provide ways for the private sector to take responsibility for compliance with state law in exchange for less regulatory review. Permits for CAFO nutrient management plans, lakeshore stabilization, landscape pond construction plans and Plan and Specification review could be done by private sector partners. I heard it. Other staff heard it. It was in the paper as part of an interview with Cathy Stepp. Today they told us the media got it all wrong and that they (the Watershed Bureau) don't know what that program will look like or where it will be located. I understand the media's confusion. Did DNR change their minds after it hit the news?