Sec. 19.81, Wis. Statutes:
A. The Legislature declares that state Policy is to
1. enable the public to have the fullest and most complete information regarding the affairs of government as is compatible with the conduct of government business,
2. ensure that meetings of governmental bodies are held in places reasonably accessible to the public,
3. ensure that such meetings are open to the public unless otherwise expressly provided by law.
I believe that the Great Lakes Compact, when enacted, may be helpful and useful to Waukesha. But I believe that the mania for secrecy in the Waukesha Water Utility Commission serves no good end. This is a classic example of a small group of citizen-commissioners, serving for decades in relative obscurity on a low-status commission. With each passing year they become more persuaded that they alone know the secret, the path to solution to problems the water utility faces. Fearful of any dissent, the make their plans secretly, misapplying exceptions in the Open Meetings Law.
My theory is that they have persuaded themselves that since they are likely to be embroiled in lawsuits, both as plaintiff and respondent, that they can discuss any and all matters that might be remotely related to those lawsuits under cover of the exemption to the Open Meetings Law that permits, in limited instances, discussion of LEGAL STRATEGY with a lawyer in closed session. In light of Buswell, they appear to this citizen to be way over the line on "reasonableness" as articulated by the Wisconsin Supreme Court last year.
And, so, I have filed this complaint and details of what I see as violating the spirit and the letter of the law, with the district attorney of Waukesha County. It is a citizen's effort, without professional help. But, I believe I have hit the critical issues. This is, in truth, the the battle of development interests against more conservative, more cautious, more democratically-oriented citizen interests.