Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A little Progress on Water Utility Secret Meetings...

Waukesha Water Utility Commission meets today at 5:30 PM

Another secret meeting, more finagling, more unwillingness to include the rate-paying public in decisions that will hugely affect future rates.

The "progress"?
It appears that they are under pressure to be more forthcoming about the matters to be discussed in secret--detail highlighted below in blue.

Meeting Agenda
Waukesha Water Commission
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Time: 5:30 P.M.
Place: Water Utility Conference Room
115 Delafield Street
Waukesha, WI 53188-3615
The agenda to date is as follows:



A motion will be made to go into closed session to discuss the following:

a. Pursuant to Sec. 19.85(1)(e), Wisconsin Statutes, discussion of several potential municipal sources of Great Lakes water supplies, along with return flow options, and the potential costs associated with the supply and return flow options.

Upon conclusion of the closed session, a motion will be made to reconvene in open session pursuant to Section 19.85(2) for

possible action on matters discussed in closed session.

Wisconsin Open Meetings Law
Wis. Stat. § 19.81-19.98

19.81 Declaration of policy.

(1) In recognition of the fact that a representative government of the American type is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the policy of this state that the public is entitled to the fullest and most complete information regarding the affairs of government as is compatible with the conduct of governmental business.

(2) To implement and ensure the public policy herein expressed, all meetings of all state and local governmental bodies shall be publicly held in places reasonably accessible to members of the public and shall be open to all citizens at all times unless otherwise expressly provided by law.

(3) In conformance with article IV, section 10, of the constitution, which states that the doors of each house shall remain open, except when the public welfare requires secrecy, it is declared to be the intent of the legislature to comply to the fullest extent with this subchapter.

(4) This subchapter shall be liberally construed to achieve the purposes set forth in this section, and the rule that penal statutes must be strictly construed shall be limited to the enforcement of forfeitures and shall not otherwise apply to actions brought under this subchapter or to interpretations thereof.


[This is the text of the exemption the Commissioners traditionally invoke:]

Sec. 19.85(1)(e), Wisconsin Statutes

Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session.

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.