This came to my mailbox over the weekend and I thought the message was too important to let it sit there.
This letter was written by Glory Adams and sent to me by the Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway (FLOW):
I am writing to let you know that Senator Tiffany (chairman of the mining committee in the Senate) has enlisted the help of corporations to write a bill which will deny powers for all local governments in Wisconsin. Initially, it was disguised as a bill to control nonmetallic mining ordinances, but this bill will create a much weakened local government structure throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Here is a brief list of what this bill will do:*
1. No local regulations could be created or carried out for air, water, and blasting. That means you would have no control over any air or water problem in your township. Understand that the DNR is re-writing regulations to soften them. In my interactions I have often heard the excuse that they do not have the personnel to avoid dealing with issues.
2. You would have NO control over any damages caused to your roads. A company may run 200 trucks a day on a town road, tear it to pieces, and you could do nothing except repair it at citizen expense.
3. Additional restrictions are imposed on the DNR.
4. Local air control is gone.
5. You will have no regulation over road builders on “borrow” situation when new road work is done.
6. A dimished asset rule will apply, meaning a large operation can open up a property that was shut down, even expand it and you have nothing to say about it.
7. Local government can say nothing about any reclamation projects.
8. Police powers cannot be used in many situations (maybe at all?), including to create nonmetallic mining ordinances.
9. Moritoriums based on health and safety will be eliminated.
10. What the changes to zoning will be is unknown at this time.
Senator Tiffany want this bill passed ASAP. The hearing is (at this time) scheduled for Thursday and the bill may well be passed the following week, unless it can be slowed down.
Please contact your WTA, representatives, and senator. This bill will cripple your ability to function. Please connect with Rep. Petryk as he is on the Assembly mining committee and is certain to vote to take away your town powers. Stand up for your township’s rights to govern. I am getting to be an old lady and never in my life have I seen such a broad assault on local governments.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
*Note (from the author of the letter – kmr): Please understand that although I have the above information from a senator who conferred with legal help, the bill is in rough draft form and may receive changes.
Information on how to contact your government representatives and sign a petition here: