The Tech Park Board and a Waste Digester

Bad leaders and ideas often go in only one direction: from bad to worse. One sees the truth of that in the agenda for today’s Tech Park Board meeting:

13. ADJOURNMENT to Closed Session, TO RECONVENE APPROXIMATELY 45 MINUTES AFTER ADJOURNMENT TO CLOSED SESSION, per Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(e) “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.” and pursuant to Chapter 19.85(1)(c) for “considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility.”
Items to be Discussed: 1) Innovation Center Director performance; 2) Update on negotiations with Green Energy Holdings, LLC, for locating a facility in the city of Whitewater; 3) Discuss entering into a vacant land listing contract with MLG Commercial, LLC, for the sale of Whitewater University Technology Park property; 4) Discussion of Prospective Clients

(Emphasis added.)

I’m not a bit surprised. The few men inside this city who have secretively hawked this scheme to haul filth and waste from Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee to Whitewater will not soon relent.

It’s for that reason, after all, that I created a category dedicated to the particular proposal, and a second category on waste digesters.

The series I ran on waste digesters was by design an introductory series (“Introduction to Waste Digesters:…”). That series anticipated a far longer and more detailed review of this program, through published posts, informal requests for information, requests for information under the law, and a defense of those requests and other claims at law. One has every reason to see this through, day in, day out.

A vast commercial waste digester is worse than an ill-considered idea: it’s utterly wrong for municipal finances, for Whitewater’s environment, for her economy, and it’s an affront to open and responsible government. Claims on behalf of the idea are empty lies, worse than ordinary lies in they’re transparently false, self-contradictory, and absurd. They’re destructive of the beauty and health of our small city.

I’ve a few questions, too, for the Tech Park Board, and officials in the City of Whitewater and the University.

1. What’s Green Energy Holdings, LLC? For goodness’ sake, why can’t you even get right the corporate form of the Wisconsin entity with whom you’re dealing? One knows that the same outside men behind this venture in Maribel and other places have a habit of using multiple business names, but then refusing to give their true business name to the press, or to citizens, even during public meetings.

What is the business name and form for a possible Whitewater deal? It’s not Green Energy Holdings, LLC, for goodness’ sake (unless they’ve started using multiple names now in Whitewater as they have elsewhere).

Follow up question, along this line: Why would you make a deal with no sound information, no proper assessment, and under those circumstances with a so-called partner that’s met with opposition and scorn wherever it has tried to locate?

2. Reliance on a Public Official Heading Out the Door. All Whitewater knows that former City Manager Brunner kept this deal under the radar, in closed sessions, and only sprang it on the public as he was heading out the door. I’ve written as much, and the reason is obvious: the more people learn about this plan, the more than they see it’s all loss and no gain to the community.

But Whitewater isn’t the only city in Wisconsin where a municipal leader quickly sprang this idea on his community before heading out the door. The same thing was tried in Stanley, Wisconsin.

Same interests behind the deal, same approach: have a leader flack the proposal as fast as possible just as he heads out the door.

I’m sure it’s just an amazing coincidence, but it’s odd, isn’t it? I’ve no idea why it would be.

In Brunner’s case, he’s no longer in city office, but he’s still on the Tech Park Board (as a citizen rep!), and in public office in the county. (See, along these lines, About ‘Citizen’ Reps on Commissions.)

Doubt not that a few people on this town will try whatever they can to bring the largest waste, filth, and scum-hauling scheme Whitewater has ever seen to this city for their own foolish and selfish reasons.

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