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home : letters : letters May 29, 2016

2/19/2013 5:04:00 AM
Is Sen. Tiffany rendering 'coordination' useless?

To the Editor:

When I served on the Town of Little Rice (Oneida County) Land Use Planning Committee with Town Supervisor, now Sen. Tom Tiffany, he was a proponent of “coordination,” the premise that all governmental units, whether federal, state or local, are equal under the law and that a decision made by one unit of government must be coordinated with every other unit of government affected by that decision; that is, to give them all a “seat at the table.”

Now, however, Sen. Tiffany, who is the sponsor of proposed legislation that would drastically alter mining regulations, is refusing to allow the Army Corps of Engineers (which has responsibility in the permitting process of any mining activity in and around navigable waters) and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (whose ground and surface water could be contaminated by mining operations in the Penokee Hills) to participate in the legislative process.  

He is effectively denying these governmental units a “seat at the table.”  This decision by Sen. Tiffany could set a precedent that jeopardizes the entire concept of coordination here in Wisconsin. 

Many towns throughout the state, including the Town of Little Rice, developed coordination plans with the objective of having their concerns addressed through government to government coordination of decisions that may impact them.  

The effect of ignoring the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa may be to render every coordination plan developed by the towns invalid.

Alan VanRaalte
Town of Little Rice
Oneida County

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