Brookfield discusses buying Lake Michigan water

True to the City of Brookfield’s character under Mayor Jeff Speaker, the discussion is scheduled for closed session. 5th district Alderman Scott Berg will chair the secret discussion set for Tuesday, March 11th. Berg likes the power that is derived from secrecy.

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Funny thing, the agenda item doesn’t meet the state standards for a closed session. Here’s the item from tomorrow’s Water Board agenda: (Agenda modified by city hall late Monday afternoon.)

Discussion and possible action on a possible request for Lake Michigan water from the City of Milwaukee to serve the southeast portion of the City of Brookfield.

The state law says closed session must identify the statute allowing the session, and none of the 13 exceptions apply here [see Wisconsin Statute 19.85(1)]. There’s no employment issue here, no competitive bargaining, no purchase of property. There’s no anticipated litigation. There is only a desire to keep the public’s business out of the public domain.

Unless, of course, Berg changes his mind now that I’ve called his secret discussion into question.

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By the way, you might be interested in why the City of Brookfield suddenly needs Lake Michigan water after years of a policy that says we’ll drill for own own water supply. The test wells in the southeast – most recently a drill on VK Developments’ property at Bluemound and Calhoun – continue to come up too dry. If VK want’s to develop the property he’ll need water.

A widened Calhoun Road road, Lake Michigan water, and possibly an interchange at Calhoun according to the Master Plan. What more can one developer want from the public dollar?

The city said in 2005 that Lake Michigan water is 50% more expensive than drilling for our own. The City of Milwaukee has made it clear in negotiations with other communities that the price of access will include little extras like affordable housing in the communities that get an open faucet.