By Jared Raney, reporter
A recent addition to the Wisconsin Budget Bill has people up in arms, and this week the Oneida County Board of Supervisors voted to officially request a repeal of a potential change in shoreline policy.
The section in question is paragraph 23 of Motion 520, introduced to the Budget Bill during the state budget approval process.
Opponents are saying the change was introduced unfairly, as the issue is not strictly a budget concern and belongs in the legislature with public input.
Beside that, the issue came about so quickly that the ultimate effects of the provision are unclear. General agreement is that the provision, which deals with minimum standards for shorelines, will take control away from the local level.
In fact, Senator Tom Tiffany, of Hazelhurst, has said that the proposal was in part an effort to create uniformity statewide in the way shorelines are managed, but opponents say that no two counties are the same, and should not be required to manage their shorelines the same.
After heavy consideration, the resolution, offered by UW-Extension Education Committee, was passed 14 votes to four.
County board members expressed concern, not only to the contents of the provision, which are unclear at best, but in the way the motion was pushed into the budget. Many also felt that the provision and its introduction would damage the authority of local government.
Many members of the public spoke in favor of the resolution during Tuesday’s meeting, including Kathy Noel of the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association, who said of Oneida County’s role in the debate, “we should be in the forefront of this fight for local control.”
The successful vote was followed by applause from members of the public in attendance.
County Board Meeting Highlights
All agenda items passed, including:
Proposal to allow ATV bridge crossing in Three Lakes (passed on trial basis, 15-2)
Proposal to merge Land & Water Conservation Office with Planning &
Zoning Office (passed after failed motion to postpone, 15-2)
Proposal requesting the State repeal Paragraph 23 of Motion #520 in 2016-2017 Budget Bill (passed 14-4)