This alarmist flyer, covered with what look like bullet holes (apparently whoever has me in their gunsights is a terrible shot) is one of several in the same vein that arrived in our mailbox recently. And Sunday we got a robocall along the same lines. Somebody is determined to convince us that Dane County politicians are going to strip us of our property rights and trash the market value of our home -- unless people like us stop them. At first I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about. Had we become a Communist dictatorship overnight and I simply hadn't noticed? Didn't seem likely. The flyers referred me to www.danecountypropertyrights.com for more information, but that simply provided more of the same rhetoric.
Since the flyers mentioned meetings of the Dane County Lakes & Watersheds Commission, I went to the Dane County website to find out more. This press release from the Office of Lakes & Watersheds seemed to be what I was looking for.
Melissa Malott, Chair of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, announced that the Commission will hold two meetings later this month for citizens to learn about and provide input to the revised draft plan for Dane County Shoreland and Riparian Management. The Plan, which attempts to create a flexible yet effective set of recommendations to better protect Dane County’s surface waters from near-shore impacts, has been extensively revised based on earlier public input.You'll find more background on the plan and the proposed draft at the Commission's website, including a link to a pdf Myths and Facts sheet. Here's where and when the meetings are scheduled to be held this Tuesday and Wednesday:
Tues., Nov 17 – Verona Senior Center, , 108 Paoli St, Verona, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.In the release, Malott urged area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to get the facts.
Wed., Nov. 18 - Sun Prairie City Office Community Room, 300 East Main St, Sun Prairie, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
I encourage area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn the facts regarding the status and applicability of the Plan, its benefits and economic impact. It’s important that the input on the Plan we receive is not clouded by misinformation about its content and purpose.Bingo! That's exactly what the mail and phone campaign seemed to be about -- "clouding the input by misinformation." In fact, disinformation might be a better term. The sponsors of the campaign seemed to be trying to pack the meeting with angry homeowners terrified of government interference with their property rights. In other words, teabagging the meetings. I'm surprised they didn't just mail out teabags and save the expense of printing the flyers.
Personally. I sort of like our Dane County lakes and rivers, and I like the idea of trying to to protect them from runoff and other development impacts. If I have to choose between the Lakes & Watershed Commission and the sponsors of the anti-shoreland zoning camapign (Madison Area Builders Association, REALTORS® Association of South Central Wisconsin, Smart Growth Madison, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance), the latter are going to have to come up with a lot more than scare tactics to convince me.