I attended the annual meeting of the Rock Koshkonong Lake District. Two actions were taken. First, the proposed budget, which increased the levy, was rejected. Second, two longtime board members were replaced with newcomers pledging cooperation with the entire interested community.
Both were appropriate. The proposed tax increase envisioned vague projects that were premature until repair of the dam. The board was confrontational and had little to show for its efforts. It was time for change. The new board should consider improvements to its process.
First, the district must be aware of, and consider, all views before taking action. The old board failed to create a public advisory group as the DNR recently suggested. This failure is inexcusable and easily remedied at no cost.
Second, the new board should take action to post detailed minutes accessibly on its web site as well as digital recordings of the proceedings. This is an inexpensive, easily implemented process that promotes transparency.
Third, the district should schedule regular detailed audits. Current efforts appear cursory and of little use to evaluate expenditure of tax revenues and overall performance. Finally, no further efforts to increase lake levels should be undertaken until levels decrease and the dam is functional. Instead, the district should collaborate in good faith with DNR and property owners to determine if lake levels have damaged fragile wetland resources. Further litigation of this matter would be a waste of tax revenue and only enhance community discord.
Rolf Olsen Jr.