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Letter to the Editor: Behind the curtain
Letter To The Editor

From Marci Hess


To the Editor:

Winning an award is an auspicious occasion, except when it isn’t. Awards are created to honor a person for their work and let them know they’ve done a good job. But sometimes one needs to look behind the curtain especially when a politician is the honoree.

Pulling the curtain back on the first year of the Outstanding Water Legislator Award given to Rep. Todd Novak, we see Wisconsin Water Alliance (WWA) is the award creator. Peer behind it a bit further and we find 2 WWA board members are currently in lawsuits or under investigation for endangering their neighbors by polluting their private wells and endangering the environment by killing trout and other water-dependent wildlife. One recently paid $80,000 in fines to pay for a government clean-up of a manure spill they allowed to go on for months in 2017, and they’ve had four spills since. This is a water conservation organization?

What does peering around the curtain tell us about the honoree? Rep. Novak chaired the Wisconsin Water Task Force, which concluded its findings in 2019. What results came from this?  NOTHING... absolutely NOTHING. The Republican-led legislature hasn’t met in over 190 days. 

It begs the question – why is Rep. Novak getting this award? Being honored to achieve nothing is quite a loud statement. 

It begs the next question -- Why would one accept an award from an organization whose leadership is dirtying our water with manure if that person truly believed Wisconsinites deserved clean, safe water?

One needs to question the motivation for this award especially when we pull back that curtain and there’s only a pile of manure draining into your drinking water.