Free Market Think Tank Pursues Communications from Governor’s Office and DOT[Madison, Wisc..] The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is investigating the events surrounding the abrupt alterations in the Milwaukee to Madison rail project.
On Tuesday, DOT officials notified the City of Oconomowoc that their city was no longer being considered for a stop on the controversial passenger rail line.
“Officials in Oconomowoc began asking legitimate questions regarding the costs local taxpayers would incur to construct and maintain a train station and rather than answer those questions, the State scraps the planned station altogether,” said Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute. “We’re now looking for answers as to how this all developed.”
MacIver filed identical open records requests with Governor Doyle and Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. The requests read, in part:
On behalf of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy this is a formal request for the following records, under the state’s Open Records Law (Wis. Stats. 19.31-39):
Copies and records of all communications from July 1, 2010 to August 19, 2010 which include you or members of your staff regarding the Oconomowoc stop on the Milwaukee to Madison rail line
This request includes, but is not limited too, documents, emails and records of phone calls (from you and members of your staff) regarding the logistics, design, development and approval of a train station in Oconomowoc.
“Local government officials, and the taxpayers they represent, have a right to ask legitimate questions regarding an expensive federal and state project that will also require significant local tax expenditures,” said Healy. “The MacIver Institute hopes these open record requests will help shed some light on the decision making process that led to this dramatic change of course.”