Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Damn Near Russia Goes All-Stalin: McMiller Closed

And here we go, folks!

The Department of Natural Resources temporarily silenced guns Tuesday at the state-owned McMiller Sports Center in southwestern Waukesha County in the face of a legal volley and verbal sniping over the state agency's decision to change private operators.

The DNR told McMiller operators Steven and Patricia Williams of Wern Valley Inc. on Thursday to close up shop after Sunday's hours and be gone by Monday. They weren't.

That's when the new lease holders, brothers Dan and Lloyd Marks and their Milford Hills Hunt Club near Johnson Creek, were supposed to take over. They didn't.

Why not?

...the Williamses on Monday asked a Waukesha County judge for a temporary injunction halting the lease transfer. They argued in court documents that the DNR's evaluation process was full of scoring errors and unfair because the competitor did not follow bidding criteria.

The claim got support from the Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement, the Waukesha County Conservation Alliance and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, which filed a brief in the case citing DNR "chicanery" and fabrication.

Gee. That's simply amazing! DNR "chicanery"??? Whocoodanode?

Actually, it's DNR powerplaying.

Steven Williams and James Fendry of the Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement said in separate telephone interviews that the DNR was biased against Williams because he's fought DNR efforts to curtail activities at the shooting range.

Fendry accused the southeastern Wisconsin forest superintendent, Paul Sandgren, of making it more and more difficult for McMiller to operate. Citing specific objections, Fendry said Sandgren has pressed for "quiet Fridays" at the range and once-a-month "quiet weekends" where shooting and thus noise is curtailed.

But the key to all that BS is here:

Sandgren is only following the McMiller master plan, developed with community input, and he's following through on environmental stewardship recommendations drafted at the urging of a citizen advisory panel - of which Fendry was a member, McCutcheon said.

The "community input" phrase is interesting. A local politician has been trying to push McMiller into the ocean for several years so that he could develop property across the street from the facility.

Just co-incidence, of course.

But there are other interesting questions.

Under the new lease bid, the Williamses offered to pay 7% of total gross revenue while Milford Hills offered 5.75% of gross range rental and 2% on pro-shop supplies and food.
McCutcheon said revenue was only one of the criteria, but Milford offered expanded services and additional services that "we believe will provide more revenue

Lemmeeeseee, heah, Gomer. Seven percent of the total GROSS vs. five point seven five of the range GROSS and two dot zero of pro-shop and FOOD? They don't SERVE food at McMiller--at least not now.

Joining in the cry of foul, an attorney for the pro-gun, conservation and wildlife groups, Frank J. Liska Jr., said the Milford proposal lacked revenue estimates. Liska contends that DNR Secretary Matthew J. Frank made matters worse by introducing his own flawed calculations into the selection process.

"In other words, faced with the complete absence of any financial data, the evaluation committee, not the bidder, simply 'made up' numbers to show a favorable result and keep the Milford bid alive and in the running," he said. "Such chicanery was too much even for the (DNR) secretary who then went on to fabricate his own methodology. . . .

Oh, come on, now, Mr. Liska. It's perfectly obvious that Matt Frank simply did what's in the best interests of McMiller sportsment Wern Valley DNR revenues .......uhhhh.....

(Maybe a certain local politician.....)

Germane prior blog here.

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