|NEWS & LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Crim Launches Phase Two of Process Improvements
By Jennifer Garrett
MADISON, Wis. – Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary-designee Dawn Crim is calling on the Commercial Building Code Council and the
Plumbers Code Advisory Committee to study thresholds that trigger when the agency must review plans and to provide recommendations about potential
changes to those thresholds.
As a part of the second phase of her plan review process overhaul, Secretary-designee is asking councils to consider using a risk-based approach to
determine submission thresholds for commercial building and plumbing plan review. Current Commercial Building Code thresholds are based primarily on
size and plumbing code thresholds are based primarily on fixture number. New risk-based guidelines could vary depending on building type, use, occupancy
and the project’s eventual public risk exposure.
“This approach allows the department to focus our limited resources on projects with the greatest potential impact on public safety,” Secretary-designee
Crim says. “Our professional councils and the public meetings process ensure that any changes we implement will be informed by the expertise of
professionals who have deep knowledge of the code, who have vast experience in the industry, and who share our commitment to public safety.”
Last month Secretary-designee Crim announced the first phase of plan review process improvements. Those included requiring payment upon plan
submission instead of invoicing afterwards along with adjustments to the calendaring process to encourage customers to submit complete plans in advance
of their scheduled review dates. She is also exploring legislative changes that would give the department greater flexibility in how it manages the plan
review intake and billing process.
“Once again, our goal is to shorten the amount of time it takes for our customers to have their plans reviewed by our staff, and we are excited about the
improvements we are making and the efficiencies they will yield,” Secretary-designee Crim says. “We are now looking to our councils for their expertise and
insight, and we welcome their recommendations for new thresholds that increase agency flexibility and promote efficiency while still prioritizing safety.”
Now into her second year of leadership, Secretary-designee Crim is eager to implement process improvements across agency services and programs. The
Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers more than 100 boards and councils that regulate
professions, enforces state building codes, and maintains the Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-
faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-
sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS
collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote individual and state economic prosperity.
2020 Census Invitations Arrive March 12-20
MARCH 6, 2020 — Ninety-five percent or about 143 million households in the country will receive an initial invitation to respond to the 2020
Census in their mailboxes between March 12 and 20. The U.S. Census Bureau released informational copies today of the invitations, the
enclosed materials, and the subsequent reminders households will receive. These materials can help the public know what to expect and
avoid potential scams.
Households are encouraged to respond when they receive their invitation. Depending on how likely the area is to respond online,
households will receive either an invitation encouraging them to respond online or by phone (about 112 million households), or an invitation
along with a paper questionnaire (about 31 million households).
All invitations will include a short phrase in English and 12 additional languages inviting people to respond online or by phone in their
language. In areas where 20 percent or more of the households need Spanish assistance, the invitations will be in both English and
All households receiving an invitation in the mail will receive a second letter in the mail shortly after reminding them to respond. Then,
households that still haven’t responded will receive a series of additional reminders, including a paper questionnaire in mid-April. Census
takers will follow up with households that don’t respond to collect responses in person.
Letter to the Editor
Against the F35s
I live in one of the neighborhoods that would be most impacted if the F35s should bed down in Madison: Dane County/Truax. It is a beautiful economically
and racially diverse neighborhood where I own a home and have lived for the past 5 years. I serve my community as a home birth midwife and have cared
for hundreds of families in my home office where my practice is located. (www.accessmidwiferywi.org)
I learned that my home is in the 65 decible zone which renders a home "incompatible with residential use." I do not know how much damage that will do to
property values and the neighborhood. Those whose homes do not have an avigation easement may be offered compensation for sound mitigation though
this process may take 2 to 10 years. In 1994, the homeowners of MY home were paid $2000 in exchange for an avigation easement. Therefore, I would not be
eligible for compensation even though my home would be deemed incompatible.
I've been heartbroken thinking about leaving this home, this place of practice that has cared for some of the most vulnerable pregnant people in Madison.
Three quarters of my practice are on Medicaid, a third of my clients are people of color. I have also cared for a number of neighbors who have brought their
pregnant bellies to my home to allow me to care for them. I come from an immigrant family and am the most financially stable person in my extended family. I
do not know where I would go if this home were not livable; if the water quality or quality of life were to deteriorate. There is already toxic PFAS in many of
our wells from Truax.
Many of my neighbors and families are scared. Some of them have talked about leaving the neighborhood though they don't know where they will go either. I
realized I will be one of the last to leave the neighborhood. Women and children need to leave first. Vulnerable residents need to leave first - veterans with
PTSD, pregnant folks, children, folks on fixed income. This decision impacts the most vulnerable in our community. Midwives need to stay behind. We need
to hold the line. When the King of Egypt came to order the midwives to kill all of the Hebrew male babies, midwives said no and refused. I will hold the line
and I'm asking you to do the same.
Please use your voice to defend those most vulnerable in our community. I am listening carefully to what my ancestor midwives have done before me and I
am finding courage. Please have the courage to speak up and urge Senator Baldwin and your county and city officials to oppose the F35s from bedding down
here at Truax.