The planning work associated with creating a new Wisconsin Geographic Information Coordination Council (WIGICC) has moved along nicely during the past two months. Over a period of four weeks from early May to early June the WIGICC Working Group held five professionally-facilitated “listening sessions” across the state. These sessions were designed to spur ideas regarding how a council should be formed, evaluated and structured.
At these sessions attendees were asked to review council evaluation criteria, and evaluate two different models on council structure and membership. In total, the five listening sessions attracted nearly 150 people with most of them more than willing to share constructive ideas on council composition, functions and responsibilities.
A number of attendees suggested alternatives to the two models. Details of these alternative models and a record of other comments received by the Working Group can be viewed on the WIGICC Web site.
Of the approximately 125 individuals who attended the listening sessions in person, the largest representation was from county government (45 attendees), followed by 26 from the private sector, 21 from state government, 11 from municipal government, and seven from academic institutions. The remaining 14 individuals were nearly an even split between federal and regional government, tribes, and non-profits. Another twenty people participated in the last session on June 4th via a Web cast. The breakdown of representation for those participants is unknown.
Summit up next
The next event on the planning schedule is the final public meeting, referred to as the WIGICC "summit." Scheduled for September 6th at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, the meeting is open for anyone to attend.
The purpose of this meeting is to summarize the information collected from the listening sessions, and then move to gathering input from attendees on the council’s responsibilities, operational structure, and strategic approaches needed to achieve the goals identified in the 2006 statewide GIS Strategic Plan. As with the listening sessions, the Summit will be facilitated by Harry Webne-Berhman.
Following the Summit meeting, the WIGICC Working Group will craft a comprehensive proposal to be presented to the state administration in early fall. Before that happens, members from the Working Group, and others, will be informing members of the legislature and the administration about the WIGICC proposal so it will not come as an unexpected surprise when it is made public.