SWWRCState of Washington Water Research Center (Washington State University)
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It is still not possible to conclude definitively that the SWWRC's engagement in municipal consultation exercises, combined with its own lobbying efforts, was the vital factor in shaping the council's positions.
In sum, then, there are a number of reasons to suggest that the SWWRC was able to influence the city council's positions on the border crossing issue.
In this case, the SWWRC represented some of Windsor's wealthiest communities and was able to mobilize considerable financial resources for its campaign.
According to its own literature, the SWWRC was the largest of these groups in terms of membership.
The success of the SWWRC in influencing the city council and ultimately in sidelining the DRTR then, can be seen as an example of 'not-in-my-back-yard' politics, with a wealthy community organization being able to block an infrastructure project perceived to be detrimental to its area.
While it is undoubtedly the case that the SWWRC mobilized with the specific aim of protecting their area, this case study nevertheless provides some support to those commentators who see NIMBY groups as capable of performing a valuable service by protecting the entire local community (see Goldsmith 2006; Diets 2004).
In the decision-making examined here, the municipal council's positions on the Windsor-Detroit border crossing changed following public consultation and the SWWRC's engagement in the policy area.
Although it is impossible to prove conclusively, analysis suggests that the SWWRC was important in the policy-making process with respect to this issue and played a part in shaping the municipal council's decision-making.
A final question concerns whether the influence exerted by the SWWRC represents a positive development for the wider local community.