Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee County’

Milwaukee County exec candidates vow to tackle fiscal woes – JSOnline

January 22, 2011

Milwaukee County exec candidates vow to tackle fiscal woes – JSOnline.

As the race for Milwaukee County Exec heats up it’s important to note who’s side each candidate is on.

Lee Holloway’s positions are clearly known as he’s been leading the pro-tax County Board ever since he survived the pension scandal. I do applaud him for trying to think outside the box with his suggestions of selling county services to the smaller suburban municipalities. If he didn’t have so much baggage ideas like that may have given him an edge but alas, he is Lee Holloway.

Jim Sullivan seems to be channeling the seething Walker hatred of John Weishan. Does he honestly think that bashing the beloved ex-Exec and current Governor will win him this race? There’s no doubt that he’s got more loyalty to the public unions than to the taxpayers. Oh, and then there’s the fact that he’s a proven loser. He was trounced in his reelection bid for the state senate by Republican Leah Vukmir.

Chris Abele is trying to come into this race as the “great unknown”, but he’s got ties to liberal interests all over the place. To make matters worse he’s trying to distance himself from the one interesting thing he had going for himself, that little “blow up county government” thing. While it may have been poor wording the idea of handing off county services to eliminate duplication is a wonderful idea, too bad he’s ditching it as he tries to win favor with liberal special interest groups. Even with all this though he’d probably make a better exec than either of the previous two.

Ieshuh Griffin is a joke. Enough said.

Jeff Stone is the only candidate in the race trying to carry on the mantle of Scott Walker. He’s promising to hold the line on taxes, just as Walker did for the past 8 years. If he holds up that promise that alone would be enough to make him the best candidate for the job. He does have to prove himself however and I’ll be looking hard for some concrete ideas to cut spending and trim the fat that still exists in the county. We all know that if he wins he won’t have it easy, just as Scott Walker had to fight tooth and nail with the county board, so would Stone if he wins.

Tommy’s Little Choo-Choo

March 14, 2009

Congratulations to the urbanists, the downtowners and the anti-car crowd. Mayor Tom Barrett’s end-around the County has given him the win he was looking for and he’s now got half of the money he needs to build his little streetcar project. What Barrett and the urbanists don’t realize is that the removal of street parking along the route will be even more reason to keep those of us who’ve been fighting against this cute but expensive little choo-choo out of downtown. I’m starting to think that was the goal all along, to drive “car people” out of the city and into the outskirts. What do those guys call the freedom to drive again? Oh yeah, “sprawl” pronounced with a condescending snarl.

So there’s now no doubt that we’re getting Tommy’s silly little train but there is a very serious question about where the REST of the money will come from. The city has been given ~$55M right? Barrett’s numbers had construction of the streetcars at $100M, which is actually a slightly conservative number when you take a look at the average cost per mile for similar systems of $35M/mi. So where is the rest of the money going to come from? Then once it is built where will the operating funding come from? Milwaukee County is estimating that the state will be taking ~$3M of annual funding away from the bus system to help run the streetcars. Does anyone believe that this system can be run on $3M per year? What about the bus system? Everyone acknowledges that it needs more funding and yet this streetcar system will be draining a hefty chunk away from it. That’ll be $3M spent on a 2.8 mile circuit downtown instead of on the bus system that serves the entire county.

Here’s what I predict. Tom Barrett will push for the RTA to take over the streetcars. The RTA will push for a new tax on the entire region which it will use to pay for this system that benefits only the select few urbanists in downtown who will use it. Milwaukee County will push for a new county sales tax (which the county board is already working on) to fill in the holes left in the bus system’s budget. The City of Milwaukee will push for new parking surcharges in the downtown area (something Barrett has already announced as his plan to help pay for the streetcars). The net effect is that the “car people” who will no longer come downtown unless they are required to will pay for the entire system that they will not use. They’ll pay for it in sales tax on every single thing that they buy and they’ll pay for it in extra parking fees when they do have to go downtown. Way to stick it to us.

Walker Slammed By Weishan For Trying To Fix Pension

March 11, 2009

County Supervisor John F. Weishan, Jr. wrote an op-ed that appeared on a blog at biztimes.com this morning. In it he slams County Executive Scott Walker for attempting to find a solution to the county’s pension troubles.

Walker’s pension bonding plan is too risky – John F. Weishan, Jr. @ BizTimes.

Weishan promises to vote against Walker’s attempt to help fix the pension problems while offering no real solution of his own. He even states his opinion that ordinarily plans like Walker’s are sound solutions to problems like this but he just doesn’t like the long-term outlook right now. Sounds like a petty political grudge is keeping him from supporting a plan he would normally be in favor of.

Weishan’s hypocrisy is that he voted for the pension!!! Does he think we’ve forgotten? He bears the blame for getting us into this mess in the first place and instead of coming up with solutions to help fix his mistake he attacks every attempt by the County Executive to do so. If Weishan truly wants to fix the pension that he broke why hasn’t he put any effort into it over the past 8 years? Scott Walker has tried repeatedly to come up with solutions and he has been faced with opposition from the County Board and Supervisor Weishan every step of the way.

Supervisor Weishan, it’s time to either put up or shut up. If you can’t come up with a plan to fix the pension without raising our taxes then stop trying to sabotage the ideas of those who are working to fix this problem.

Weishan’s power grab threatens to upset months of negotiations between UWM & Milw. County

March 8, 2009

After months of negotiations between Milwaukee County and UWM a deal has finally been reached for the sale of a large parcel of the county grounds. UWM intends to build a $150 million engineering school which will work closely with the nearby county medical complex and serve as a center of biomedical engineering for the region.

The Business Journal has the whole story: UWM, county agree on land price – Site would house engineering school

This development will not only bring a state of the art engineering research facility to Milwaukee County but it’s construction will be a boost to the local economy at a time when such boosts are sorely needed. The agreement that has been reached allows for a flexible sale price depending on what the actual developed square footage eventually turns out to be, the more success that UWM has the more money Milwaukee County gets.

Sounds great, huh? Not if Supervisor Weishan has his way. Weishan is putting up a stink and apparently attempting to stop the County Board from voting on the plan. He’s upset that the county will lose control of the land and that the existing research park may face competition from the new engineering school. See Milwaukee Rising for the details.

While disappointing this behavior is certainly not surprising coming from Weishan. His obstruction of progress and reform in Milwaukee County government is surpassed only by his rigid adherence to the status quo. He’s determined to be a thorn in County Executive Scott Walker’s side and is no doubt feeling threatened by what will be seen as a victory for the county and for UWM in this deal brokered by Walker’s office.

Please contact Supervisor Weishan and express your support for this land sale to UWM. His phone number is 414-278-4222 and his email address is john.weishan@milwcnty.com.
You should also contact your own Supervisor, if you’re not sure who that is you can look them up here.

The Right View WI – Milwaukee County Board Meets in “Secret” – Overrides Veto of Sales Tax Ref.

September 4, 2008

I just posted a piece on The Right View WI about the County Board’s vote to override County Executive Walker’s veto of the sales tax referendum. Supervisor Weishan was among those who voted to override.

You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/5fgaqm

Milwaukee County Budget Hearings Coming

September 3, 2008

County Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs, the chair of the County Board’s Finance and Audit committee, has announced three public hearings on the county’s budget.

The meetings will be held from 6:00pm-7:30pm at the following locations and dates:

  1. September 10th at the Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Rd.
  2. September 16th at Kosciuszko Community Center, 2201 St. Seventh St.
  3. September 18th at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1531 W. Vliet St.

I’m planning to attend the first meeting as it is the closest to my home. I encourage everyone to attend if you can and express your feelings about the county’s budget!

UPDATE: Fourth Hearing Added

A fourth county budget hearing has been added to the schedule. It will be at the Granville Senior Center located at 7717 W. Good Hope Rd. on September 17th from 6-7:30pm.

J/S Editorial Board Agrees with Me on Merging Justice Facilities

August 28, 2008

So, imagine my surprise when the libs at the Journal/Sentinel editorial board published their opinion on the proposed consolidation of facilities for Milwaukee County’s justice operations and they came out agreeing with me. Really. True story.

Read it for yourself! JS Online Editorial: Merging justice ahead?

Merging Milwaukee County Justice Facilities on The Right View WI

August 27, 2008

I just posted a piece on The Right View WI about a proposal by out-going Chief Circuit Court Judge Kitty Brennan to consolidate three of the county’s justice facilities under one roof in downtown Milwaukee. Go check it out!

You can read the JSOnline.com story here.

Privatizing Mitchell Int.

August 18, 2008

Scott Walker wants to investigate privatizing Mitchell and I think its a good idea. North Shore Exponent has a good post on the topic that I wanted to share with you.

The county has the potential to reap huge financial benefit from such an arrangement as the lease of the airport could bring in a huge amount of revenue and at the same time reduce the overall size of the operations that the county is running. More money coming in, less going out, that’s the direction we need to take Milwaukee County.

Walker’s proposal estimates that the county could see $25 million per year from the deal which could be used to help fund the county transit system. I’d rather see the money go directly to tax relief but would take this option to fund transit over the County Board’s proposed sales tax increase.

From the JS Online piece:

Supervisor John Weishan Jr. said he’ll oppose a privatization consultant study…………..
“I wish (Walker) would put as much effort into lowering health care costs in Milwaukee County . . . rather than some fantasy about privatizing the airport,” Weishan said.

Weishan’s statement is hypocritical and ludicrous. If he was consistent he’d want to put the decision directly to the voters via a referendum (as he does with the sales tax increase). He talks about lowering health care costs in Milwaukee County while at the same time attempting to triple the county sales tax. Does Weishan believe that increasing the cost of everything in the county by another 1% will lead to lower health care costs?

Once again Scott Walker is leading the way in innovation in Milwaukee government. As always the County Board is trying to stand in his way as they toe the line of the status quo.