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The 2010 Milwaukee County Budget: Epic FAIL

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on November 19, 2009

From Milwaukee County First:

The final results are in and the 2010 Milwaukee County budget is done.  There are only two words for it:  Epic FAIL.

As I have pointed out numerous times during the budget process, Scott Walker’s proposed budget was a fraudulent document that should never have been accepted.  It was based on revenues and on savings that will never occur, setting it up, and the county with it, for a fiscal crisis before it’s even enacted on the first day of the new year.

The County Board, while mending much of Walker’s slights to our most vulnerable citizens, failed to correct the gaping hole in the middle of the budget.

Don’t get me wrong, the Board did do a lot to correct many of Walker’s budgetary gaffes, overriding 21 of his 35 vetoes.  Most important of these are the restoration of funding for the community centers, killing the parking meters on the lakefront and preserving many jobs that would have cost much more to privatize.

The Board also had some key failures including failing to preserve the Sports Complex and selling out on scores of workers jobs, even though Supervisor after Supervisor pointed out the fiscal irresponsibility of doing so.

But as I mentioned above, their biggest failure was not closing the gaping hole in the budget, setting up the county for a fiscal crises on January 1, 2010.

Even though things look rather grim for the future of Milwaukee County, at the risk of making an understatement, all hope is not lost.

The state legislature still has to pass the sales tax bills that would not only preserve and restore the parks and transit systems, but would also make a significant lowering of the property tax, as opposed to the pocket change Walker is trying to crow about.  That will also go a long way towards helping ease the risk to other vital services that had long been a proud tradition of Milwaukee County’s progressive history.

But they will not pass these bills unless we continue to put pressure on them.

This is where you come in.

You can help by signing our petition, either online or on one of hard copies, calling on the state legislators and Governor Doyle to finally recognize the will of the people and honor the referendum telling them that they need to allow us to help ourselves by passing the sales tax for transit and for the parks.

You also need to write, email and/or call your state representative and senator and tell them that the time has come and gone for them to act, and that you expect them to take action on these matters as soon as possible.

Here are the phone numbers for the state representatives.  Please call and ask them to co-sponsor and support Rep. Sinicki’s bill.

Rep. Pedro Colón: (608) 267-7669

Rep. David Cullen: (608) 267-9836 or (888) 534-0013*

Rep. Jason Fields (608) 266-3756 or (888) 534-0011*

Rep. Tamara Grigsby: (608) 266-0645 or (888) 534-0018*

Rep. Mark Gundrum: (608) 267-5158 or (888) 534-0084*

Rep. Mark Honadel: (608) 266-0610 or (888) 534-0021*

Rep. Fred Kessler: (608) 266-5813 or (888) 534-0012*

Rep. Peggy Krusick: (608) 266-1733

Rep. Jim Ott: (608) 266-0486 or (888) 534-0023*

Rep. Jon Richards : (608) 266-0650 or (888) 534-0019*

Rep. Sandy Pasch:  (608) 266-7671 or (888) 534-0022*

Rep. Tony Staskunas:  (608) 266-0620 or (888) 534-0015*

Rep. Jeff Stone: (608) 266-8590 or (888) 534-0082

Rep. Barbara Toles:  (608) 266-5580

Rep. Leah Vukmir:  (608) 266-9180

Rep. Annette Polly Williams: (608) 266-0960

Rep. Leon Young: (608) 266-3786 or (888) 534-0016*

Rep. Josh Zepnick:  (608) 266-1707

* Wisconsin calls only.


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