PEOPLE-Local 645

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A Place To Cut County Spending

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on January 12, 2010

I am flabbergasted that they would nerve to even consider doing this.

Cindy Archer, Scott Walker’s Director of Administrative Services, writes a letter to the editor in today’s paper that has only one true statement in it. To help the gentle reader out, I will break it down:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker proposed a budget for 2010 that included a number of aggressive wage and benefit reforms for all county employees. In the final version of the county budget, county supervisors approved a significant portion of those reforms. These need to be enacted in order to have a balanced budget.

Well, Walker did do that, but Archer fails to inform the public that Walker and the County Board broke labor negotiation laws and did a whole lot of bad faith bargaining in the way they handled, almost ensuring that their requests won’t be honored. But all of that is simply moot, since Walker and the Board have yet to offer any kind of proposal to the unions that would allow their desired concessions.

Or in other words, Walker is trying to manipulate the situation so that the poor, the disabled and the elderly will have to foot the bill for his incompetence.

Last spring, we projected a sizable deficit. Walker proposed 35-hour workweeks and ordered the cabinet to make reductions to balance the budget. While the 35-hour workweek was held up in court, the other actions were taken.

And the ruling was that Walker was lying about the deficit and exceeding his authority.

In the fall, layoffs were proposed. The county executive and County Board leadership met and proposed an alternative of furlough days. When health care payments improved, furlough days were reduced.

Then he went on the air in Madison, joked about the lay offs, and admitted that it was all a political stunt.

Throughout this process, the county has been totally transparent. Unfortunately, some fail to recognize the significant financial challenges faced by the county (and most other governments). Once they recognize these fiscal realities, we can get to work.

Actually, Walker has a long history of obstructing any kind of investigation and delaying and otherwise using questionable methods to prohibit people from gaining information. Then we have missive full of misinformation, like this letter, to further obfuscate the real situation.

On the bright side, we have found a place for a spending cut. With Archer writing drivel like this, she should be getting paid by the Walker campaign anyway.


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