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It’s Only Going To Get Worse

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on April 10, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

Supervisor Chris Larson wrote a short piece for the Bay View Compass which does a good job of highlighting how Scott Walker and his cronies on the County Board got us into the mess we’re in now:

From the first moments of this year, County Executive Scott Walker’s 2010 budget put us in a deficit. Because of this deficit, a county ordinance allows for the executive to do anything he chooses in the name of “corrective action.” With this provision in hand, Walker unilaterally laid off 75 county workers last month, just one day after he announced an additional 10 furlough days for some employees (for a total of 22 days).

These new cuts, combined with the furloughs already in the budget, will affect every service that the county provides: parks will not be maintained, deep-well and wading pools will be closed, sheriff’s deputies will be furloughed, the courts will reduce their caseload, and the airport will suffer service cuts. The cuts at Mitchell Airport are the most interesting.

By every indication available, business at the airport has been booming. We have three major airlines competing for business, record passenger counts, and a flush budget. The increase in usage comes despite a challenging economy and decreases in passengers experienced by airports nationwide. If anything, more help is needed at the airport to keep up. Yet, the county executive announced 10 airport layoffs. What’s worse is that these layoffs won’t save you or the county a dime. Federal Aviation Administration regulations forbid our airport from using local tax dollars. Mitchell International is entirely funded by user fees from airlines and passengers.

The 10 employees fired lost their jobs without justification. Now, it’s more likely that your call to complain about airplane noise will not be answered and no action will be taken.

What could have been done to prevent this? Back in September during budget deliberations, we could have had an honest discussion about the labor contracts that had been negotiated over the previous 18 months. Instead, all of it was scrapped and traded in for crossing our fingers and hoping things worked out with the economy. Obviously, this hasn’t happened. The only option left now for Walker is to continue to cut the services that you rely on the county to provide.

Supervisor Larson and a few of his fellow Supervisors get what’s going on.  I question how long it will take before the others catch on to how Walker and his allies have duped them all this time, and that they need to take control of the county back before it becomes the next Detroit.


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