The latest traditional value that Wisconsin Republicans are about to part with is the "local control" mantra. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Friday that several state legislators are proposing that Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport be handed over to a "regional authority." The three legislators are Republicans Jeff Stone (Greenfield), Mark Honadel (South Milwaukee), and conservative Democrat Jeff Plale (South Milwaukee). Here are a few excerpts from the Journal Sentinel report:
The bill will call for a seven-member authority, with four members appointed by the governor from the seven-county area - Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties - and three members appointed by the Milwaukee County executive from within Milwaukee County. At least two members, one named by the governor and one named by the county executive, would have to live in the suburbs near the airport: Cudahy, Oak Creek, St. Francis and South Milwaukee. But none of the appointees would have to live in the city of Milwaukee, where the airport is located.
Making this power play for Milwaukee's airport will not only 86 the idea of "local control" but will also create a whole new bureaucracy. This does not seem very conservative of them does it? And why are they not requiring at least one of the members to be a Milwaukee resident since the airport just happens to be in Milwaukee? Seems like they are using the Tommy Thompson philosophy of "stick it to Milwaukee."
In the story Jeff Stone alleges that 58% of the people that use the airport are from outside Milwaukee County. And this would be significant because why? Just because Milwaukee has assests that other people use, does that really mean that they can just start annexing those assets? I wonder if that works both ways.
The managing of the airport by Milwaukee County has largely been an acknowledged success. So what will become of Milwaukee's assets that have not been as successful? Will they create a whole new bureaucracy for each of them as well? That does not seem right and it sure doesn't seem to be a traditional Republican value.