Thursday, November 19, 2009

Totally Random: Milwaukee County Budget

I only have time for a handful of rather random observations after the Milwaukee County Board voted on Scott Walker's vetoes for the 2010 budget.

In the first line of the story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comments that Scott Walker "won half a loaf" regarding his vetoes. It may be a minor point but actually he "won" 38% of the "loaf" because 21 of his 34 vetoes were overridden by the board. Also it is wrong to claim that the board "backed Walker" simply because they didn't have enough of a majority to override some of his vetoes.

While I am talking about this "win/lose" approach, I would just like remind everyone that these decisions have quite an impact on real lives. So when Walker is quoted as bragging about "winning" on the veto to privatize housecleaning services, he is bragging about sending already lower-paid workers to the unemployment line. There is something wrong with looking at that as a "win" for anyone (other than the private contractors).

Walker provided more proof that his actions around this budget were (once again) more about his political future than about the well-being of Milwaukee County. The County Board barely finished the session and he was already trying to compare the Milwaukee County tax levy increase to that of the City of Milwaukee.

I was only able to watch the votes on vetoes 17-27 on the City Channel, but one thing was striking to me. The Walker Rubber Stamps on the County Board (Borkowski, Cesarz, Rice and Sanfelippo) just voted to sustain his vetoes and rarely made their case. The other supervisors often stood to make outstanding cases for their votes. It should be noted that of those Walker Rubber Stamps, Rice was the only one to slightly break ranks by voting against Walker three times.

Speaking of the Walker Rubber Stamps not defending their votes, the one time that I saw one of them say anything, was when Paul Cesarz decided to stand to advocate for parking meters on the lake. What does it say about him that (of the 10 votes that I saw), he stood only to advocate one of the most absurd measures in Walker's 2010 budget? Exactly what constituency was Cesarz standing to speak for, the parking meter lobby?

The adopted tax levy for the 2010 budget will be $263 million. Scott Walker and his CRG bullies were fighting tooth and nail against that evil number (or anything above $258 million). If he follows his pattern of behavior Walker will now proceed to use that same evil $263 million number as his own starting point for his budget next year. Apparently that increase won't be so bad after all, next year at this time.


Anonymous said...

It amazes me people who complain of some level of government spending not being enough never think of donating more of their own money to make up the difference.

If indeed you, and perhaps others, feel spending should be higher by all means belly-up to the counter and contribute to a cause you feel strongly about. Wait, didn’t you also complain of Walker increasing spending?

In the mean time, citizens of the county who are already struggling to pay their bills also need relief…I guess that part doesn’t matter though.

Cory Liebmann said...

walker attacks the idea of more government spending while at the same time spending more himself. that was my problem with him. it is the hypocrisy that is the issue, not the spending itself.

you assume that you know giving habits of people that you don't even know. that is embarrassingly weak.

you know who is really going to be struggling (just before the holidays)? the hard working people that scott walker just sent to the unemployment line. if you want to talk about donations, maybe you and walker should send some to them.

and lets stop pretending that $2-$3more on the average person's property tax bill is going to break the bank. you want services? (police, fire, snow removal etc) then you have to pay for them and the costs often go up. that small of an increase is not an overwhelming burden to invest if we are making our communities better in the process.

Anonymous said...

As I said, if you want an increase belly-up if the cost is no big deal. This has nothing to do about a charitable donation that you already do or don't contribute. This specifically has to do with additional monies you feel should be spent now...try to stay on topic.

Weak, on your part, is assuming an increase in someones property tax is small potatoes and no big deal. Perhaps having others spend more of their money is no big deal to you, to others it is.

Cory Liebmann said...

if a $3 increase on your property taxes is a calamity then you have other major problems that you need to worry about. i'm willing to part with my extra $3 to help make my community better.

i'm tempted to list all of the walker proposed fee increases and newly invented fees that amount to a much larger increase than the $2-$3 on the average tax bill. but i simply don't have the time or interest in endlessly going back and forth.

Anonymous said...

Yes you want to donate ONLY 3 dollars. If you believe the cause is just why not donate ALL the money?

The problem with your view is assuming its ok for others to also donate their money for something you want; when you have just shown you are only willing to donate 3 dollars...while wanting everyone else to do the same.

As I said, if it something you want belly up.