The Real State of Milwaukee County

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Happy days are here again, according to Scott Walker, the county executive who’s made such a mess of Milwaukee County government that his long-term solution is to abolish county government.

Walker’s “state of the county” speech on Tuesday painted a rosy picture of his tenure, proposed even more privatization of services, and promised to reduce the property tax levy.

There is, of course, another side to the story.  County Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb offers it in a column on MilwaukeeBiz Blog. Some highlights:

No longer content to simply pretend that he has frozen the tax levy, when it has actually increased by nearly $45 million during his tenure, County Executive Scott Walker upped the ante during his State of the County address Tuesday by making an arbitrary and irresponsible bet when he promised to lower the tax levy next year…

 

There is no need to propose a responsible budget if you plan to skip town for a new job…

Cutting hundreds of jobs and doubling furloughs for deputies as the County Executive has done erodes service quality and makes our community less safe. These are not characteristics of leadership; they are policies of long-term decline…

Finally, the County Executive forgot to credit President Barack Obama and Congress for providing the financial stimulus, which is the basis of his Milwaukee County Works program. Walker’€™s plan to borrow very aggressively in 2010 and utilize more than $40 million of one-time federal stimulus funds is an exceptional turnaround from his stance less than one year ago.

Predictably, Lipscomb’s truth-telling got little notice while Walker got the headlines.

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