October 2006 Bay View Compass Editorial
Dear Bay View Compass Readers,
The Milwaukee County Board recently received County Executive Scott Walker's 2007 Recommended Budget. His proposed budget puts many quality-of-life resources which county residents depend on and enjoy in jeopardy. It is unclear how we can reverse negative trends, such as the $150 million in deferred maintenance in our County Parks System, with no new local revenue. Now is the time to make an investment in our infrastructure that so desperately needs it, so that we may preserve, protect, and promote it for future generations to come.
In addition, my office has received a number of complaints about the hasty, short-sighted vision to close a large number of county pools. Instead, we must find a more inexpensive way of running these publicly-supported assets. For example, Pulaski Pool is one of only two Milwaukee County indoor pools. Senior citizens use it for therapy and it also offers affordable swimming lessons for children. A more creative alternative to closing this pool would be to invest in an energy-efficiency study, which would pay for itself through energy savings and also upgrade the facility for future users. The County Executive's Budget cuts funding for all of our valuable cultural assets, such as the War Memorial Center, Performing Arts Center, and the Milwaukee Public Museum.
The County Executive's Proposed Budget also recommends increasing bus fares for children using the bus to attend Milwaukee Public Schools, disabled paratransit riders, and bus riders who frequent the transit system most and purchase commuter value passes and weekly tickets. I know that the good residents of Milwaukee County will see through
this gimmick as a hollow tax freeze promise that amounts to a dishonest way of taxing those who depend on our transit system to get to work, school, and as a means of independence.
Lastly, as crime has unfortunately increased in our community, the Walker Budget discontinues funding for our specialized Drug Units in the Sheriff's Department. Public safety is a priority that is being threatened by reducing the number of bailiffs in the Court System and the staffing levels on our expressways.
The citizens of Milwaukee County expect the Milwaukee County Board will work with the County Executive to adopt a budget that is both fiscally and socially responsible.
The Finance and Audit Committee of the Milwaukee County Board is currently holding hearings on the recommended budget now through the end of November. The County Board will meet on November 6, 2006, to adopt its final budget. Prior to this meeting, there is a public hearing of the County Board of Supervisors on Monday, October 30, 7:00pm at the Zoofari Conference Center located at 9715 W. Bluemound Rd.
Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic
MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Courthouse Room 201, 901 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
PHONE: 414-278-4232 FAX: 414-223-1380