It’s well established I’m no fan of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and that I think he’s done a horrible job of managing Milwaukee County during his time in office. Recently, I happened upon an entry by capper over at folkbum’s rambles and rants lamenting the current state of our county’s parks system, especially in comparison to other counties in Wisconsin. That entry spurred a number of comments, including some interesting comments by Patrick from Badger Blogger, who said:
I didn’t realize that it was county governments job to employ as many people as possible instead of being good stewards of the tax dollars they have taken from us… silly me.
I chimed in to the discussion by challenging Patrick to cite just one concrete example of how Scott Walker’s stewardship of our tax dollars has improved life for folks here in Milwaukee County. After all, our parks system is wilting on the vine (no pun intended), the mental health complex is an absolute nightmare, and the House of Corrections is a ticking time bomb of poor employee morale due to horrible working conditions and inmate overcrowding. These are just a few examples of how Scott Walker has mismanaged Milwaukee County during his tenure as County Executive, and I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything positive that has happened in Milwaukee County that can be directly tied to Scott Walker’s leadership.
What’s worse, Walker hasn’t seemed to learn any lessons from the current state of the county, as he’s proposed a budget that not only includes raises to the costs of regular bus and paratransit rides as well as hikes in admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo, but also the elimination of 81 park maintenance jobs as well as the closure of the county’s work-release center. What’s worse, the budget proposed by Walker assumes the county will get state funding that’s not yet approved. According to the MJS, Walker said he picked what he thought were good guesses on what the deadlocked Legislature might ultimately provide. Walker has already said if he’s wrong and comes up short in state aid, he’ll propose even more county budget cuts.
Taking the entire situation into consideration, I can’t help but wonder how exactly life here in Milwaukee improved since Scott Walker took office, or how it will improve in the future under the leadership of Scott Walker. It’s time for Scott Walker to go, and 2008 seems like as good a time as any for the change to happen.