cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Milwaukee seems to view us in the 'burbs' as the enemy that doesn't contribute sufficiently so as to permit it to solve its myriad problems.
Two indications came forth again involving the Milwaukee 'Wheel Tax' that passed the Milwaukee Common Council and the approval of the sale of Lake Michigan water to New Berlin. These are but two small indicators of a pervasive anti-suburb feeling amongst elected officials.
Mayor Tom Barrett had this to say about the 'wheel tax':
"While I agree with the need to increase our investment in local streets, I am opposed to a funding scheme that is totally financed by City residents while businesses, not-for-profits and non-City residents - all generators of traffic on City streets - pay nothing. I do not want Milwaukee to become a 'tax island' and I think it's unfair for residents to carry the sole burden of street repair when so many others benefit from those repairs."
Yet again, on the subject of Lake Michigan water being sold to New Berlin, Alderman Bob Bauman tried, unsuccessfully, to block the action. He was against it on the grounds that it would increase 'sprawl' because New Berlin had failed to agree to conditions such as adding increased public transportation and affordable housing. Bauman was defeated in another attempt where he sought to limit the agreement to encompass only those buildings already connected to sanitary sewer services for the city.
Barrett was again quoted as saying about this subject, "There are regional issues that continue to demand our attention. Regional public transportation, housing, workforce and infrastructure investments have to be addressed and solutions agreed upon. We must keep moving forward."
They seem to forget that the Germantown School District taxpayers are disproportionately supporting MATC that is indirectly supporting the lack of quality within the Milwaukee Public School system. They seem to forget the 'regional' sales tax that is going to the Stadium District that sits amidst the City of Milwaukee. They seem to forget all the business done in Milwaukee by people from the suburbs. They seem to forget inter-government revenue sharing that favors them over us.
If I thought that Milwaukee would use our money to 'successfully' attack and correct its issues, I might be more prone to going along with this tripe. But, Milwaukee has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, that it so far has been incapable of solving its problems. No amount of suburban support is going to alter the outcomes of their school system, or reduce the tax rates for their citizens, or stimulate more business to want to locate in Milwaukee.
The author I quoted in a MATC Blog a few days ago had it correct when he stated that Milwaukee is inherently socialist down deep in its genes. Tom Barrett and Bob Bauman believe that we have more and, therefore, we should pay more for their inadequacies of management. They favor income and wealth redistribution so long as it benefits them.
They seem to ignore that we in our small communities have our own sets of problems and that we do not look to them for our salvation. Germantown needs to come to grips with roads and schools and general cost increases...and we'll get that done. But, the idea that we are somehow responsible for the failures of the City of Milwaukee simply boggles my mind.