Sunday, November 28, 2010

McIlheran Gets The Bends

In his Sunday OpEd piece, Patrick McIlheran laments the improvement of Milwaukee County, namely the County Board's vote to start reversing the damage done by years of Walker's malignant neglect by fixing up and reopening Moody Pool.

Old Paddy claims that no one wanted this silly old pool and that it was just a sign of things to come, namely that there would be just a free for all in spending.

Except that he is wrong on both accounts.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article on the pool:
A group of teens at the Goldin Center's leadership program wrote a proposal recently about how important it was that Moody Pool reopen because of the lack of swimming facilities, the number of youths who don't know how to swim and the number of drowning deaths of young people, Schneider said.
Apparently, PaddyMac thinks a few lost inner-city kids is worth it if it saves him a bundle on his tax bill. Or that if they want to go swimming, they could use the lake or any of the other pools. Never mind that the outdoor pools would be skating rinks, the high school pools are generally not open to the public and that the YMCA charges an arm and leg for the use of theirs, something that these kids can't afford.

And for it being so expensive, the Brewtown Gumshoe dispels that fantasy:
The $5 million price-tag on the Moody repair is .005 percent of a $1 billion County budget. Even though, comparatively speaking, this is a minuscule part of the overall County budget, McIlheran wants us to believe its and "important gauge." Yes, I would say an important gauge of a governing body realizing it must actually maintain County properties which enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. But sadly for McIlheran, .005 percent of a budget is a red flag of runaway spending.
There is also a third delusion that McIlheran puts to words in his article, which is that Scott Walker was some sort of fiscal conservative. Let us look at some of the legacy Walker leaves behind:
  • Nearly $300 million in deferred maintenance and repairs to the parks system alone
  • A $400 million debt for pension obligation bonds
  • A 2010 budget that is projected to be at least $8 million in the red, and a 2011 budget that is close to $20 million in the hole before it even starts
  • Scads of lawsuits stemming from the collapse of O'Donnell Park, the multiple failures at the mental health complex, and illegal budgeting and bad faith negotiations with the unions.
Oh, how the list does go on. It adds up to nearly a billion dollars that the county has to come up with somehow.

One would think that someone like McIlheran would know better than to think that simply refusing to meet one's obligations is not fiscal responsibility, but merely kicking that can down the road for someone else to deal with.

One would also think that someone like McIlheran would realize that his arguments about the pool was all wet, but then again, Paddy's been known for jumping off the deep end repeatedly over the years.

1 comment:

  1. PaddyMac does not speak for the bulk of the county, just those slobs who think they deserve the privilege of living in this community with no responsibility for its upkeep. The clock is ticking on them, and once the 2012 elections pass with a city-based county executive and the city in a dominant position on the county board, they will find out that kicking the can down the road means eventually getting that kick upside their hindquarters.