Sunday, November 28, 2010

Swimming Fool

Patrick McIlheran thinks Milwaukee County taxpayers are going "to get soaked." The County Board, in the latest budget, called for improvements of Moody pool. One of many long-overdue maintenance and repair projects needed by the County. Rather than seeing "spending unleashed," as the column claims, we will be able to witness government acting responsibly and carrying out its duties.

But, as Dan Cody commented, "Patrick, you have your facts wrong about a number of things in this opinion piece, most importantly the assertion that taxpayers will get "soaked" as a result of the pool being repaired. In your haste to pen a piece that plays to the usual talking points about Milwaukee being a "tax hell" and such, you overlooked - or ignored - the fact that the the tax levy won't go up one cent as a result of the proposal to rehabilitate Moody Pool. The source of the funds are capital improvement bonds, something the County Exec. used a great deal in last years budget to finance various capital improvements throughout the County. I very much doubt you called it a "soaking" then, so why now? Another fact is there was and is significant pressure to rehab the boarded up property that was Moody Pool from area neighbors, businesses and community groups."

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 it's 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.

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