Thursday, July 19, 2007

Scott Walker's Administration Continues To Fail

Scott Walker's smoke-and-mirrors budgets that he creates and manages as Milwaukee County Executive have become an administrative joke in local government circles, but Thursday's news that the red ink is flowing early and deeply highlight again what a failed tenure he has had in office.

True enough that he inherited a mess from the disgraced and recalled F. Thomas Ament, but that was years ago, and Walker's inadequacies are his to own - - though note in his comments below, it's all someone or something else's fault.

Details below, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newswatch blog:

"THURSDAY, July 19, 2007, 2:39 p.m.

By Steve Schultze

County agencies report potential deficits

More bad budget news for Milwaukee County was served up today, with more departments reporting potential year-end deficits.The bottom line, for now, is a year-end shortfall of $4.2 million, which County Executive Scott Walker wants to erase by another round of belt tightening.

"While I am very concerned about the mid-year projections, I am optimistic that by working together we can make corrections now... without jeopardizing essential county services," Walker wrote in a memo given to supervisors today.

The latest tally includes projected shortfalls of $3 million in the Behavioral Health Division, $950,000 for the Economic Development Division, $1.8 million for transit and $239,000 for the Department of Child Support Enforcement.

Walker said all county departments should immediately halt any non-essential spending, including travel and to hold off hiring whenever possible.

He also asked other elected officials to take action to save money.

He blamed the worsening budget picture on unexpected increases in juvenile corrections placements, needed hiring of additional staff at the county's mental health complex and a decline in revenue from real estate fees."


Anonymous said...

Now according to Friday’s newspaper a number of “unforeseen” events have caused this to happen. For example, a real estate recession that EVERYONE knows about has brought less money to the county AND the fact that people seem to be more ill than originally expected at the Mental Health Facility AND the tragic crash into Lake Michigan which killed six. Are these budgets soooooo thin that any action outside the “norm” will put them into the red? What are these agencies here for if not to help when help is necessary? It’s pretty pathetic that we now have these poor six victims to blame for our budget woes. When are we going to wake up? Walker’s stance on taxes is ruining this county!

James Rowen said...

Walker's budgets have this pattern routinely. The red ink is not caused by sudden events. It is caused by over-estimating revenues and under-estimating expenses.

And if county real estate fee shortfalls are a problem, the county can withhold its next installment payment of about $85,000 to SEWRPC for the County's share of the water supply study - - fees that SEWRPC swooped into the courthouse to take under the radar, from an obscure committee with a mapping budget from those fees.

Just so you know.