Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Stimulus Variation Gives SEWRPC Transportation Allocation Control

One version of federal stimulus highway funding would give entities like the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission control over which municipalities get the money.

Thanks to the Daily Reporter for the story.

Talk about taxation without representation - - in this case, spending taxpayer money without representation, as happens year in and year out.

Milwaukee city residents dutifully send SEWRPC - - an unelected body heavily made up of suburban and exurban residents - - more than $400,000 a year with as much say-so in the Pewaukee-based agency's daily spending, and the commission's various plans and activities, as have the residents of Muskogee. ((Oklahoma).

And some of you out there are still satisfied with this arrangement, or think the City of Milwaukee, without a single seat on that 21-member commission board, will have much to say about where the region's transportation (highways) stimulus money will go?

You can bet SEWRPC's #1 recommendation would be pouring concrete for the new freeway lanes the agency recommended to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on I-94 from Milwaukee to Illinois, and in the Zoo Interchange - - setting the stage for added lanes across the face of Story Hill near the Stadium.

Little matter that both the Milwaukee Common Council and Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted against adding more lanes in the city, given the loss of taxable property and other pernicious outcomes attendant to widening expressways already ripping a city apart.

I'd call this another key exhibit in the case for Milwaukee to create its own municipal planning organization - - - - an argument I've been making since June.

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