Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Are County Pols So Dense?

It wasn't that long ago that Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament and a raft of supervisors were shown the door for turning their pension system into an unsustainable and wide-open benefits spigot.

Now in the same few days we have the former County Clerk Mark Ryan asking retroactively for some of those benefits he voluntarily gave up, and County sups Toni Clark and Elizabeth Coggs agreeing to return about $4,000 in travel expenses they billed to County taxpayers so they could get to Washington and see the inauguration.

The supervisors made their announcement after Journsl Sentinel investigative columnist Dan Bice discovered the billings.

Why is there this institutional tone-deafness at the Courthouse?

Civic and business leader Sheldon Lubar once said in a moment of frustration that Milwaukee County ought to be dissolved.

The lingering fiscal burdens of the pension scandal might actually accomplish that, but County government really needs top-to-bottom reform.

I know there are some excellent supervisors and county staffers on the job, but there are not enough of them.


capper said...

I know there are some excellent supervisors and county staffers on the job...

Aw, you make me blush. :)

James Rowen said...

Go right ahead.

Anonymous said...

Lubar's idea of dissolving the County has a lot of merit and I think it should be investigated further.

James Rowen said...

Agreed. YOu can read Lubar's remarks here: