Friday, April 3, 2009

Barrett Stops Heist Of Stimulus Dollars

A powerful moment for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who helped Friday morning convince a transportation planning committee in charge of federal stimulus spending that pouring $7.5 million into River Hills, Germantown and suburban West Bend does not meet the federal requirement that the money be spent in economically-distressed communities.

Barrett is right:

Here are the federal rules, which the Committee's parent organization, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission had previously distributed.

I had blogged about this for several days, with some documented opinion, here added after the planning commission staff caved-0n to political pressures and signalled its willingness to basically overlook the federal rules.

Following the 14-5 vote, the committee made the vote unanimous, and urged the State Department of Transportation, which had approved the three projects prematurely without the committee's requisite role, to fund the projects from a different pot of funding, according to the Daily Reporter.

So to the Milwaukee representatives on the committee, the others in the 14-5 voting majority, and the Mayor: Well done.


Dave Reid said...

Good for Mayor Barrett! Fighting for Milwaukee.

PurpleAvenger said...

about time - shows that . . . if city folks speak up and stick together, things can get done!

Erich said...

I hope this garners National attention and urban Mayors take note of similar (sub)exurban stimulus theft. I would still like to see Bam and Biden personally come and admonish pols who allow this to happen though; as they alluded to in the press.

As an aside, Biden recently avowed that they will ensure that public safety money isn't similarly squandered. I certainly hope Barrett is also willing to take on the suburban police and fire chiefs...