Some Waukesha mayoral candidates say they don't want their to get entangled with Milwaukee's social problems.
But still, they want water from Milwaukee's Water Works.
Just without any responsibilities along the way - - no messy interactions with the big bad city to the East.
Just send the water.
The problem - - aside from those candidates' tunnel-vision and insensitivity - - is that Milwaukee's Common Council has said, by unanimous resolution, so its official policy, that a another city purchasing water must commit to assisting the region by absorbing some of the costs of transit, housing and development that face all municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin, but that right now are disproportionately borne by Milwaukee.
Message to Waukesha: Social problems in Milwaukee are social problems in Waukesha. Maybe the scale is different, but people and issues - - good, bad, indifferent - - are present in both cities because we're all in the same society.
If Waukesha officials and taxpayers - - and I heard that same exclusionary talk from some alderman and citizens two weeks ago at a public meeting there - - want to build a moat around the city, that's their business.
No matter how delusional that thinking surely is
But don't expect Milwaukee's aldermen to respond to anti-Milwaukee rhetoric by rushing into a water deal with trash-talking Waukesha politicos - - would-be or incumbents.
I can't imagine a worse negotiating ploy: "We think you're toxic - - just sell us your water."
And give incumbent Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson credit for staying on higher ground when compared to his Milwaukee-bashing primary opponents, though he and his water utility commission have so mishandled Waukesha's water supply planning that Nelson has helped create some of the very hometown opposition that has slimed the political environment in the region.