Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Waukesha County Says "No" To Transit, So Why Should Milwaukee Say "Yes" To Water?

The elitist exclusionists in Waukesha County are at it again, demanding to be left out of a regional arrangement that would better connect and coordinate their transit resources with those in Milwaukee County.

No doubt they will get their wish.

This isn't the first time - - remember Waukesha County killing the inter-county Route 9 at the end of 2007 - - that Waukesha leaders have taken an anti-regional, anti-Milwaukee view when it comes to transit, but you have to wonder:

Do they see the contradiction in wanting - - pressuring - - Milwaukee to make a regional deal to sell to the City of Waukesha, and perhaps other Waukesha County communities, water from Lake Michigan, while refusing to leave their bubble and enter into a regional relationship on transit?

I can't tell if this is a case of mere tone-deafness, job protection for Waukesha County residents against outsiders riding in for the work, or full-blown arrogance, but regardless:

The more that officials in Waukesha want to disassociate themselves from Milwaukee and its needs - - in Waukesha, the debate is framed by "sovereignty" - - the more reasonable it will be for Milwaukee to tell Waukesha to resolve its needs by purchasing its water - - of lesser quality and more expensive per gallon and per pipeline mile - - from Racine or Oak Creek.

Sovereign is as sovereign does.


kenyatta2009 said...

You're right, they don't want us polluting their area then we shouldn't sell them water.

enoughalready said...

A trade seems very reasonable to me.

James Rowen said...

They may be able to recirculate some of the water in the moat being designed around the city.

Nick said...

Waukesha is willing to pay money for the water. That's all that matters. We don't live in a barter society. Demanding something totally unrelated to the water is not a trade... its really a form of regional blackmail.

Unknown said...

So tit for tat is how we should play this? I think Milwaukee County should be the "bigger man" and demonstrate to Waukesha County that cooperation is needed on all issues by setting up a fair and affordable water purchase. Maybe when they see that, they will be more willing to work on transit.
BTW, Nice meeting you yesterday Jim

James Rowen said...

To Nick and TCD, too; I think water can and should be tied to larger issues. If not, the problems we face only get intensified.

And we live in a political world, so things can be put on the table - - if there is the will to do so.

If Milwaukee chooses to be "bigger," it will get steamrolled, so I don't think that is the way to begin a negotiation.

PurpleAvenger said...

Nick - Waukesha doesn't get to decide unilaterally what conditions/contractual obligations apply when it is seeking something it doesn't have. .. Could I just walk up to your house and say, "I have money and I'm willing to pay for it so you have to sell it to me?" Of course not. So why should Waukesha get to do that to Milwaukee? And, conversely, what's wrong with Milwaukee saying, giving us money will not be adequate contractual compensation for the item you want access to? (Answer: nothing.)

Third Coast - Milwaukee's been far and away more regionally cooperative than most of the suburbs for years. Where's the reciprocity?

James Rowen said...

Reality will encourage Waukesha to negotiate, as Oak Creek and Racine, the two other potential sellers - and this happens only if all eight Great Lakes states say OK - - are farther from Waukesha (greater pipeline construction expense to Waukesha), while Milwaukee's water is higher quality and cheaper.