Every local government in Wisconsin is forced to make difficult budget decisions this time of year. While recent debate has centered on Milwaukee County’s 2010 budget, we are losing sight of a $7 million deficit looming in the current 2010 budget.
Difficult choices need to be made to close 2010 without a shortfall. We are approaching the final two months of the year. So far, County Executive Scott Walker has yet to address the problem. He has a duty and responsibility to keep the budget in balance in light of the deficit that has been reported. He is required to take action.
His failure to make bold budget moves and enact threatened layoffs has only led to a stalemate in labor negotiations. As a result, no tax dollars are being saved. Instead, we’re racking up huge legal bills from labor attorneys.
The window of opportunity for corrective action on the 2010 budget deficit is rapidly closing. Layoffs and cuts in service are the only answer to solving this problem. County Executive Walker should not be leading us into a deficit for 2010. Only he has the authority to enact the corrective measures necessary to bring the budget back into balance. If we want to realize any savings by the end of this year, action is needed now due to layoff notification requirements.
County Executive Walker’s failure to act is purely political and forces the taxpayers of Milwaukee County to pay the price for his campaign strategy.
Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. represents parts of West Allis, Milwaukee and Greenfield.