As I’m sure you heard, the Milwaukee County Board successfully overrode most of County Executive Chris Abele’s 2012 budget vetoes last week.
The end result: A county property tax levy increase of 2.15%, with still-steep cuts in certain areas like the Sheriff’s Department.
Probably the biggest direct local impact is the looming reduction in funding (albeit less of a cut after the County Board’s action) the county provides to municipalities (like South Milwaukee) who operate paramedic service. How we deal with this remains to be seen.
You can learn more, including see a list of who voted for what, in this press release. And check out the Journal Sentinel story here.
I also asked South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik for her opinion. Here is what she sent me …
I am proud that we were able to preserve some funding of Emergency Medical Services. I also advocated to preserve the EMS contract which includes a funding distribution formula important for our communities.
I voted to preserve public safety by lessening cuts to the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Targeted Enforcement Unit has worked to keep negative activity out of Grant Park, Sheridan Park, and our other wonderful parks in the South Shore. We have made great progress, so this program must continue. I did not support the board’s wellness initiative because it would have added to the tax levy; I do think we need to look at a wellness program, but I’d like to see a strong review by our entire benefits team and then design an appropriate program, not just design one from the board’s review.
Thanks again to Supervisor Jursik for her responiveness on this and every issue, and for her continued diligence in watching county spending — while also trying to fund core county services.
Of course, this is only the county portion of your tax bill. Don’t forget that the city budget public hearing is set for Monday, Nov. 28, with the City Council expected to vote on the budget the next night. And I’ll be posting something on the school budget and levy soon.