Public Safety Referendum Passes 2-to-1

Voters spoke loudly and clearly tonight that they want to invest in our critical public safety services — and in the people who deliver them.

Indeed, today’s results are a victory for those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Thank you to them — and to all of our employees for their work in delivering our first-class services every day.

You can see the full public safety referendum results here. Some highlights …

  • It passed 2,112 votes to 1,084, 66 to 34 percent, with more than 2-to-1 support in the Third and Fourth Districts.
  • At more than 28 percent, turnout was high — higher than the spring mayoral election and well beyond expectations.
  • Strongest turnout was in the Third District, at more than 32 percent.

Thanks to everyone who voted today.

This result does not solve all of our budget problems — and does not address some of the issues, many of them out of our control, that got us here. But it helps.

We won’t have to keep doing what we’ve been doing when it comes to funding our paramedics — pulling money from our reserves to cover shortfalls. And we won’t have to keep doing what we’ve been doing when it comes to our police — operating with a too-lean department when we are being asked to do more and more.

Thank you.

18 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

18 responses to “Public Safety Referendum Passes 2-to-1

  1. Bob

    Who paid for the 8 1/2″ x 11″ mailing regarding the voting ???

  2. I’m glad this measure passed. My husband and I have both needed to call for paramedics in the past. If a proposal has a specific purpose, is clearly explained, and helps the quality of life in South Milwaukee, it’s worth voting for.

  3. RocketMom

    I’m so relieved that this passed. With new families moving into our community, and our elderly neighbors needing assistance when they fall in their homes, this measure ensures that swift medical response will always be there. Thank you.

  4. Kim

    So does this mean those who rent can possibly expect their rent rates to go up to cover the cost of the increase in taxes?

  5. Robert Moy

    With the yes vote, yet another reason to move out of this miserable community.

  6. Hilary

    South Milwaukee residents fell into the trap. Scaring them into believing that public services would be cut. It was their way of getting more money from the residents. There were other areas that could be cut. It is a tactic many cities use for referendums that increase taxes. And it worked here! I received five flyers last weekend. Not counting the two that came earlier in October. What did that cost?

    • Melanie

      Agreed, you could always file an open records request.

    • Kim

      Those flyers did not come from the city, so tax payer money was not used.

    • Kim

      Thanks Erik for the correction, the ones I received in the mail,I could track down based on the address on the flyer. I must not have received the ones from the city.

    • Rocandroo

      I agree, this was a complete manipulation of the people of SM using scare tactics to increase taxes under the guise of supporting our public safety services. They could have balanced the budget, they could have allocated funds to this first…but they didn’t. Now our public officials and the unions see how well this referendum worked, so I am sure this situation will happen again. It is much easier for them to just increase taxes versus effectively and efficiently using our hard earned tax payer dollars. The question now is, “Is South Milwaukee worth these high property taxes when other communities are booming?”

  7. Melanie

    Dear Mayor, the city? You mean the taxpayers. Is that legal?

    • Yes, the taxpayers, and it is totally legal — and necessary to make sure voters are making an educated decision. We approved funding for the education effort at council meetings earlier this year.

      • Rocandroo

        An educated decision? The flyers were biased and leading, basically give us more money or we will cut services. Why did $225,000 of taxpayer money go to a chiropractic and dental business and not put towards the fire/police and paramedics first? We need public safety services more than dentists and back cracking. Why has NO ONE answered why the police/fire and paramedics weren’t funded first as a priority? Then allocate funds to secondary projects.

  8. Frank Gratke

    I believe the correct vote was “NO”. The issue being, the effect of a small increase in taxes, can have many effects. It means a small increase in spending. The landlords may or may not increase rents but they could. That could make it harder with people with less means. The city bond/credit rating is something that South Milwaukee needs to do a better job then the City of Milwaukee did, by having their bond/credit rating lowered. Milwaukee is now talking about losing 30 police officer positions and 70 firefighter positions.

    I ask both the city administrator and the school district financial person about the loss of Caterpillar and its effect on the credit/bond rating. They both pointed to losing the people in those buildings is not good. Researching the bond/credit rating criteria of a city, I found the criteria to be very fugue. Almost paralleling American Disability Act laws, which are written to always allow interpretation.

    Any cities budget process is difficult, County, State and Federal aids decrease and health insurance goes up. Services have to be cut because a small tax increase really can not cover the same services. The mayor and council members jobs are not easy, they did decide to go thru with this referendum. The council has severed a long time and has a history of being financially prudent.

    They may have gotten the referendum passed, which I belief both the Mayor and Common Council did stop a major cut in services this year.Next year will bring up more issues. Keeping the City Bond/Credit rating where it is requires constant monitoring of it. It also might to time to look at any services that can be cut with the lease effect.

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