Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
In April, I blogged that Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke posed a great question.
In the event of a fire in
Sounds like government waste in need of government consolidation to me.
Good news: Concerned officials are discussing the issue.
"Government is probably at a place where business was 30 years ago,"
The concept is brimming with common sense. Attaining consensus and execution is a whole different ballgame, although there seems to be growing support among those who pay the bills, as borne out by the latest People Speak Poll taken by the Business Journal, the Center for Urban Initiatives and research at UW-Milwaukee, and the Public Policy Forum. The poll of 391 residents of
· 89% of the survey respondents are satisfied with the quality of municipal services provided, 85% with the type of services provided.
· 67% are satisfied with the cost of services.
· 65% regard their municipal government as being a good or excellent value. That compares to 52% for county government and 46% for state government.
· The most important municipal services are police/fire/paramedics (34%), public works/roads, snow plowing (16%), other (15%), garbage/recycling/yard waste (13%), education/schools (11%).
· For those respondents who believe public safety services are the most important municipal services, about half believe those services are best provided by an individual municipality, as opposed to being shared among several municipalities or provided by the county.
· About half agree that if their municipality provided police, fire, or emergency medical services jointly with other municipal governments, it is at least somewhat likely the taxpayers would save money.
· About half of the respondents feel the service they deem most important is best provided by their municipal government, regardless of the type of service. Roughly a quarter of respondents feel the service would best be provided at the county level. Less than a fifth believe the service is best provided jointly by two or more municipalities.
· Residents in the southern suburbs of Milwaukee County (Cudahy, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and West Allis) are more likely to perceive value from their city or village government than are residents of the rest of the county.
What about shared services?
· Of existing shared services, the Federated Library System generated the most favorable impressions (76% have “good” impression) while MMSD generated the most unfavorable impressions (36% have “bad” impression).
· About half of respondents say shared services are likely to save taxpayers money in all cases.
· Nearly two-thirds of respondents feel sharing public health services could likely provide a cost savings.
· There are some services that a majority of respondents feel might be appropriate candidates for service sharing and could likely result in tax savings, such as public health, parks and recreation, and internal, back office services.
Back to Mayor Taylor. He thinks suburban residents in southern Milwaukee County would be open to shared fire services, but not shared police services. Taylor also thinks suburbs that don’t consolidate police services could pursue joint purchasing and joint training.
Regional cooperation and consolidation sounds laudable and cordial. Once you take the idea off the locker room blackboard, it may not always be favorable. In
Recently, Mayor Taylor voiced his frustrations at a
Would Weishan have done so if
Policy and personal differences can impede the best intended goals of cooperation and consolidation, tying up the mission and preventing cost savings. However, there’s now a new dynamic at hand. The key players are talking.
NOTE: The above-mentioned Business Journal article is only available online to subscribers.
UPDATE: From FranklinNOW