Time for Milwaukee area taxpayers to stand up and speak up, or get ready to pay up  - again - courtesy of MATC.
 
Technical College districts are arguably the least accountable of the bodies with the ability to raise your property taxes.  But even in this rogue world of unaccountable taxers, the Milwaukee Area Technical College is an outlier.   Perhaps no technical college board  is more fiercely or militantly union dominated than MATC – and it shows in the sclerotic and largely ineffective responses the school makes to the desperate skilled worker shortages in the  metro Milwaukee area.
 
But now and again the MATC even outdoes itself.  Next Tuesday, the MATC Board is set to vote on extending their workers’ collective bargaining agreement for another two years – conveniently and perhaps symbolically leaving collective bargaining in place at MATC until after the 2014 gubernatorial election.   The Board will attempt to sneak this item onto their agenda and then will no doubt put out press statements about the handful of token "concessions" they were able to wring out of Mike Rosen and his merry band of MATC union hacks.  
 
But their orgy of self-congratulation will neglect one very important point:  In a post-Act 10 world, there is no need to "negotiate" any of these concessions.   Using the tools afforded to them by Act 10, the MATC board could have unilaterally achieved any of the savings they will bragging about without having to agree to any compensatory give backs.   In essence, the MATC Board will announce that it negotiated with itself…and lost!!   
 
Perhaps if enough local taxpayers contact their MATC Board members in the next several days, the Board will change its mind and decide to take advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings afforded to them under Act 10.  
 
 Perhaps the Board will show a modicum of political savvy, and realize that poking a stick like this in the eye of the Governor and the Republican majorities in the state legislature just as the mad scramble over state budget cash begs for fiscal retribution from lawmakers more than happy to spend scarce state resources in their own home districts rather than pour those dollars into a MATC so seemingly intent on spending them foolishly.   Maybe common sense will prevail. 
 
But I wouldn’t hold my breath.   I’d hold onto my wallet.