How many of you would invest $550 to make a guaranteed $43 million? Sounds like a no brainer; yet some are questioningt he purity of my decision.

The strange concern arose over $550 in "pork" that was assumed to be at the request of Sen. Lena Taylor.  Last year I requested that the state reference bureau provide a summary of all obsolete state statues relating to the County.  One statute cited was a required sign in the statutes for the Black Holocaust Museum which no longer exists.  When Sen. Taylor reviewed the bill, she requested the existing statute be changed to highlight the Wisconsin Black Historical Museum which I believed was a reasonable request. 

There are some who believe $43 million in taxpayer savings, and the opportunity to make reforms sought for more than a decade, should be thrown out over a potential $550 price tag. I disagree.

In the political world, decisions are often analyzed based on "did we get everything we wanted"?  While this desire to win and to be the best at what we do is what makes America great, using it as the sole standard for measuring success can lead to minor setbacks that could overshadow great accomplishments. This is how a single sip of bottled water can drown out the message of an entire speech.

In the business world, decisions are often analyzed based on the “return on investment” (ROI). Does the outcome justify the risk of making an investment?  In business, using facts and figures -- not emotionalism or personal philosophy -- is more likely to generate better policy and results.  This is how our Governor and previous State Legislature turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a $400 million surplus in two years without raising taxes.

 

Having spent nearly 5 years in the belly of the beast, I have no doubt whatsoever that this bill yields a fantastic return on investment for Milwaukee County taxpayers.

 

 

CURRENT SYSTEM

POST REFORM

     

16 Supervisors Salary (Current Salary $50,679, New Salary $24,051)

$810,864

$384,816

1 Chair Salary (Current Salary $71,412, New Salary $36,000)

71,412

36,077

1 Finance Chair Salary (Current Salary $50,679, New Salary $24,051)

50,679

30,064

18 Supervisors Benefits (Current Benefits $23,509, New Benefits are minimal.  Board only allowed to participate in state employee retirement system, like every other WI county, to the extent of their new salary)

423,162

Est. 100,000

Supervisor Pay & Benefits

1,356,117

550,957

Board Budget Less Salaries (Reforms Limit Budget to .4% of Tax Levy)

5,143,883

566,243

Total Board Budget

6,500,000

1,117,200

Board Legacy Cost Excluded from .4%

 

1,000,000

Post Reform Board Budget

 

2,117,200

Difference between current system and post reform budget

 

4,382,800

Saving to Taxpayer in the First 10 Years

 

43,828,000

     

LESS: One time cost of new sign   

 

550

Net Estimated Savings to Taxpayer

 

$43,827,450

NOTE:  The above estimates do not include the millions that will also be saved when the reforms lead to additional good governance operational efficiencies.