(old found draft post) Fixing Milwaukee Notes – Notes from 9/7 Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sep 11, 2008 @ 16:08

My “Fixing Milwaukee” post are on hiatus. The problem is real big, I am a bit discouraged at the moment. I am not sure of the next steps.

Reference Definition: Institutions

Definitions Matter. For future reference, I will use the definition for “Institutions”

“Institutions are the humanly devised constraints that structure human interaction. They are made up of formal constraints (rules, laws, constitutions), informal constraints (norms of behavior, conventions, and self imposed codes of conduct), and their enforcement characteristics.” [Ref: Douglass C. North Nobel Lecture]

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1993/north-lecture.html ]


Fixing Milwaukee Notes – Problem/Solutions Dimensions

  • Institutions
  • Culture
  • Attitudes
  • leadership
  • incentives
  • focus
  • public relations
  • security
  • human capital
  • demographics
  • natural resources
  • business

wealth and capital
regulatory laws, zoning
governmentsal relations


“Nearly one-fifth of local streets – 193 miles – are now beyond their intended life spans, some by as many as 60 years.” (Fixing Milwaukee)

An interesting Milwaukee Journal report documented that Milwaukee CityGov can’t even manage the basic of street repair:

But decaying roads can be found throughout the city’s 1,025-mile network – from the inner city to more affluent neighborhoods.

The analysis also shows:

• More than half of city streets have gone four decades or more without repaving. About 97 miles of streets haven’t been repaved since the Great Depression.

• Nearly one-fifth of local streets – 193 miles – are now beyond their intended life spans, some by as many as 60 years.

• Ald. Robert Puente’s 9th District to the west of Brown Deer contains the bumpiest roads. Ald. Jim Bohl’s 5th District, where Timmerman Airport is located, ranks second-lowest.

City auditors have criticized the Public Works Department for failing to use its high-priced pavement-quality database as it was designed – to prioritize resurfacing projects and determine street maintenance

Instead, the department has relied on different road repaving and maintenance databases and lacks a clear strategy for planning road projects, auditors found.

The pavement-quality database shows that about one-fifth of all city streets are in poor condition and need reconstruction. It could take crews 36 years to replace just those streets, according to the city comptroller’s office.

The CityGov isn’t very competent (none are in fear of loosing their jobs though):

With its patchwork system of infrastructure databases, the city Public Works Department lacks a uniform system for planning road reconstruction projects, the city comptroller’s office found.

City records show the department has spent more than $500,000 since 1995 for its pavement management system, intended as a tool to forecast annual paving needs based on street conditions.

Public Works officials say they use the database for long-term planning and budgeting of paving projects.

But none of the engineering or construction sections in Public Works uses the pavement management database as its primary data source.

When the city comptroller audited the department in December, it faulted Public Works for not relying on the database to determine street maintenance and repaving work. The audit also found that the system of tracking road repair and maintenance in the past has been plagued with inefficiencies.

The department maintains multiple data sources, resulting in “redundant data and a lack of data integration,” according to the audit. In 2004, Public Works reported that it maintained 22 infrastructure databases and four manual files.

If they can’t handle streets (basic city gov responsibilities), it is silly to assume they can handle more complex activities.

More Wasted Taxpayers Money and a Culture of Corruption (Fixing Milwaukee)


When the County Board set up the Task Force on Work Reform for Men more than a year ago, it was pitched as a low-cost effort to find jobs for out-of-work African-Americans and Hispanics.

Who can argue with that?

But the biggest job the task force has created so far is a $248,000 consulting gig for a previously unemployed political type.

Under a no-bid contract, Gerard Randall is pulling down $12,000 a month from the county tax levy to offer advice to the task force headed by Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs.


But Randall was in no mood for talking last week.

Asked via cell phone if he could discuss his contract for a few minutes, he replied, “No, I can’t.”

No Quarter then visited Randall’s shop Friday afternoon in the offices of public relations firm Zigman Joseph Stephenson at the swanky Renaissance Building, 309 N. Water St. Randall was nowhere to be found.

Coggs, the chairwoman of the task force, did not return calls.

In mid-2007, Randall was pushed out of his $154,000-per-year job running the Private Industry Council, a position he had held for nearly a decade. He was kept on for nearly six months at the largely government-funded agency to help his successor with the transition.

Somehow this guy has found a permanent place on the public dole.

If he is connected to the “Coggs” family that might explain it. They seem to pop up all over Milwaukee politics in elected office over an over again – without actually  providing positive results. Maybe I shouldn’t be to harsh on them, its not like any local politician  (City Common Council, Country  Board, School board, Congresswoman Moore) have anything to brag about given the sorry state of things.

How should Milwaukee be fixed? A starting point could be: cut the overt graff, and cut the pork.

“County Executive Scott Walker and other county officials hope to reap significant savings by issuing the pension debt at about 6% and investing the earnings at 8%” (Fixing Milwaukee)

What idiocy!

So who will get fucked on the most on this?

1) The taxpayers who stick around  and will have to pony up in increased taxes and reduced services to cover this action which is sure to fail?


2) The larger pool of creditors, retirees, and taxpayers when the county declares bankruptcy in 10 years?

Fixing Milwaukee Note: Buh Bye Milwaukee School Board Idiotarian Hardinh

She corrupt. She’s an Idiot. And now soon she’ll be gone.

The lack of nine valid signatures appeared Thursday to have brought an end to Charlene Hardin’s controversial, 12-year career on the Milwaukee School Board.

“This letter is to formally notify you that your nomination papers did not include 400 valid signatures required to have your name placed on the ballot,” Susan Edman, executive director of the city Election Commission, wrote to Hardin.

The election rule is simple: No 400 signatures, no chance (except possibly a write-in campaign) to win another four-year term this spring. [JSOnline Link]

Good thing too. The residents of Milwaukee would have most likely re-elected her.

Fixing Milwaukee: “A team of Journal Sentinel reporters spent a year examining the drinking culture in Wisconsin”

The series is called Wasted in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal did a good job.

Though he is now a convicted felon, get ready for former Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee Jr. scammer 2.0

So, McGee Jr. has been convicted and now sentenced:

After the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said in a statement: “The evidence at the trial showed that Michael McGee Jr. was one of the most corrupt elected officials in Milwaukee’s history. Although his sentence was below that recommended by the government, his case should serve as a deterrent for other elected officials who may prey on their constituents.”

I hope so. We’ll see. Milwaukee politician had a squeaky clean image when I was a kid, that is no longer true. Others think the incentive won’t be that much:

ViAnna Jordan, who unsuccessfully challenged McGee in a recall election in 2007 and in the general election this year, called the sentence light.

“Wow, every politician-crook in Milwaukee should be elated because that means they can do whatever they want, victimize the community, victimize the city, take from the lowest of people, just rip off the whole community and all you get is merely 6 ½ years,” she said.

Since he won’t be able to make it as a politician anymore, McGee jr. seems to already be planning the next version of his low-life career:

While behind bars, McGee said, he has reconnected with God and has enrolled in a minister-training program through the Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ, though he doesn’t plan to become a full-time minister. McGee also said he is creating a curriculum for a young people’s program at the request of Holy Redeemer’s Bishop Sedgwick Daniels.

Sigh. He’ll be back causing causing trouble and being a parasite on his community this time as a religious leader of some sort.

Just like his father.

This is part of “Fixing Milwaukee”.