While driving between appointments this morning, I heard Charlie Sykes start to talk about Scott Walker's proposed cuts to the parks, and trying desperately to make it sound like this is a good thing. During his show, he said that this was based on an email he received from Walker. I also noted that another Walker apologist, PaddyMac, was echoing the same points at Chuckie. Both of these squawkers were trying to argue that Walker's plan would save money and increase the number of work hours provided by Parks workers.
This may be technically true, but the two of them were both dismissive of the loss of experience and institutional memory. They both attempted to portray the workers as glorified grass mowers. They fail to recognize all the Parks workers are responsible for and that their jobs include year round tasks, from maintenance of the pavilions and such little things like the Mitchell domes, to horticulture and operating the greenhouses so that they don't have to pay exorbitant prices in the private market (think about the army's $400 screwdrivers), and all the other tasks big and small that are done.
To exemplify what Walker's previous cuts have already done, Gretchen Schuldt at Milwaukee Rising has some pictures of what the parks look like now. One shudders to see what they would like if Walker were to get his way.
Meanwhile, in the September 15, 2007 issue of the Stevens Point Journal, it was reported that their county executive, Mark Maslowski, has allocated "roughly $1 million...divided among several projects including the Parks Department, which will get $500,000 for the purchase of a snow-making machine for the ski hills at Standing Rocks Park and $150,000 to seal coat some park roads..."
The articles goes on to say that Mr. Maslowski put his priorities in "projects that increased public safety and security, generated revenue and repaired existing facilities". Even though not all projects were fully funded, they received sufficient funding to carry them through the next year, when they would be addressed again.
It would be nice to live in a county in which the county executive actually cared about his constituents, and did the right thing. Instead, we have Walker doing his best impression of Vlad the Impaler.
On a side note, I noticed that PaddyMac had no comments on his blog, and this morning, Charlie was all but begging for people to call in. The only fervent supporter of this position was some guy from Pewaukee, who went on a complete anti-government rant. The ones that called in to present an opposing position, as usual, were interrupted, insulted and hung up on. That was all I heard, because I had to get in for my next appointment. You see, unlike Chuckie, I have a job where I try to improve my community.
Note to Jay: Sorry, no aardvarks, but plenty of weasels!