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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Walker Gets It Wrong, Again

by capper

There is another article in this morning's paper highlighting some of Walker's wish list on how to destroy Milwaukee County. It already has been covered on this site as well as numerous others, the poor decisions Walker has made about transportation, the parks, whether citizens should actually be allowed to express their opinions and other sundry topics.

Now, I'm not going to get into the zoo issue, because what he wants is not great, but at least shows a modicum of responsibility. Likewise, I am not going into the child support enforcement, even though he wants to shut down a third of the unit, being a boon for deadbeat dads (or moms), and increasing taxpayers expenses when the cost of raising the child is put on them instead of the father (or mother). This move is stemming from Bush cutting federal funding for this program (I guess enforcing people to be at least financially responsible for their children is neither compassionate or conservative)

Among the topics in the article that I do want to mention, again, is the ongoing crisis regarding Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division (or Mental Health, if you prefer). MSJ has done a series of articles relating how many mentally ill people are living in squalor and sometimes dying from lack of care and support. Then they run an article about how assaults are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Walker responded, for once, decently, by wanting to increase funding to provide decent housing and adequate supervision for the mentally ill in the community. He also wanted to hire up to 25 new staff members to deal with the critical situation at the mental health complex. But today we find out he wants to eliminate 12 positions from there and cut $1.5 million from the contracted agencies that provide supervision and case management for the mentally ill in the community. One cannot help but see the schizophrenic thinking that must be taking place in the executive's office.

This means that the crisis at the mental health complex will continue. There is already a shortage of beds at the complex, and people in psychiatric crisis are being put on waiting lists to just get help. Meanwhile, they are in the community, trying to cope the best that they can, but now without any community support programming to help them make it. Many will resort to self-medication with street drugs and/or decompensate to the point that they are a danger to themselves and/or to others. For those of you on the right, this means that when crime rate continues to climb, don't blame Barrett or Doyle first, but look at who created the scenario for these people to be out in the community, untreated.

If this wasn't bad enough, we read this line:

"It's a matter of shifting budget resources to an area of greater crisis," Walker said.
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Gee, that would mean that if Walker would start facing the reality of the situation he placed the county in, there may not be any crisis. Instead, he is only worried about the greater crisis. I could just imagine if a firefighter said something like that, "We'll let those two houses burn, while we try to fight these three house fires." People would be screaming about getting more help in there, immediately.
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But for the humorous pick me up, Walker then goes crying to his ol' friend Chuckles and whines, "Why are they reporting on this now?" Betcha Chuckles didn't tell him "Life is not fair. Get used to it."

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