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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Abusive Relationship: When Counties Support Walker

by bert
I could have just quietly despaired.

After all, it's to be expected that in the very Republican Waukesha County the county board would easily pass a resolution supporting Gov. Walker's misnamed Budget Repair Bill. Instead, I wrote a letter to my supervisor. As the saying goes, it is better to light a candle than to curse the dimwits.

Here it is:

Dear Kathleen Cummings:

Although I am a long-time resident of Waukesha County, this is the first time your board actions have provoked me to write. I am appalled by the board’s overwhelming support for the so-called Budget Repair Bill on Tuesday. I am even more disappointed in the vote in support of Gov. Walker’s vision for this state that you cast, since you supposedly represent folks in the city of Waukesha.

Please allow me to explain something. Waukesha is not Chenequa nor Oconomowoc Lake. I could show you around my neighborhood where I have foreclosed homes around me and neighbors in factories or construction trades who have been laid off or had hours cut way back. The idea that tax savings from cutting the compensation of county workers will heal the economic ills of Waukesha is laughable.

Just because I am not wealthy does not mean I am ignorant. This bill is part of a push to drive down wages for everybody and cripple the last place where unions still have a toe-hold. You support the policies that hurt the people in this city for the benefit of those who employ our residents but who don’t live any where near here. Waukesha has always been the dumping ground for the most destitute in the area; you apparently like the policies that will create more of them and tend less to them.

Also, I commute on Highway 59 going west every day and happen to think we have good workers who tend to that road in the winter. I have dealt with the sheriff’s office a couple of times and came away happy with their level of competence. I use the county parks a lot. I know people in your county recycling operation and they are devoted to that service. I think this county would be better if these staff members had a say in how they do their job and for what compensation. The repair bill sneaks in a permanent change to a “my way or the highway” approach to personnel relations.

It is sad to finally realize that the people like you elected to manage the polices that govern these workers are hostile toward these people! Overall, my message is to urge you to put the quality of this area and its residents over your political beliefs and personal feelings toward workers.

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