Finance Committee Quietly Plans Meeting: Giving Raises Despite Pension Emergency
Board plans to spend taxpayer surplus as quickly as possible
MILWAUKEE—The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee will meet at 11:00 a.m. today. The agenda was published yesterday and even County Board members did not receive the normal notices warning them that a specially ordained meeting covering major public concerns was eminent.
“The public should be alarmed that another hush-and-rush government meeting has been arranged and announced so carefully that nearly no one knows it’s coming,” said Supervisor Deanna Alexander, an accountant and former member of the Finance Committee.
The committee will take up an otherwise uncirculated proposal to raid the County’s financial reserves, doling out raises to county employees and directing the parks department to come up with something to spend the money on.
“Milwaukee has a public safety crisis and an underfunded, understaffed Sheriff’s Office. We’ve just received notice that the pension system is painfully hiccupping again and we’re short by tens of millions of dollars. Our budget time is right around the corner. Why does the board have to hurry to spend this taxpayer surplus so carelessly?” asked Supervisor Alexander.
The County Board has historically denied or delayed the County’s ability to pay employees a fair salary based on experience, skill set, and job description, at times when the funding was planned.
Supervisor Alexander believes that the Board now seeks to be seen as benevolent despite coming to the table late, and with less meaningful pay increases.
Supervisor Alexander also criticizes the unpublicized plan for using one-time funds to increase the costs of current and recurring operational expenses rather than returning the money to the taxpayers, reducing the County’s debts, or dealing with the County’s renewed pension deficiencies.
“This big-money-giveaway will happen BEFORE the committee will even listen to the report announcing that the County’s pension system is short by millions and millions of dollars. Apparently it’s more important to spend the taxpayer’s surplus as quickly as they can,” Supervisor Alexander concluded.
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