Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Mayor needs to put our money (streetcar) where his words are

I see that our mayor has his hands out, asking Governor Walker to hand over some of the state surplus to fix Milwaukee’s crumbling roads.

By - Feb 14th, 2014 11:02 am

I see that our mayor has his hands out, asking Governor Walker to hand over some of the state surplus to fix Milwaukee’s crumbling roads.

In my view, this as just another reactionary move from our mayor – something we’ve sadly seen so many times before.

I agree, certainly, that our city streets are in dire need of repair and maintenance. But Mr. Mayor, instead of looking for what can be called a handout, why not make a strategic move that could signal to the Governor that you are serious about a possible partnership that could bring significant resources to the city – something that puts city “skin” in the game?

If the mayor was thinking ahead, he would do what I have been calling on him to do for some time: Reallocate the funding for the streetcar project.

The reallocation of the streetcar funding could be accomplished if the mayor, the Governor and the county executive all sign off on it. The money could then be used to fix streets and provide funding for bus system upgrades (or for some other form of transportation) that can link inner city unemployed with jobs that are located outside the city limits.

Moving to reallocate the streetcar funding will demonstrate clearly to the Governor that Milwaukee is open to partnerships with the state to help improve the quality of life in the city.

The mayor must make the first moves to seek reallocation of the streetcar funding NOW; then and only then should the state throw surplus money at the city for street repair work.

With an overwhelming majority of Milwaukeeans already opposed to the streetcar boondoggle and demanding jobs and better roads, I see this (reallocation and partnership with state) as a win-win opportunity for the city.

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