Bruce Murphy
Back In The News

Media Thrilled, Donovan Will Run for Mayor!

Colorful, combative foe of Mayor Barrett will oppose him in 2016, which means far more fun for reporters covering the race.

By - Jul 29th, 2014 12:42 pm
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It’s official: bombastic, ever-quotable Milwaukee alderman Bob Donovan has announced his intention to run for mayor in 2016. Naturally, he alerted us on the morning show of WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes, who’s rarely met a critic of the city he didn’t like.

Citizens of Milwaukee may disagree as to whether Donovan’s candidacy is a good thing, but it’s a safe bet the media is delighted. Compared to a race between chronically careful incumbent Mayor Tom Barrett and low-profile Ald. Joe Davis, which would have been like watching paint dry, a race with Donovan promises all sorts of excitement.

Who can forget the “Battle of the Bobs,” when Donovan and Downtown Ald. Bob Bauman traded barbs at a press conference, with Bauman accusing Donovan of hating Milwaukee, “showboating” and making “wild assertions,” while Donovan kept repeating “shame on you” to Bauman.

Several days later, Donovan offered a bizarre recap of the event where he claimed he made Bauman “soil his pants.” No, we are not making this up.

Alderman Robert Donovan

Alderman Robert Donovan

Detractors will point to the fact that Donovan was indicted in 2005 on a federal charge of defrauding the government through his involvement with the non-profit Milwaukee Alliance he created. In November, 2005, Donovan agreed to a non-criminal resolution to the indictment whereby he paid a $2,500 fine and agreed not be involved with any non-profit receiving federal funds for the next two years. Not long after the two years was up, the undaunted Donovan was back, with a new non-profit called “Operation Impact,” whose finances were anything but transparent.

And back in 1992, Donovan was cited for disorderly conduct for an incident at UW-Milwaukee, where the arresting officer said Donovan was peeking through a partition hole in the men’s restroom to view other men.

Supporters point to the fact that Donovan has served as alderman since 2000, has been reelected three times, is known for giving good service to constituents and has made a name for himself as a champion of the police and a zealous advocate of anti-crime measures. Despite this, Donovan has not endeared himself to Police Chief Ed Flynn, who has accused the alderman of “reckless and irresponsible” comments, and called Donovan a demagogue.

Donovan is also known as the city’s most outspoken opponent of the streetcar, and has attracted followers on this issue, though many are from outside the city. Donovan has long argued that 70 percent of Milwaukee residents oppose the project, “but after questioning admitted it wasn’t based on empirical evidence,” as Jeramey Jannene has reported.

Donovan lives in a 1909 South Side bungalow in Burnham Park neighborhood. “Like its owner, the home is modest and unassuming,” Michael Horne has written. “But you get a sense that, like its owner, the gas furnace inside may have a tendency to get overheated at times.”

Yes, there is no shortage of articles on Donovan, which you’ll find listed here.  No doubt the alderman’s internal burner is already heating up, and ready to emit lots of anti-Barrett broadsides.

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38 thoughts on “Back In The News: Media Thrilled, Donovan Will Run for Mayor!”

  1. Beer Baron says:

    One can only hope the man Bob peeped on comes forward to tell the tale. That would be the only way this circus gets even weirder.

  2. PMD says:

    Here’s hoping Clarke enters as well, so the level of discourse can be elevated to unprecedented levels. Donovan and Clarke can expound upon making grown men “poop in their pants” and filling them with “penis envy.”

  3. Michael Nowotny says:

    Oh Boy. One can only hope that Cowboy David Clarke gets in the fray. Donovan and Clarke against Mayor Barrett should be a laugh a minute.

  4. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    What is worse, bombastic, aggressive or incompetent? The last ten years have seen Barrett rejected by state three times, milwaukee going to hell, he cannot event get his dumb choo choo built. Has there eve been anyone else more incompetent

  5. Observer says:

    Bob, you have no dog in this hunt so why comment?

  6. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    What happens in Milwaukee spreads to the suburbs. 9 months ago my wife and I came home just missing a 14 year old kid that tried to get in house, stole my wife’s bike and some filet knives, then got in fight with two cops up street. He was 6 ft 240 lbs. He could have killed us. He was from Milwaukee.
    All of the burglars at my pharmacies were long time felons from Milwaukee. I go into Milwaukee daily, armed with trusty 38, did not do that 30 years ago. We all need Milwaukee to get new leaders and toss out the people from the Left that have led Milwaukee to top ten most violent, top ten worst managed, top ten worst poverty, worst schools, worst youth unemployment. There are answers, Bruce Murphy and Milwaukee’s Left do not have them. Someone does.

  7. Observer says:

    So we are connected. Do think Mayor Bob or Mayor Tom should fight for a RTA?

  8. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Another governmental body dominated by Milwaukee like MMSD will not work. All the burbs are opposed. WE need the counties/municipalities to get together and work in their whole best interest not something put together, Milwaukee in control and nothing works. If the need is there it will happen.

  9. Paul Miller says:

    First off, WCD, when you (and the other critics) call the streetcar a “choo choo,” you show that you’re not really committed to serious discourse and just want to bloviate or throw fippant digs. If you want to criticize the project on its merits, then make a rational argument against it without trying to infantilize it. Progressives and moderates are not going to take your concerns seriously otherwise. It would also be wise to research the positive effects that streetcars have had in other cities on both transit ridership and on economic development. And you hint at the difficulty in getting the project off the ground but neglect the fact that obstructionism from the state and back-door attempts to kill the project are the source of the stalling. Otherwise, by now the city could have been laying down tracks they way they already have in Kansas City (which is a nice comparison since it is culturally more like Milwaukee than Portland or DC or Seattle).

    As for the critiques of Barrett, keep this is mind: the city has improved in measurable ways on his watch. I personally find his style to be a bit milquetoast, but being mayor is generally a thankless job and everyone’s a critic. I’m not saying he is directly responsible for either the successes or the failures we see, but I do think he has played a positive role overall and has helped add value to the city and steer it in the right direction considering tight resources, a downright hostile environment at the state level, limited-to-nonexistent regional cooperation, and an emergent knee-jerk anti-government tone currently pervading American society.

    What about the fact that Milwaukee’s popuation has increased since 2010 (for the first time in decades!) according to census estimates? And what about all the new development along the lakefront and in changing neighborhoods like Walker’s Point and Riverwest/Beerline? And the successes in the Valley? The stuff popping up in the Pabst complex? The water technology park and UWM Freshwater School? The new NML tower and the fact that NML chose to stay in the city in a new signature facility rather than relocate to some drab office park in the burbs where it would be harder to attract a higher tier of young professionals that the city often loses to places like Seattle and Austin and Chicago? Yes, look critically at the crime blotter and at MPS, but also look around at the parts of Milwaukee that *are* thriving and *are* growing, and ask yourself why that is? People like Mayor Barrett have helped to set that stage. I don’t think he’s the greatest mayor ever, but he’s a pretty good one considering what he has to work with.

    Now as for the crime issue, let’s not act like suddenly crime in Milwaukee is out of control compared to the past. Over the long haul, crime has decreased in MKE as in most cities. The decrease has not been as steep as elsewhere, but in nearly all categories of violent and property crime, there has been a decrease or stabilization since 2000 (assaults are a notable and worrisome exception) and also since the 80s and 90s. There is the *perception* that crime is suddenly worse because we hear about it constantly in our more technologically connected world. We’re bombarded with information nearly instantly and from multiple sources and I think we occasionaly lose perspective. The city, the police, and members of the community do have a LOT more work to do, but the solutions are obviously layered and go beyond just adding more police and using better data. We all have discussed many times how it also involves more economic development and better education, which are their own complicated issues, along with reintegrating those with records into civil society.

    One of the frustrations I have with conservatives, especially the subset who typically comment on news sites, is that they often oversimplify issues, frequently ignore progressive successes while blowing any failures out of proportion, and make comments like yours, WCD, railing generically against “the Left” (which I’d remind you is actually not all that leftist here in America), saying the city is “going to hell,” and frankly bringing little to the table in terms of nuanced, responsible debate.

    *sigh*

  10. East Slider says:

    I’m not sold on Donovan at all yet, but I do have to agree that Barrett is in a much weaker spot than ever before and his only real challenge was from then acting Mayor Pratt in 2004. Donovan may sell well in parts of the south side, but that is by no means the entire city. I think Mayor Barrett is an honest man who is really trying to do the best for the city (well within of course, the rigid boundaries of liberalism) but I’ve been increasingly concerned that he’s just very out of touch with some of the realities of today, which was solidified for me when he recently had the big press conference to announce his “gun hotline” a totally USELESS move, which I can only hope at best isn’t wasting too much money. Without revisiting that whole argument, I’m still wondering what constitutional basis someone making a call to that “hotline” would then give the MPD to get an illegal gun off of the streets? If I call in an illegal gun, and somehow have the legal name, home address, as well as the current whereabouts of someone carrying this illegal gun, does that then give the MPD carte blanche to go shake that guy down? Do they need to get a warrant first? If so, will ANY judge issue that warrant based on one anonymous call to the “gun hotline”? Beyond that, having the legal name of any of the criminals making life hell in the inner city is a joke, everyone goes by their street name, very few know someone’s legal name and street name and home addresses aren’t exactly given out by those most likely to start shooting on their business cards either! In short, the hotline is a complete joke, so either Barrett knew that and was just shamelessly pandering to the public (press conference was right after yet another shocking shooting) or is clueless!

    Donovan certainly sounds sounds a lot more street smart and maybe then Chief Flynn could start doing things like he knows would be effective, instead of how he now so carefully dances around the obvious truths his boss wants ignored. I also heard second hand that Donovan says he’d change things around in how the city gov’t and its inspectors and bureaucrats make it at times nearly impossible to build things or do business in the city, but I haven’t heard that from Donovan himself yet. That would also be a HUGE step forward to getting things moving!

    I think Ald Joe Davis is interesting as well, he has said more than a few things over the past years that made sense to me and sounds like he’s not afraid to break from the mold set by nearly every other black elected official lately. I saw the local news profile maybe a year ago about Davis’ friendship and trying to work with US Sen Ron Johnson, who he happened to be on the same flight with at one point, so Ald Davis went and introduced himself to Sen Johnson and asked if he’d talk to him about the plight of inner city MKE. Johnson listened and apparently they’ve become friends and Davis has taken Johnson around the inner city more than a few times to clue the wealthy US Sen from Oshkosh in on life in inner city MKE. I can’t think of another inner city leader in many years who would’ve taken that chance instead of just taking yet another cheap shot at Johnson, scoring a few short term political points but accomplishing nothing in the long term!

  11. Wilbur Wood says:

    Does Milwaukee want a brain or a pulse? It can’t have them both!

  12. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    East sider, nice entry, not the usual lefty talking points, whining etc. The only people that have shown interest in solving Milwaukee’s problems the last 40 years have been Conservatives. We do not hate Milwaukee. Many of us have lived there, owned property and are adjacent. We want Milwaukee to work.
    Tommy tried to fix schools and did not happen cause the left fought him. Doyle wanted Barrett to take them over but Barrett refused. MPS needs to be split up. Put the neighborhoods in charge and if the schools are failing they have to fix them. As it is now no one fixes them. Good people like Thornton are stymied.
    Barrett has no solutions, cannot solve problems, he is just there.

  13. PMD says:

    “The only people that have shown interest in solving Milwaukee’s problems the last 40 years have been Conservatives.”

    The stupidity and obtuseness of a blanket statement like that is astronomical. It is completely removed from reality. Paul Miller, great post, but it means nothing to people like WCD. You can’t have a rational discussion with someone who makes comments like the above.

  14. PMD says:

    East Slider, does Donovan have a long list of accomplishments outside of repeatedly bashing Barrett while saying that Milwaukee needs to hire more policeman? I really don’t know because the only time I ever read about him is when he’s issued another press release saying the same exact things he always says (or claims that he’s made a grown man “poop his pants”). At a certain point, it becomes hard to take someone like that seriously, and if they actually have admirable achievements to point to, they get lost in the puerile comments and constant press releases.

  15. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    If the Left has shown the interest in solving the problems than they are incredibly inept or just stupid as the problems get continually worse. I
    In the last ten years Milwaukee has gone down hill to the top ten in poverty, top ten worst run, top ten most violent, 4th worst murders in their city class size, 57% unemployment for youth, MPS worst in country, most segregated. If that is the their accomplishments I shudder at what they could do worse.
    Oh, I forgot that they chased most of the entrepreneurs out of Milwaukee, along with their jobs and capital to Waukesha cty. whose GNP will be the same as Milwaukee in a few years.

  16. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Milwaukee area desperately needs a vigorous debate over the rapid decline of the inner city of Milwaukee. As long as it’s only Black and Hispanic kids getting killed it does not seem to bother the Left, who are in charge. It bothers the rest of us that want to see the inner city, the Blacks and Hispanics thrive, grow, go to college, become taxpayers and make Milwaukee top ten best city instead of top ten worst.

  17. Nicholas says:

    Since WCD did not answer point by point,

    Ill repose Paul Millers questions.

    First off, WCD, when you (and the other critics) call the streetcar a “choo choo,” you show that you’re not really committed to serious discourse and just want to bloviate or throw fippant digs. If you want to criticize the project on its merits, then make a rational argument against it without trying to infantilize it. Progressives and moderates are not going to take your concerns seriously otherwise. It would also be wise to research the positive effects that streetcars have had in other cities on both transit ridership and on economic development. And you hint at the difficulty in getting the project off the ground but neglect the fact that obstructionism from the state and back-door attempts to kill the project are the source of the stalling. Otherwise, by now the city could have been laying down tracks they way they already have in Kansas City (which is a nice comparison since it is culturally more like Milwaukee than Portland or DC or Seattle).

    As for the critiques of Barrett, keep this is mind: the city has improved in measurable ways on his watch. I personally find his style to be a bit milquetoast, but being mayor is generally a thankless job and everyone’s a critic. I’m not saying he is directly responsible for either the successes or the failures we see, but I do think he has played a positive role overall and has helped add value to the city and steer it in the right direction considering tight resources, a downright hostile environment at the state level, limited-to-nonexistent regional cooperation, and an emergent knee-jerk anti-government tone currently pervading American society.

    What about the fact that Milwaukee’s popuation has increased since 2010 (for the first time in decades!) according to census estimates? And what about all the new development along the lakefront and in changing neighborhoods like Walker’s Point and Riverwest/Beerline? And the successes in the Valley? The stuff popping up in the Pabst complex? The water technology park and UWM Freshwater School? The new NML tower and the fact that NML chose to stay in the city in a new signature facility rather than relocate to some drab office park in the burbs where it would be harder to attract a higher tier of young professionals that the city often loses to places like Seattle and Austin and Chicago? Yes, look critically at the crime blotter and at MPS, but also look around at the parts of Milwaukee that *are* thriving and *are* growing, and ask yourself why that is? People like Mayor Barrett have helped to set that stage. I don’t think he’s the greatest mayor ever, but he’s a pretty good one considering what he has to work with.

    Now as for the crime issue, let’s not act like suddenly crime in Milwaukee is out of control compared to the past. Over the long haul, crime has decreased in MKE as in most cities. The decrease has not been as steep as elsewhere, but in nearly all categories of violent and property crime, there has been a decrease or stabilization since 2000 (assaults are a notable and worrisome exception) and also since the 80s and 90s. There is the *perception* that crime is suddenly worse because we hear about it constantly in our more technologically connected world. We’re bombarded with information nearly instantly and from multiple sources and I think we occasionaly lose perspective. The city, the police, and members of the community do have a LOT more work to do, but the solutions are obviously layered and go beyond just adding more police and using better data. We all have discussed many times how it also involves more economic development and better education, which are their own complicated issues, along with reintegrating those with records into civil society.

    One of the frustrations I have with conservatives, especially the subset who typically comment on news sites, is that they often oversimplify issues, frequently ignore progressive successes while blowing any failures out of proportion, and make comments like yours, WCD, railing generically against “the Left” (which I’d remind you is actually not all that leftist here in America), saying the city is “going to hell,” and frankly bringing little to the table in terms of nuanced, responsible debate.

  18. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Nicholas, do not have time to answer all of your bloviating. Sreet cars are 19 century. We need an improved metro bus system period. Those of us around Milwaukee metro area, for decades have been deeply involved in many ways. In 1974, I was in charge of Milwaukee cty for Bill Dyke. We wanted to break up the MPS system. It should have been done, has gone down hill since the. Crime in Milwaukee inner city has exploded the last ten years. Crime out side of inner city is non existent except when it comes out from Milwaukee.
    Gun ownership per capita, is much higher out state than in Milwaukee, so it is not the guns that Barrett/Flynn want to blame.. Poverty has increase, employment has gone down, People with capital have moved to Waukehsa, people on welfare have moved to Milwaukee. Most Milwaukee operation rn by the hacks like Frank Gimbel have been poorly tun. MMSD, MATC and everything else controlled by Milwaukee is poorly run. If things are so great, why did Barrett want to get a new job three times, the last ten years, and get rejected, then he wanted a judgeship. As one of this state’s most prominent leaders told me years ago. Tom, nice guy, has no gumption, no leadership capability, cannot make a decision, never gets anything done. That is your problem

  19. David says:

    That’s right Nicholas, WCD has no time to answer “all your bloviating” even though he’s posted seven times on this article alone. The above back and forth is representative of the debate at large. Suburbs smart and city stupid. I hear the same thing from friends and family that live in the suburbs. They are absolutely giddy at real or percieved failures of the city and in no hurry to help in any way.

    Schools – I agree, as do most people, that neighborhood schools are the way to go. Forced bussing did not cause white flight. White flight started a decade or two prior to the ruling by the Federal Court. However, it certainly exacerbated the problem. White flight was further encouraged by government hand-outs like subsidized roads, utility infrastructure, subsidized mortgages, suburban tax give-aways to Milwaukee companies, etc. All the while, keeping people of color out of the suburban communities through systemic racisim like red-lining. Mayor Barrett tried to take MPS over but was denied. I don’t believe the Mayoy of Milwaukee can do much about MPS.

    Transit – WCD says a metro bus system is the way to go, but the Republicans in the Legislature killed the regional transit authority, (BTW only for SE Wisconsin) the only real way to accomplish this. So forgive us WCD if most of us believe that Republicans in this state are merley obstructionists. You say one thing but do another. This is just one example of the continued efforts by Republicans to isolate Milwaukee (code for black people).

    Crime – Crime in Milwaukee is relatively stable and mostly contained within certain neighborhoods. Milwaukee is left alone to deal with incredibly complicated socioeconomic issues like race, poverty, unemployment, drugs, etc. You say conservatives are the only ones that care about poor blacks and Hispanics. How so? You barricade yourselves in your communities by not allowing regional transit or affordable housing (and I don’t mean subsidized),

    Republicans say hire 300-500 more cops and lower taxes. BTW, we’re excluding police and fire from Act 10, by far your biggest budget items. All because you don’t want to lose those votes. Sorry Milwaukee. BTW, we’re lifting your local residency requirment and reducing shared revenue even though we will continue to tax the same amount. Again, you don’t want to lose those votes. Then we’re presented with the false choices like the stupid Republican talking point about “choo choo trains”. If you don’t build an improved transit system you could eliminate crime or a new arena vs. crime.

    I believe the problem is structural. Milwaukee attempted to annex area around the city because they knew that at some point they would become landlocked. As people fled for the burbs, Milwaukee was left with a shrinking tax base, poor minorities and a disasterous Federal mandate to integrate schools through forced bussing. We need regional governance and cooperation.

    I know WCD will call me a whiner and a lefty, but facts are facts. He’ll respond with the usual. To move forward, we need the region. We cant have this continued isolation.

  20. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    David. Way to go all that type, no solutions.
    Schools. Only things that keep an yone from inner city into the suburbs is education and jobs. MPS is disaster, Doyle wanted Barrett to take over and Barrett would not touch it. Tommy wanted to take over schools and left stopped him. He could lead here but n 30 years never has done thing. Without schools you do not have good community. Bust them up, give them to neighborhoods as I pushed for in 1974. I worked with Sensenbrenner to form Chap. 220. My kids went to integrated schools all life, served in integrated services all three of them.
    I can rfute everything David said but I am looking for answers. Follow David types and you get whining, excuses, blame someone else, Bush, Walker. If you listen to them nothing will ever happen cause all they can do, the Left is make excuses. Barrett failed at Gov. three times cause he never put forth any answers.
    Milwaukee cty does need RTA to fix bus system, that would only slow it down. Milwaukee needs its own system and then work with Waukesha. Much simpler than having another govt body that takes years to make a new policy. do something, not just form more govt. bodies, that is just excuses again.. Dump trolley, put money into buses. Simple. Do it. Bruce??? Are there any Leftists out there that have answer to problems???

  21. Matt says:

    Just because its a non partisan race doesn’t mean candidates should get to hide their political beliefs. It also doesn’t mean the lazy ass local media should just disregard asking him about those beliefs. Bob Donovan has run as a Republican in the past, and speaks pretty much like a Republican now. Barrett won’t mention it unless Donovan is lucky enough to get through the non partisan primary (and if Alderman Davis runs he probably won’t). But if someone “journalist” were to get on it now, perhaps Sideshow Bob would recognize he’s hit the top of his role in city government already. Of course, since the media is “thrilled” (like we give a flying F about the empty headed delights of local reporters) they likely will ignore this. Alas, its been reported before. Bye Bob.

    http://www.milwaukeemag.com/article/1142013-AldermanBobDonovan

  22. David says:

    WCD:
    Schools: I agree with the neighborhood schools idea. Most people do. I’m not disagreeing with you. Hopefully the new influx of young people to Milwaukee will demand the change.

    Transit: I used to be heavily involved in transit. You can’t take the money from the street car and put it into buses. It’s not possible. Bus service was cut by 30% over the last ten years due to State County reductions in transit aid. The County does agreat job with very few resources, but they can’t keep raising fares. We have the highest fares in the country for an all bus system. And the County does work with the surrounding areas. Trust me when I say, people outside Milw County do not want MCTS busses in their neighborhoods. Furthermore, the money is not there to expand the system. This is the lay of the land, not excuses. There is no dedicated funding for transit and a regional system is the best way to address that issue.

    Let me ask you WCD, what do you believe is working in the City? Tell us what you see as working and what positive trends you see. I agree with paul Miller and others that highlight a number of very positive developments in the city that could ultimately have a positive impact on jobs, education, crime, etc. Let’s stop with the liberal, whiney name calling and build off the positives. Please write one positive paragraph.

  23. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    I have known almost all of the congressmen/senators/governors in state in the last 50 years. I have pushed to bust up schools for almost 40 years since I analyzed the district. Milwaukee unions block it as does the Left. Unions are for work conditioosn and money. that is it, ask Shanker. Left leaders do not care about kids, they want to geet elected, get money.
    Buses. every leader in DC and Madiosn has told me that if Barrett/Walker went to the Capitol and pushed Obama to put the money in buses isnteat of trolleys they could have gotten it years ago.
    I voluntarily worked in inner city pharmacies for the last 30 years, working with minorities every day. I saw the problems at ground level. Most commerce in city moves well. Streets, snow, garbage works well. Crime is rampant and as frequent victim and talking to numerous victims I can attest to that. I can attest that most inner city people are easier to work with than the people in Fox point, Mequon area.
    This problem can be solved. Must have guts. NY dropped murders, aggravated assault from 2300 in 1990 to just over 300 today. Austin has 30% of Milwaukee’s problems despite numerous gun stores, heavily armed populace. They worked at it. They knew that a city is not viable with crime on the run.
    I challenge the Left here and now to come up with some solutions. Mostly all I hear is large whine, talking points, blame Walker, blame Crandon, blame their little sister.
    Let’s hear your solutions Bruce? All of these blogs deal with is problems, not solutions.

  24. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Matt, worthless comment

  25. Observer says:

    Bob, I wave my magic wand and abolish MPS. Now what’s your plan that you’ve worked on for 30 years? Specifics, please. Ok, North Division on 10th & Center is now a neighborhood school and…………?

  26. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Anyone that has dealt with the Vliet st Kremlin and the union, including Thornton will tell you that it is impossible to get anything done to improve education. Barrett has no guts to take on MPS, figures it is big loser. Give the high schools and feeder schools back to the neighborhoods, now we have eliminated the unions and administration. neighbors, parents are in charge, can see and act on problems right now, not in ten years, like MPS.
    In Tosa we had some nuts, mostly Republicans, in charge of schools. Wanted to sell parks to pay for operation expenses. We dumped them quickly. The teachers, parents, active people in Milwaukee know that the schools are their biggest problem after crime and their most important long term problem but are unable to do anything. Give the schools the per student money from state and split up property tax money per student.
    Now they have the responsibility, the parents for their kids and they can do something. it becomes their problem and they have access, which they do not have now. Will it solve the problems, No, but it will show the rest of the people in the state that they are serious about solving it and that is first big step.

  27. David says:

    Bob, I’ll start.
    * Legalize most drugs. The central city is a war zone. There is a lot of money to be made selling drugs to people all over the metro area and the City is the distribution hub. We need to take the money out of the drug trade. Money saved could go into treatment and rehabilitation. In addition, 13 to 17 year old juveniles with a pattern of escalating criminal behavior should be removed from their surroundings and not dumped into a system that makes the situation worse. Maybe a boot camp environment with education, work and spiritual guidance. Instead of prison for non violent crime associated with drugs, we provide treatment and keep the offender in the community.

    * Create zones around schools. If you live within the zone you must attend the neighborhood school. This could be done with or without an intact teachers union. It’s a start and could see if there is improvement. It would be easier than breaking up MPS and or the union. If there is no improvement, we’ll take further steps. this would also encourage families to move back to or stay in the City because they would have some control over their childs education.

    * Extend Act 10 to Fire and Police. This will give the City REAL budget saving tools. Since the State won’t allow Milwaukee to require residency, the City needs more control over it’s Fire and Police budgets. Not just teachers and State workers. Why were they left out?

    * Look for ways to consolidate services when possible. Maybe utilize local police departments to patrol parks.

    * Identify regional amenities and find ways to fund them regionally. Museum, zoo, Art Museum, Domes, parks, etc. Not just Milwaukee County.

    * Identify how a regional transit system could benefit the metro area. Identify how it could be funded and dedicate the funding. It would be difficult without an authority, but possible with regional cooperation.

    * Let’s have real tax reform. Property taxes are so high because that is the City’s only real way to raise revenue. It does not have a sales tax or an income tax. So fees and property taxes are it. The State giving back $50 in tax relief is a gimmick. Non-profits in Milwaukee, churches, universities, hospitals, etc. should pay for services they use. Lower property taxes and increase sales and fees.

    * Let’s have a real discussion about why Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Walworth Counties are 97% white. Maybe we should allow for changes in housing policies across the region. There are many developers that have proposed affordable housing in the burbs but get shot down. Glendale and Brown Deer are exceptions.

  28. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    David,
    Good answers:

    Legalize drugs? Has been tried over world, is trying now in CO. and Wa. See what happens in countries that had loose laws like Nam, China, Muslim countries now Nam has death penalty. Have been counselor, clinical pharmacist in rehab units for 40 years. No good answers. Certain number of people tend to get addicted to anything. Figure out how to control and hold to smallest numbers of people. Do some more research on the last 100 years throughout the world and watch what happens in Co.

    Schools: Unless you break up Vliet at. nothing will happen, Thornton found that out as most other Sups did.

    Act 10 Good to do.

    Consolidation good in some areas like fire, but not police or schools. would give control of police back to inner city groups. they must reconcile crime and the number of minoirites in jail.

    Leaders of Waukesha and Milwaukee need to get together to start. Another governmental body is useless. If it is needed and wanted they can do it.

    Tax reform, has been debated forever. Lucey paid $5,000 to study and found that 93% of people hated property taxes, 93% sales taxes and 91% income taxes. Take your pick, but higher taxes always leads to higher salaries, bennies for employees.

    it is obvious why the 97% of people that can escape Milwaukee has done so, the government. If you educate the kids and get them good jobs so that they become middle class they will go where they want. Now they have been stuck in central city. Norquist knew that if the city chased out people to other counties, revenue will go down.

    Start with basics and get them right instead of going in ten different directions as once. Start with schools and crime. Get that right and you will be surprised how the others will fall into place.

  29. Milwaukee, WY says:

    Good point, Nicholas, I was just going to say… Tom Barrett did not endear himself to the teachers when he was pushing for the MPS takeover. It was a big part of their lukewarm support of him during his two most recent gubernatorial bids.

  30. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Anyone that knows the inside story will tell you that. Hhe ran from the idea just as he failed to support Thornton and his reforms. He was my state senator, congressman and I have watched him for 30 years. He has never taken any leadership position on schools.he is not leader, has few if ever any new ideas, cannot form coalitions, fails to make things happen. Cannot make decisions. He cannot even get that silly trolley built.

  31. Observer says:

    “it is obvious why the 97% of people that can escape Milwaukee has done so, the government.”-WCD
    Bob, how do you explain the 3rd Ward which has many former suburbanites?

    You may want to look at this; Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States http://www.urbansplatter.com/top-50-dangerous-cities-united-states/

    Milwaukee didn’t make the list.

  32. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    There are many people that dimply do not care about the govt. have becom older, tired of long drives.

  33. PMD says:

    “Well dear, Milwaukee is a crime infested cesspool run by Leftists, but the long drive to the suburbs is so tiring, so we should move there anyway.” Is that how the conversation goes? Right. Cause it’s so hard to believe that they’d want to downsize and live near the lakefront, public market, theater district, great restaurants, Oriental & Downer, and so on.

  34. Nic says:

    “The only people that have shown interest in solving Milwaukee’s problems the last 40 years have been Conservatives. We do not hate Milwaukee. Many of us have lived there, owned property and are adjacent. We want Milwaukee to work.”

    ROTFLMAOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    I can say without any exaggeration that this is the single most delusional remark about Wisconsin politics that I’ve ever read on the internet… and believe me, that is saying a LOT! I don’t know what level of mental gymnastics you’ve done to where you actually believe this, but if it were an Olympic event you’d have won enough gold medals to put Michael Phelps to shame.

    On what planet is taking your money to the boondocks to get away from “those people,” yet being so adamant that “someone else” deal with our social problems “wanting it to work?” How does slandering a city’s reputation for four going on four decades based on nothing more than blatant prejudice and white hysteria considered “wanting it to work?”

    Cut the bullish*t…. you don’t want Milwaukee to work, you just want our money. You CLEARLY do not give a damn about the people who actually live and pay taxes here and our community. Not only do you not understand our concerns, you don’t feel that you should have to. In fact, you feel so entitled that you see nothing wrong with blatantly disrespecting us, then wonder why we “refuse” to see your point of view.

    Until you spoiled suburban crybabies can show that you can engage in political discourse like adults (that means NOT just parroting whatever talking points Sykes and Belling give you to spew), then we’re going to continue to give your opinions all the regard they deserve… absolutely none.

  35. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Nic, 4 paragraphs of BS, not an answer to any of the problems that the Left has created in Milwaukee.

  36. Chris Jacobs says:

    It would be nice to see Donovan get a shot at making some change from the current regrettable Barrett era. However, the truth is that whichever mayor is in place will not dictate how frequently crime occurs or fix schools full of a lot of kids who simply don’t want to learn despite what we spend on education. Its important to understand that many of the liberal policies in place aren’t making things better, even for those who don’t like to listen to Sykes of Belling. Its going to be monumentally difficult for Donovan to raise the support and cash to take Barrett down, but I wish him luck.

  37. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Kids want to learn, all around the world they do and in US. Watch “Waiting for Superman” and do your research. Bust up MPS and give the responsibility to the neighborhoods and fam
    ilies.

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