County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson
Press Release

Board of Supervisors Adopts 2021 Milwaukee County Budget

Adopted Budget Invests in Racial Equity and Essential Servicers to Improve the Health of County Residents

By - Nov 10th, 2020 02:47 pm

MILWAUKEE, WI – The Board of Supervisors adopted (14-4) the 2021 County budget Monday after approving several amendments that make additional investments in racial equity efforts, county parks, improved service delivery that will help improve the health of Milwaukee County residents.

“This budget is the first in Milwaukee County history to be guided by a plan for achieving racial equity and improving the health of all Milwaukee County residents,” said Nicholson. “Supervisors adopted numerous amendments that build upon County Executive David Crowley’s foundational and historic budget by boosting efforts to achieve racial equity and serve our most vulnerable neighbors, especially those affected by the pandemic. I thank my colleagues for the extra effort they put into setting and adopting the 2021 budget, and Supervisors Jason Haas in particular, for deftly guiding the Finance Committee through this process for the first time as the Chair of that committee.”

The 2021 Adopted Budget sets the 2020 Milwaukee County property tax levy at $303,968,779 which is $724,169 less than what the County Executive proposed. This represents a .95% increase over the 2020 levy of $301,109,336. Expenditures are set at $1,180526,340.

Among other changes, the Board approved an omnibus amendment from Chairwoman Nicholson (1A020) that invests nearly $2.5 million in County parks and cultural amenities, services for youth justice system-involved youth and senior citizens, combatting homelessness, and the County’s federated library system, among other measures.

The Board also approved three amendments from Finance Committee Chair Haas: one to explore the transition of the County’s fleet of vehicles to electric rather than gasoline power (1A005); one to improve park safety with better lighting (1A016), and one to create two positions (1A045) to help configure and deploy the Enterprise Platform Modernization project, which will streamline and improve the efficiency of County procurement, payroll, financial, and other services.

In addition to the adopted amendments from the Chairwoman and Supervisor Haas, the Board also adopted amendments that would further advance racial equity goals, by encouraging the Wisconsin Counties Association to adopt racial equity principles (1A001, Czarnezki), allowing the families of youth justice system-involved youth to access programming designed to maximize opportunities for success and integration into the community (1A032, Taylor), and by analyzing the possibility of establishing a “Right to Counsel” program to provide legal counsel for persons facing eviction or foreclosure (1A044, Clancy).

An amendment from Supervisor Weishan (1B005) would place funds for a local alternative to Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake into a contingency account pending submission of a written plan that details the scope of the project and the new location for the facility.

The Board adopted a few amendments that could potentially improve efficiency by requiring reports on annual legal settlements and insurance costs (1A043, Clancy), mitigating increases in airline rates at General Mitchell International and supporting a more efficient recovery of the airport during the Coronavirus pandemic (1A003, Weishan), slowing funding for a new bus route to the Amazon facility in Oak Creek (1A004, Wasserman), and exploring the development of a consolidated mobile app to allow the public improved access to County services (1A011, Czarnezki).

The Board also adopted several parks-related amendments, including to prohibit mid-year fee increases in County parks (1A012, Weishan), facilitate the restoration of the baseball practice field at Manitoba Park (1A015, Weishan), supplement seasonal Parks staffing needs (1A017 and 1A018, Czarnezki), advance an initiative to propagate hemp plant clones at the Mitchell Park Domes greenhouses (1A025, Ortiz-Velez), promote ethnically diverse food offerings in County parks (1A026, Wasserman), and conduct a sound study at The Rock Sports Complex (1A041, Weishan).

Regarding personnel matters, the Board adopted an amendment to provide for a 1% increase to airport employees (1A003, Weishan), to develop an easily accessible online “suggestions form” for improving workplace safety during the Coronavirus pandemic (1A034, Czarnezki), to create two new positions in the Office of Corporation Counsel (to address the large number of guardianship and mental health cases assigned to the office) (1A038, Johnson, Jr.), and to report and track excessive overtime (1A042, Clancy).

Supervisors John F. Weishan, Jr., Anthony Staskunas, Patti Logsdon, and Ryan Clancy voted “No” on the Adopted Budget.

The Adopted Budget now goes to County Executive Crowley’s desk for his approval, who has until Friday, November 13 to issue any vetoes. If the County Executive issues any vetoes, the Board will convene on November 16.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

More about the 2021 Milwaukee County Budget

Read more about 2021 Milwaukee County Budget here

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