Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Questions $1.5 Million Paratransit Error in County’s Executive’s Budget Proposal
Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. today questioned a memo from the Fiscal and Budget department stating that a $1.5 million error was made in the County Executive’s 2014 Recommended Budget for Paratransit, creating a deficit that would have to be made up during the budget deliberation process.
(MILWAUKEE) – Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. today questioned a memo from the Fiscal and Budget department stating that a $1.5 million error was made in the County Executive’s 2014 Recommended Budget for Paratransit, creating a deficit that would have to be made up during the budget deliberation process.
According to the memo sent to County Supervisors, “the tax levy budget for the Paratransit program is approximately $1.5 million less than it should be.” The administration’s Recommended Budget proposes to reduce the fares paid by individual riders from $4 to $3. According to the memo, the cost of the fare reduction was originally estimated at $500,000, but a budget analyst “mistakenly increased the revenues instead of decreasing them. As a result, revenues in the cash fare in the budget are higher than the amount recommended by approximately $1 million.”
The budget for the Department of Transportation – Transit Division is about $159 million, and the memo said that “while this error is significant in terms of dollar size, it does not represent a major portion of the agency’s 2014 budget.”
Mayo questioned whether the administration was raising false hopes for users of the Paratransit system, and he predicted that the administration would try to pin the blame for the error on the County Board.
“This looks like a case where the administration makes an error and then gets the County Board to fix it,” said Mayo, who is chairman of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee. “So when we do fix it, as we will need to do, the Board will be blamed for raising the tax levy. This is nonsense, and the administration should fix this error themselves.”
Mayo credited the administration with providing the information about the deficit in a timely fashion, but he said that it made him question the rest of the estimates in the Recommended Budget.
“This is a big budget faux pas,” Mayo said. “It’s an error of the kind that will ultimately wind up with the Board fixing it. I appreciate that the administration is admitting its error, but who will take the blame when the error is fixed? What other errors have been made in this budget that the Board will have to fix? I hope the administration will continue to be transparent if the budget includes other errors, and I hope they will admit their mistakes when the Board fixes them.”
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