Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SEWRPC, the JS, and regional cooperation

Finally! The secret of what the JS means by "regional cooperation" is revealed!

In January, the Journal Sentinel's editorial board tsked-tsked the Milwaukee County Board's decision to study its political and technical relationship with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, a powerful but rather obscure property tax-supported body that does regional land use, transportation, water supply, and other planning for the seven-county area.

The headline on the editorial was:

No steps backward
Milwaukee County must not let its past beefs with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission keep it from continuing to work with the agency.

There was the phrase again: regional cooperation. The Journal Sentinel uses it all the time without really defining it.

I e-mailed the editorial writer to ask for his definition of the term, but he did not respond.

Fortunately, there is Jim Rowen over at The Political Enviroment. Rowen, following up on work by ACLU attorney Karyn Rotker, did the math:

Three of 126 (or two percent) SEWRPC committee members are minorities.

So there you have it.

Regional cooperation, at least in part, is having a planning body on which minorities -- the overwhelming majority of whom live in Milwaukee and Milwaukee County -- are grossly underrepresented.

Oh. Seem like Milwaukee County ought give a hard look to that one.

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