A public relations firms advised the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to launch a study of Milwaukee's 30th St. Industrial Corridor partly (mostly, mostly, mostly) to curry favor with Milwaukee County supervisors, particularly Michael Mayo.
So SEWRPC did it. With $50,000 of your tax money and mine. SEWRPC did it even though the city is developing its own 30th St. corridor plan, and two such plans is probably one too many.
OK. SEWRPC didn't entirely implement Mueller Communications Inc.'s scheme. Mueller at least said the SEWRPC study should be minority-led, but the Pewaukee-based planning agency couldn't bring itself to do that. Instead, it issued a no-bid contract to Dan Boyce and Jon Welhoefer, two former colleagues of influential SEWRPC commissioner William R. Drew. The three white guys all worked together when Drew was Department of City Development commissioner. Why hire minorities when you can hire old friends.
This is a new low for SEWRPC -- using public funds to launch a study hatched by a pr firm to curry favor with politicians. Clearly, SEWRPC is trying to muffle criticism of its shoddy handling of transportation, water and housing studies, and its agonizingly slow implementation of its Environmental Justice Task Force.
This one reeks, even for SEWRPC. And that's saying a lot.