Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh, yeah, Barrett was in the room, too

When the Journal Sentinel reported on a planned meeting of regional leaders to discuss transit, it was all about County Executive Scott Walker:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is calling local leaders together to discuss whether the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority should be beefed up to run public buses - including his county's financially troubled transit system - as well as commuter trains....

Walker's move comes as debate continues on the future of public transit locally.


The story mentioned Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas,
Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson, Racine Mayor Gary Becker and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was noticeable for his absence.

Now here's the Business Journal's take on the same topic:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker have set aside their dueling transit plans and agreed to pursue a regional transit authority that would run bus systems in southeastern Wisconsin....

Barrett and Walker will invite government representatives from Racine and Kenosha counties, as well as other Milwaukee-area municipalities and counties, to disucss interest in the regional transit concept.

"The mayor and I have been on the same wavelength" on the regional authority, Walker said.

Barrett and Walker will invite government representatives from Racine and Kenosha counties, as well as other Milwaukee-area municipalities and counties, to discuss interest in the regional transit concept.

The Journal Sentinel focuses on Walker exclusively. The Business Journal includes Walker, Barrett and others as the movers behind this latest effort to get transit rolling forward. The JS' exclusion of Barrett's contribution to the newest efforts is puzzling, especially since the story was written by the City Hall reporter. Did Walker simply "forget" to mention Barrett? Or did the JS simply fail to follow up?

The participation of Barrett and others besides Walker makes the transit meeting among regional leaders actually mean something. Barrett, after all, actually understands the importance of transit and might be able to preserve this vital service.

Walker, on the other hand, has simply let the transit system crumble under his administration: Ho hum, let them drive cars.

No comments: