Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why does the county discourage citizen participation?

The JS reports this morning that County Executive Scott Walker says moving the mental health hospital to the old St. Michael Hospital is a financially sound move that can provide the opportunity for "culture change."

Supervisor John Weishan says Walker is using "hokey numbers" and a union official says the St. Michael proposal is "absolutely ridiculous."

What happens to the mental health hospital is important to the staff, patients and their families and the general public. The fate of the mental health hospital will help define the fate of the County Grounds, a rich piece of county history and heritage and still, despite development, an important environmental asset.

It would be nice to read the plan that is going to be considered today by the County Board's Health and Human Needs Committee. Almost any other local unit of government -- the city, state, school district and MMSD would make the documents available online.

The county does not.

The question is: why not? There is nothing expensive or technologically daunting about posting important information related to what the county is doing.

The county is broke and mismanaged on a number of levels. It can use all the good ideas it can get from anyone who has them.

County officials, though, in both Walker's office and on the County Board, persist in shutting the public out of the public's business.

It's a shabby way to operate.

4 comments:

capper said...

It could be that Walker doesn't want a closer look at his plans. Clinicians are disgusted with the layout of St. Michael's, and continue to point out that even with planned renovations, it will still not be suitable for a therapeutic or safe environment for patients or staff.

Not to mention the number of units Walker would want to close to make it fit into St. Mike's. What is he proposing to do with all of these chronically mentally ill people that have been deemed by the courts to be unsafe to themselves and/or to the public.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a scheme to enrich another fake "non-profit" organization. Also based on the false premise that you need fancy expensive buildings to do health care.

The documentary, "Salud," about health care in Cuba, demonstrates this and should be "required watching" for all the politicians and administrators.
--Steve3@mail.com

Dave said...

Agreed you can pull all sorts of data on projects out of the City website but finding anything at the County is well a waste of time!

jpk said...

Moving the mental health complex is not really about costs or org change.

It's about Walker wanting Tosa for commercial development without messy mental health complex issues. What a strategy! Push more non-taxable social services into Milwaukee, concentrate poverty and social services even more, and complain about Milwaukee's high tax rate.

This guy's a genius, must be the colege degree.