Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arise, SEWRPC reformers

It is not just that SEWRPC hid itself in the suburbs.

It's not just that SEWRPC stocks its advisory committees overwhelmingly with white gentlemen of a certain age. The commission itself has historically been distinctly lacking in ethnic varietly.

It's not even just that SEWRPC waited 25 years before developing an equitable formula to distribute transit dollars -- the new fair one, by the way, sends more aid to Milwaukee County.

It's also the gross conflicts of interest that SEWRPC engages in and allows. It's so nice to spend public dollars among friends, ain't it?

Three cheers for Ald. Bob Bauman, Ald. Jim Bohl and Ald. Nik Kovak for introducing a resolution calling for the county to withdraw from SEWRPC. And a huge hurrah for Jim Rowen and his JS Crossroads piece for dragging this issue smack into the public debate and to the JS for publishing Rowen's op-ed.

And shame on the county for not completing a County Board-ordered study on the county's relationship with SEWRPC. There were a couple of meetings of the study committee, then the whole thing fizzled.

Arise, SEWRPC reformers. If Milwaukee doesn't pull out, the city should establish its own SEWRPC monitoring function to ensure that Milwaukee residents and taxpayers are heard, even in those far reaches of Pewaukee.

No comments: