Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Dealing with thugs at the library, and is Milwaukee all wet on water?


Publication:Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date:Jun 28, 2012; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8A

Dealing with thugs at the library
Is Milwaukee all wet on water?

I’m back from my travels and about to get into my summer reading. Time to clear the desk and get rid of a few pesky items that have accumulated.

* * *

On Tuesday night, the Waukesha Common Council voted to add security to the Waukesha Public Library. Security and police calls at the library have been an issue for some time so I don’t want to make too light of the situation. Security is probably as long overdue as the last book I checked out there.

But will the security guards get trained on how to use the cannons next door at Cutler Park? Pay your fines, or else.

This is where growing up on the northwest side of Milwaukee puts me at a disadvantage. Our thugs would hang around playgrounds, strip malls, public parks and fast food restaurants.

Waukesha must have the nerdiest thugs this side of Oconomowoc. They’re hanging out at libraries?

When they flash gang signs, are the signs right out of the Harry Potter books? How dangerous can they be with Encyclopedia Brown tucked under their arms?

Couldn’t we just shame the bad element at the library into hanging out somewhere with a little more “street cred?”

* * *

Speaking of odd behavior, what is going on with the city of Milwaukee? For as long as Milwaukee has existed, it’s been a favorite habit of mayors to complain they never have enough money from the state.

Some of them point across 124th Street and blame Waukesha County residents for not sharing the wealth in some way. Apparently Waukesha is home to the entire “1 percent” in this country.

So when the city of Waukesha wants to give Milwaukee money, suddenly Milwaukee decides they don’t need it.

Waukesha wants to purchase water from Milwaukee. Milwaukee, judging from what was in the last couple of city budgets over there, would like to sell water to other communities for some quick cash. It should be a simple matter.

Instead Milwaukee has decided that they want to define the service area for the Waukesha Water Utility, even though the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has determined the service area. The Public Service Commission has weighed in as well, saying Milwaukee cannot define the area to be serviced with Lake Michigan water.

Nonetheless, the Milwaukee Common Council has decided to carve itself right out of the water market. When Waukesha buys water from either Oak Creek or Racine, how many members of the Milwaukee Common Council will lament the lost revenue?

* * *

The recount in Racine is dragging along but one thing is for certain. It’s clear from the irregularities already turned up that this recount is far more necessary than the recount initiated by JoAnne Kloppenburg last year.

We learned almost immediately the Racine sheriff is investigating pre-signed registration cards found in a Dumpster. Now this week we’ve learned that perhaps thousands of Racine voters did not sign the poll book.

Not signing the poll book may seem like a minor, technical error, but when you couple the amount of people that didn’t sign when they same-day registered to vote with the discarded election materials found in the Dumpster, we have far more concerns about what happened in Racine on June 5 than we did when Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus forgot about the city of Brookfield.

Democrats are doing their best to be dismissive of what’s happening in Racine. While we can sympathize with them that it is unlikely Van Wanggaard will prevail over John Lehman, we should take as much time as possible to get to the bottom of the election irregularities in Racine.

Better now than in November.

By the way, the technicality of not signing the poll book might not seem like much, but it was a technicality like that that caused Kloppenburg to successfully challenge the votes of some nuns during her statewide recount. Ballots were chosen at random to be tossed out under the drawdown procedure.

The Government Accountability Board has said that there will be not be a similar (although much larger) drawdown in this election. They may have opened themselves up to a major lawsuit.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)


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