Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Trawicki’s a whiner

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The cuts proposed by County Executive Dan Vrakas are a perfectly reasonable alternative to what the sherrif is proposing, letting prisoners out of jail.

Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki is dismissing a proposal to cut several positions on his staff – including a high-level administrator – as a way of staving off a partial shutdown of the work-release jail program.

The strategy was recommended by County Executive Dan Vrakas, who has expressed concern about the sheriff’s plan to release 50 or more work-release inmates within a few weeks.

Citing a staffing shortage, Trawicki has blamed the situation on County Board refusal to fund more jail staff at a cost of about $400,000 a year.

Under Vrakas’ direction, county budget planners identified cost-saving alternatives that include cutting the sheriff’s deputy inspector, media spokesman, computer technician and other positions.

As outlined, the cuts would save $510,000 a year – more than enough to meet the sheriff’s staffing objectives without affecting the work-release program. The county executive is offering those ideas to free up funds that the sheriff then could use to hire more jailers.

Trawicki is an argument against having partisan sheriffs, because there is nothing Republican about him. We might remember this little tidbit from when Dan Finley stepped down as county executive and Trawicki announced his endorsement was for sale to the highest bidder.

“I usually do endorse,” Trawicki said. “But I have had some philosophical differences with the county executive about the way taxes have been handled and the way (law enforcement) services have been cut. So if I would endorse anybody, I would want to sit down with them. There has been a posture to this point that if the state cuts funding for those programs, then the county will not subsidize the program, even if successful.”

The man who would be kingmaker also had a few words on the DARE program, a program that for all its good intentions studies have shown to be ineffectual.

“Do you think people move to this county for less services? Yet the county sets tax rates that are ridiculously low and are reducing services to citizens.”

Not only has Trawicki taken himself out as a candidate, he has told us that anyone he should endorse would be unworthy of our vote. And should Trawicki find an opponent in next year’s primary we may have to consider choosing a new, less expensive sheriff.

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