Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Disparity In The Parks

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Milwaukee County ranks low among cities nationwide when it comes to parks and parkland. Actually, what is low is the amount of spending on the parks, which should come as no surprise seeing how Walker has been trying to kill of the County for the last seven years, so that he can be the continuous candidate for governor.

Are you ready for a surprise?

I'm not going to go into the whole spending issue. It be a hard sell at best, and that is not what really caught my eye. What did catch my eye is what Milwaukee County is spending the majority of its precious few dollars on. It's not poor people in the city, that's for sure.

MJS was kind enough to include a little graphic along with the article. Notice that Milwaukee ranks 6th out of 26 comparably sized cities when it comes to golfing. That's fine for the suburbanites that are more prone to golf, and who also happen to be Walker's base of voters.

The same graphic shows that community centers, which are more prevalently used by the elderly, the disabled and the poor, are ranked 68th out of 75 national cities. The people that are more prone to use these centers are also not the ones that would be prone to vote for Walker.

There are only nine community centers in Milwaukee County. Five of those are senior centers, two are for the disabled, and two are for the general community. To add insult to injury, Walker wants to close the two general community centers which, not so coincidentally, are located in the near north side and the near south side. He has not stated anything about closing any of the 15 golf courses.

Of course this is not the first time that Walker has shown this kind of disparity between the rich and the poor, between the suburbs and the city itself. That was shown by the nifty camera work of Gretchen Schuldt, who quite capably shows us the stark differences between the city-based Washington Park, and the suburban-based McCarty Park.

He has also shown in the way he has handled the transit system, letting that die a slow, painful death, which of course hurts the poor who cannot afford a car. But he has no problems spending millions of dollars to rip down the courthouse annex so that the freeways can be clear of horrible things like artwork.

The list does go on and on, including the mentally ill, the incarcerated, and the growing number of people that need assistance during these miserable economic times.

Fortunately, the County Board appears poised to taken action against any more of Walker's follies. At least they're looking out for ALL of the citizens in Milwaukee County.


  1. I miss the whales, but I really like the way they're redoing the Marquette. They've been doing a masterful job with a minimum of fuss. Sell 10 of the golf courses, transfer that money to the community centers. Have an outside firm go over the bus routes and try to make it more cost effective. Forget light rail until the economy improves and tell MPS they can't have any more friggin' tax $$! They seem like a black hole, and they NEVER seem to have enough money. Also, thank former County Supervisors for screwing Milwaukee over with that scam of a pension deal. They screwed you guys good and didn't even give you a reach around or a kiss! Yea, it's all Walker's fault. Keep in mind, I don't live down there, so my opinion on Walker is from an outside perspective.

  2. Billiam,

    Well said and I live down here.

  3. I have to admit I am glad those whales are gone. The back of the court house looks much better than the dingy old annex.

    I agree with Billiam that we should make our bus system into the best it can be, and wait on urban rail until demand for our bus system is overwhelming.

  4. Bill, sell the golf courses and the marina. Walker isn't dogging the haves, but he is doing the pooch to the have nots.

    Marquette is good except for one spot. Be very careful going South I-43 when you're in the right lane. There's at least two to three accidents there a week.

    I never said that Walker didn't get a steaming plate full of crap when he got the job. But you don't treat a cut by amputation.

  5. Seems that the article you reference was seriously flawed, my friend.

    Artful lie, though--confusing "county" park budgeting with "city" park budgeting.

  6. Dad-

    The article acknowledges the fact that the comparison is not perfect, but the fact, no lie about it, is that there is a large disparity in how park money is being distributed.