Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lost Causes And La Causa

La Causa is continuing to go through their shake up, but I don't know that it is necessarily for the better. La Causa is, of course, one of the social service agencies that is contracted with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare to provide case management services to children and families that are part of the system.

Due to the recent deaths of two children that were under their supervision, they have decided to pull out of their contract with the BMCW.

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that they are also now going to have a new CEO. The new boss is going to be George Torres, who is the director of public works and transportation for Milwaukee County:
Torres manages the county's second-largest department, which includes the two airports, the transit system, economic development, architects and engineering, highway operations and fleet management. He oversees 600 employees and budgets of $350 million.
Well, what is La Causa getting?

Mitchell Field, by all reports, is doing wonderfully. It is doing so well that Torres' boss, Scott Walker, wants to sell it off to the highest campaign contributor bidder. One never really hears about Timmerman Field. Given the adage of bad news travels fast, I would give Torres the benefit of the doubt and guess that this airport is doing well.

The good news stops there.

The transit system is in a shambles and if something drastic isn't done in the next few months, we could see it completely fall apart in next year's budget. And this isn't a new problems by any stretch of the imagination.

And economic development? What economic development? They must mean the one that brought in a $250K instead of the $7.2 M that they were supposed to.

And fleet operations are one of the areas that Torres just tried to privatize in the most recent county budget. What is he going to do when La Causa finds itself in economic troubles? He can't privatize his workers. They're already a private agency.

Now, I realize that the problems with the transit system and economic development are not entirely Torres' fault. Scott Walker had a lot to do with it by putting such tight fiscal restraints on him, or forcing him to work with Walker's unqualified cronies, but one has to wonder how much was Walker's fault, and how much Torres had to do with it.

One also has to wonder how Torres is going to handle a social service agency.


  1. Another way to look at it:

    How many people did bus drivers kill last year?

  2. That's like asking how many Wisconsinites were eaten by a giraffe last year.