Monday, January 30, 2006

Exposed: Cheney's Secret Prison in SEWRPC's HQ !

Ok. Vice President Dick Cheney isn't running a secret prison out of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission's (SEWRPC) headquarters in Pewaukee. I made that up.

But considering the veil of anonymity SEWRPC operates under, Dick Cheney might be living in its basement for all we know.

Take, for example, State Senator Mary Lazich's legislation that would require boards with taxing authority to be elected, rather the appointed. She seems to be targeting technical boards for the change but in public comments talked about including the usual suspects like the Wisconsin Center District and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

What about SEWRPC? SEWRPC pays for its operations through a regional tax levy apportioned to each of the seven counties it serves on the basis of equalized valuation. Plus it exerts a great deal of influence over policy decisions that can involve billions of tax dollars and private investment. Sounds to me like they fit the bill (pun intended) to a tee.

SEWRPC also escaped mention in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's news coverage and editorial offering general support for Lazich''s idea. Transportion, land use, water and housing continue to be controversial issues in the region. But search the local newspaper's archives and you'll be astonished by how little has been written about them over the past few years. How does SEWRPC manage to fly so far under the radar screen?

Is this a case of amnesia? Or politics?


At 12:11 PM, Blogger citydem said...

With 3 members for each of 7 counties and Milwaukee County paying the biggest share of property tax support and with the commission and staff almost completely white throughout its history, has it occurred to anyone that SEWRPC practices taxation without representation and diminishes minority power to influence important public policy. Enrich democracy and lower taxes- abolish SEWRPC.


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