Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The horror! Water bill might go up, too

This might be more than even the strongest Milwaukeean can bear. Maybe it's time to pack up the kids and move to the suburbs.

A huge headline across the top of today's Metro section tells us that water rates may go up in Milwaukee -- an average of -- gasp! -- $18 a year. The story notes that they haven't increased since 2002, so the 12% increase it mentions is something like 3% a year.

But that's on top of a whopping $14 increase proposed for Milwaukee Area Technical College, which brought all sorts of complaints from the anti-tax, anti-government forces -- although not a single one of them managed to show up for a public hearing on the budget Tuesday.

The MATC budget has prompted calls that board members be elected. Do you think any of the naysayers would even have enough energy to circulate nomination papers?

Patrick McIlheran, the Journal Sentinel columnist who just hates, HATES taxes, makes excuses and says conservatives were all busy earning a living or having a life, so they couldn't make it to a 4:30 p.m. hearing. Interesting, since Milwaukee city and county government and the state legislature hold their hearings in the daytime and right-wingers manage to show up for them. Afternoon baseball games somehow draw a crowd, too.

The fact is, it's a nice target to shoot at and make noise about. But to effect change sometimes requires people to get off their couch or office chair and show up. Citizens for Republican Responsible Government used to turn protesters out by the hundreds. If anyone really cared about the MATC budget, someone would have showed up.

McIlheran says MATC's taxpayers have all moved to Waukesha, and suggests calling a Realtor. I was going to do that about the possible $1.50 a month extra on my water bill, but then I remembered -- Waukesha doesn't have any water to spare.

Seth Zlotocha reminds us that much the same thing happened with public hearings on Son of TABOR.


At 8:32 PM, Blogger A Paul Pedersen said...

To paraphrase: $18 here. $18 there. Pretty soon you're talking real money. The art of state finance is passing money from hand to hand until it disappears.


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