To: Janel Brandtjen,
RE: County Budget:
Dear Waukesha County Supervisor:
In today’s economic climate it is extremely important to make sure that our government treats every dollar as a precious resource. In fact, this basic axiom of governing must always be kept in mind with every political decision you make.
Many of the taxpayers you represent have had their family budgets strained in the past four years and some simply cannot endure the pressure much longer. The voters in this area have spoken at the ballot box in the past few elections with a clear and overwhelming voice. Less government and fewer taxes is what we want and what this county needs at all levels of government.
After careful review of the proposed County budget the Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association respectfully request that you stand up for the voters in your district and say no to the budget proposal.
No only does this budget contain unnecessary and, in our view, ill-advised spending projects, the budget also maintains the Waukesha County trend of oversized government, over-reaching programs, and bloated departmental budgets.
The Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association has expressed its opposition to the Bugline Trail Paving project by press release and articles published in several local and state publications. We have shown how this project provides an example of unnecessary and unwise spending along with the indisputable conclusion that taking Federal dollars to finance a county project necessarily leads to obtrusive federal involvement and control in our county business. There are many other examples of unnecessary projects using federal dollars leading directly to future ongoing county expenditures, which will be very difficult to control or eliminate.
But the main problem we have in Waukesha County is our bloated workforce and pay scale. I reviewed the salary data from 2010 for all positions in the county and was appalled at what I found. SEVERAL DOZENS OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES MAKE OVER $100,000 IN SALARY NOT COUNTING HEALTH BENEFITS, RETIREMENT OR BONUSES! And, yes, there are bonuses paid.
This pay scale is ridiculous. It is obscene. And guess what. They haven’t had anything but raises since the great recession began in 2008. My income as a small business owner declined 40% in 2009 and another 40% the next year 2010. My situation was in no way unique to most people in our county.
Wages and benefits we are paying to our “workers” needs to be reined in. Let’s begin by using a wage freeze coupled by asking for additional employee contributions for health care and pension benefits. Then we can start looking at eliminating positions and trimming the size of our county workforce.
A reasonable and obtainable goal of our board and elected leadership should be a 5% reduction in the county tax levy this year. There is plenty of fat. Eliminating the proposed county employee raises provides 3.6% alone. Couple that with some additional employee benefit contributions and your there without ever eliminating any projects. Then getting rid of projects like the Bugline Trail Paving will vault us into real fiscal awareness. We really need fiscal awareness.
Waukesha County arguably has the most bloated county government
in the entire state. Let’s reverse the trend of using the county workforce as
an employment agency for the bureaucratically connected few to a new mindset of fiscal prudence. Waukesha County has been cited as the most politically
conservative county in America, Ground Zero in the struggle for restoring fiscal sanity in our state and our country. Shouldn’t our county budgets and spending decisions reflect this fact of the electorate?
We here in Menomonee Falls fully appreciate your service to our community and we are confident that you will give our views your full consideration. Please vote against this budget as designed and let’s begin the process of reining in bloated government spending in our county.
Steven J. Welcenbach
President – Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association