* THIS BLOG HAS BEEN UPDATED TO INCLUDE INFO FROM A COUNTY BOARD MEETING ON 2/15/18*
You remember that controversial idea.
Last fall Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele proposed generating $1.6 million in revenue by installing a paid parking system in county parks.
Today on the Vicki McKenna program on Newstalk 1130 WISN Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander took an unrelated question and somehow, not once, but twice managed to weave in her support for Patti Logsdon in her race against County Supervisor Steve Taylor.
During one of those occasions Alexander stated that one of the main reasons she’s supporting Logsdon is because Taylor voted in favor of installing those meters in the parks.
Or didn’t he?
Let’s do a little PolitiFact of our own. Follow along, please.
Abele proposed the parking meter fiasco last fall as part of his 2018 budget.
When the County Board deliberated the budget last fall an amendment was offered by Supervisors Dimitrijevic, Wasserman, and Mayo, Sr. The November 6, 2017 amendment stipulated that to address the $1.6 million dollars included in the budget for the Milwaukee County Parks Department related to the institution of a pay-to-park program, a workgroup including representatives from the Parks Department, County Board, County Executive, Department of Administrative Services, Park advocacy groups and affected current Parks business partners would be convened upon 2018 budget adoption to finalize the parameters of the program.
Directly from the amendment:
The workgroup shall evaluate businesses operating in Milwaukee County parks pay fair market prices for parking. Additionally, the workgroup, in conjunction with Parks Administration, should examine current lease and management agreements for opportunities to increase contributions from businesses operating in the parks.
The workgroup will explore paid parking in all areas of the County and will not be disproportionately concentrated on the northside, but equally considered system-wide. The workgroup will also explore options to charge non-county residents for parking within the Parks system.
And now the key provision:
Any pay-to-park program proposal must be presented to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors for approval by the Board prior to its implementation. This process shall include a public hearing on the proposed plan.
The amendment to have the full County Board vote up or down on any parking meter plan was approved 16-2, and a parking meter program was to be considered at the County Board meeting of March 22, 2018.
A funny thing happened on the way to that March 22nd meeting.
Out came the torches and pitchforks at a public meeting in early February.
Abele withdrew his proposal. The County Board agenda to consider a parking meter plan on March 22nd never happened.
So did Taylor vote for the meters or not?
There was that budget amendment last fall that strictly required that any parking meter plan go to the County Board for its approval or rejection. It seemed that under that scenario just about any meter plan was doomed.
What about that budget amendment?
The vote was 16-2 in support of the amendment to ensure any parking meter plan be voted on by the full County Board.
Taylor voted yes.
Alexander voted no.
ALSO: On February 15, 2018, the Milwaukee County Board, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, canceled plans to collect parking fees at county parks and parkways beginning June 1. The board chose to use its rainy day fund to cover the loss of an estimated $1.6 million in new fee revenue.
On a 13-4 vote, the board approved a resolution by Supervisor John Weishan Jr. to ban the parking fees this year and set aside $1.6 million from the rainy day fund to an allocated contingency fund for the parks department budget.
Supervisor Taylor voted for the measure to ban the parking fees. Supervisor Alexander voted no. My assumption is she didn’t want the rainy day fund raided.
We rate Alexander’s misleading claim to say the least on the radio today…