Acting Milwaukee County Executive Lee Holloway will meet with Franklin Common Council members Tuesday night to discuss possible cost-saving services the county can provide the city.
The visit is an attempt to reach possible cooperation agreements between area governments, or so suspects Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor. If that is the case, Taylor said it will be encouraging to have Holloway work together with municipalities to solve the economic hardships faced by Milwaukee County.
Plenty of proposals have already been made, he said, including outsourcing the county’s information technology services, having communities maintain county-owned highways and parks, and even privatizing Mitchell airport and the Milwaukee County Zoo.
They are ideas that have been debated for years, and now that Gov. Scott Walker can regulate Milwaukee County from Madison, Taylor said changes are possible now more than ever.
“There’s no big secret the new governor is going to bring in sweeping changes that will drastically effect local government,” he said. “The writing is on the wall, so we all need to try and work closer together.”
It remains to be seen, Taylor said, whether cities such as Franklin will see more money to support its increased role. If communities do not receive any additional state money for their efforts, he said the reaction will be unfavorable.
“As mayor, I can say the people of Franklin love their autonomy and cherish their right to self-governance,” he said. “They like having a very wide say in their local government, and I think that’s true in all municipal governments.”
The ideal scenario, he said, would be Milwaukee County returning to a financial stability rather than be burdened by additional responsibilities, including park maintenance and transit issues.
Holloway will be in attendance at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road, when the Common Council convenes.
Joe Lanane is a staff writer at The Daily Reporter. He also has some cost-saving ideas for the county.