lundi, avril 03, 2006

Do We Have Any Power?

Run Forrest, Run!

I have no interest in taking the freeway to work, so every day I go through the city and also through Lincoln Park. Today as I went over the bridge I noticed that the river seemed much higher than normal. It was muddy but that's to be expected after heavy rains.

But what I didn't know was just a couple of miles up the road, our old pals at MMSD done did it again.

What was the excuse this time? The sewer leaked.

Now I don't know about you, but if in my job I gave the same type of weak excuses that MMSD has made lately in their job, my ass would be fired. And know what? Their spokesfolks don't have to work very hard lately to "explain" what happened. They just throw an excuse out there and we take it. Nobody asks any questions - or demands any action. Why are we allowing this to be so easy for them?

How is it that we have no real leverage in this matter?

Or do we? What really is the answer? Is there an answer?

From what I have been told by architects who work with the city, the deep tunnel cannot be "fixed". It's flawed by design. There is no solution by "fixing" the tunnel itself.

Then of course, none of the aldermen wanted their districts ripped up back in the day when we were starting this mess... when we should have separated the sewers to begin with. Now, we are broke because of the pension scandal, other entitlements, and various cash hemmorages and have no way to fund a solution. Like phasing in a separated sewer sytem.

Nope. We're just like much of the nation who has a mountain of debt. After paying the regular bills... the rent, gas, food, a little entertainment... most of us have some cash left over to enjoy life or fund our savings strategy. Those with crippling debt don't have this option and couldn't wiggle out from it if they tried. Welcome to Milwaukee.

I'm not one to ask for handouts. But a big part of economics is positioning. Am I being ignorant, or isn't it possible for the Dems That Be (Doyle, Feingold, Kohl) who want to play the hero card, to reposition some type of funding to fix this problem? By fix I don't mean grant another contract to a Doyle Pal. I'm talking about an actual phased plan to convert our combined sewers into a split sewer system. Will it take being sued by another state to make this finally happen? Why are we so complacent?

Tell you what.

I'd trade my current situation of avoiding the freeway every morning because we have to pretty it up - for waterways and wastewater treatment done right.

(Update 21:22: On the way to the club I was still cranking on this one in my head. Here's what I came up with...yes the government ought to fund it. Because ensuring the stability of the infrastructure is the government's job. Now if they'd only stop doing things that aren't their job....)


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