Senate Bill 777

Over three hundred citizens attended the Pay-To-Park public meeting at the Domes Annex on the evening of Feb. 6th. The overriding majority of comments by attendees (with one exception) spoke of the need to bury this proposal. A number of County Board Supervisors present at the meeting privately conferred that the pay-to-park idea is not going to be deployed. We will have to wait until the March Finance Committee Meeting to see if that is the case. The evening was a great example of Democracy at work; citizens letting their elected officials know how they feel about a particular piece of legislation.

Unfortunately our County Executive, Chris Abele, left the meeting just prior to the citizen comments. He smugly headed for the door with the knowledge that his secret (at the time) legislation was heading for committee assignment in the State Senate. That legislation now has a title, Senate Bill 777. It might just as well read 666. SB 777 is a further attempt by Abele to strip Supervisors of even more control of County policy going forward. One of the most egregious aspects of the legislation is that it would give Abele unilateral control to set parking on Milwaukee County property. This would completely negate any move by the Board of Supervisors to outlaw Pay-To-Park in our Parks!

It seems Abele has to get his way, has to win, under any circumstances, even thwarting the voice of his constituents. What's even more demoralizing is that he is using his vast wealth to get this done through the use of private lobbying firms. One can only assume that he is handsomely rewarding the two local sponsors of this self serving bill, Senator Lena Taylor and Representative Jason Fields. These two are definitely turning their back on their own constituency, many of whom will suffer from social justice issues if Pay-To-Park becomes a reality.

Please contact your State Legislators to tell them what you think about this forthcoming legislation.

You can find your Legislators here by entering your address on the top right of the screen.

The part of the bill related to granting the County Executive the power to set and regulate parking:

Section 48. 59.52 (24) of the statutes is amended to read:
16.  59.52 (24) Parking areas. The board may enact ordinances establishing county
17. executive in any county with a population of at least 750,000 may establish by
18. directive
areas for parking of vehicles on lands owned or leased by the county; for
19. regulating or prohibiting parking of vehicles on such areas or parts of such areas,
20. including, but not limited to, provision for parking in such areas or parts thereof for
21. only certain purposes or by only certain personnel; for forfeitures for violations
22. thereof, but not to exceed $50 for each offense; and for the enforcement of such
23. ordinances directives. In all other counties, the board may perform these functions
24. by enacting ordinances.

Click to open Senate Bill 777: