MILWAUKEE – Supervisor Ryan Clancy is proposing a series of amendments to the 2021 County budget that would invest more than $2.6 million in County services and infrastructure to help meet the increasingly pressing needs of Milwaukee County residents. Clancy will present his amendments to the Board’s Finance Committee at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.
“I’ve been hearing a clear and consistent message from the residents of Milwaukee County for months. From the results of the County Executive’s online Balancing Act budget tool to every town hall and listening session we’ve had, the consensus is clear: the people demand more funding for human needs, and less for law enforcement,” said Clancy.
Clancy’s amendments would shift resources from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) – which has exceeded its allocated overtime budget by an average of more than $5 million per year for the past six years – to other County departments that are underfunded.
Supervisor Clancy’s amendments would reallocate or cut the following amounts as summarized here:
1) $286,500 to expand the Parks Engagement Office to coordinate volunteer and community outreach (Parks)
2) $476,075 to expand the Park Ranger program (Parks)
3) $500,000 for a systemwide Parks strategic infrastructure plan (Parks)
4) $200,000 for flexible funds to reduce obstacles to housing (Housing)
5) $61,185 for a housing position to reduce homelessness (Housing)
6) $100,000 to explore expanding the use of existing buildings to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness (Housing)
7) $136,000 to keep Senior Centers open virtually and to provide essential services (DOA)
8) $92,700 to provide tablets to older adults for Senior Center programming and community communication (DOA)
9) $500,000 to fund a kitchen for a community-led culinary program for incarcerated youth (DCFS)
10) $65,000 to keep the Domes and Boerner Botanical Gardens open year-round (Domes / Boerner)
11) $33,350 to increase access to library materials through the Milwaukee County Federated Library System (Library)
12) $37,584 to fund and make Zoo internships more accessible (Zoo)
13) $71,892 for a new position at the Office of African American Affairs (OAAA)
14) $100,000 for temporarily extended health insurance benefits for separated County employees (Health)
15) -$73,000 for unmarked MCSO fleet costs (MCSO)
Clancy’s proposed reallocations are roughly equivalent to 60,000 hours of overtime costs that are discretionary, non-mandated, or duplicative, such as deployments of MCSO resources to incidents when MCSO was not called on for mutual assistance and local police are in control.
In testimony to the Finance Committee on October 13, Sheriff Lucas affirmed that not all deployments of MCSO resources are mandated by the state and acknowledged that many deployments are discretionary and not even a response to mutual aid requests from the 19 Milwaukee County municipalities.
According to an email from MCSO Chief of Staff Ted Chisholm, “In the jail, our staff have worked 59,415.64 hours of overtime this year compared to 96,871.22 last year. In the courts, our staff have worked 11,898.23 hours of overtime this year as opposed to 34,265.50 hours last year.” Clancy’s amendments convert the 59,823 fewer hours of overtime to a net savings of $2,660,286 and reallocates that amount to other departments.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on Clancy’s proposed amendments and adopt a final version of the 2021 Milwaukee County budget on November 9.
The public is invited testify at the Board’s annual public hearing on the County budget at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30, at 4:00 p.m. Advance registration is encouraged.