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Sizing up the race for executive

Publisher's Notebook

September 20, 2013

By now, the platforms of the candidates for county executive have come into focus....

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Sep-20-13 6:18 AM

Perhaps what Mr. Johnson means when he says they deserve better is not financial. It may be the way they are treated and valued. Not everything is about money.

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Sep-20-13 8:27 AM

Why can't Mr Johnson tell us how he plans to upright the county home without massive pay cuts to employees?

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Sep-20-13 11:59 AM

Quotes from last year:

"Keeping the CCH, and (preventing) taxpayers from having to subsidize it with local tax dollars is the right, fiscally responsible thing to do."-George Borrello, R-Irving.

"'s important to do the right financial thing.-Chuck Nazzaro.

"I've been a supporter of this technique of maximizing our tax dollars, and that's really what we're doing here, because it's tax dollars we're using to fund this IGT. But we're getting double for our money by having federal dollars match dollar-for-dollar in our investment."-County Exec Greg Edwards.

Since we got "double our money", we essentially converted the initial appropriations (temporary local cost) into a slight profit.

These people actually did something smart for a change yet now oppose it?

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Sep-20-13 1:08 PM

It could not be clearer on the issue of CCH.

One candidate sees the Home as an ASSET. Something we could build on (remember at one time it MADE money), to reduce costs and increase revenues while caring for our most vulnerable citizens.

The other sees it as a LIABILITY...and is willing to sell even at a loss, hoping that the residents, both current and future, will be served elsewhere.

Seems pretty simple and straight forward to me.

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Sep-20-13 3:05 PM

Good one, Captain - Edwards' comment, especially, is interesting...

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Sep-20-13 3:05 PM

Judeye is wrong again. She is presuming that the patients will have to go elsewhere. Why? She also infers that the facility will somehow be gone. Once again, wrong. In reality, the new prospective owners are talking about expanding the facility to provide even more services for county residents. Everybody know that the real issue here has nothing to do with patient care or losing the facility. Instead, it has everything to do with unions and employee costs. The fact of the matter is that the home is unsustainable without substantially reducing the pay/benefits of existing employees.

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Sep-20-13 6:23 PM

Carlaw: you offer concern about CCH's sustainability, yet all the public schools in this county collectively receive hundreds of millions of $$$ in taxpayer-funded subsidies (in addition to our individual school property tax obligation). What'll happen to area schools if/when state aid dries up? The sheriff's dept alone has an annual operating budget of $24M. How much profit is the CCSD, the airports, transfer stations, DPW, etc earning?

At least the CCLeg has converted a relatively small appropriations to operate the home into a small profit.

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Sep-20-13 8:17 PM

Truth be told neither candidate will be able to make major changes. The plus I see in Johnson is he is not part of the previous package. I doubt he can accomplish much because the Legislators will buck him. As for Horrigan he just spews the same old BS. He has no new thoughts at all. As for heading the Red Cross that is no recommendation. I get from taxpayers and I spend. I'm not taking away from what they do but running it is not a qualification for running a County.....sorry. With Horrigan you have the same old ideas trying to get a different result. With Johnson what do you have to to the game and at least has some different thoughts. Horrigan is like voting in an incumbent and we all know what they do. I say take a chance and vote Johnson!!!

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Sep-21-13 6:51 AM

I agree w/Carlaw's suggestion that employees' pay and benefits must be curtailed, but I believe such cost reform should apply to EVERYONE employed by the county (including non-union, dept heads, admins, etc), NOT just CCH unionized employees, otherwise, it's discriminately targeting CCH workers b/c the home isn't self-sustaining, when in fact most (if not all) county services and the facilities they operate aren't.

I believe this is why CCH workers haven't agreed to concessions yet, and probably won't until ALL county workers sacrifice equally.

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Sep-21-13 9:43 AM

Both are good men but as I see it this election is a referendum on the county home. We have all seen the "save our home" signs on lawns but we don't know how the rest of the people feel on the matter. I firmly believe that government should be the employer of last resort and every effort should be made to eliminate union positions in the public sector. Mr. Horrigan is the candidate most likely to streamline government, reduce costs and bring growth back to the county.

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Sep-21-13 10:57 AM

"...every effort should be made to eliminate union positions in the public sector."

Phil: I wish you'd lose your obsession against unions, specifically public unions. It's the ONLY reason why you (and all other anti-unionists) support selling the home, even if it was self-sustaining.

Contrary to what you believe, unions are not necessarily bad. Yes, in many cases unions abuse their power, but they also do a lot of good for their members. You yourself have benefited, both directly & indirectly, from organized labor. If you're unhappy with generous public employee wages & pensions, and I share these concerns, then blame the elected officials who approve them.

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Sep-21-13 3:46 PM

Captain....I would like to see you post a list of all the good unions do. They have gone beyond what their original purpose was when they were needed. Today they demand outrageous benefits and salaries. Tiday they contribute to failed business and sending manufacturing overseas!!!

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Sep-21-13 6:26 PM

CAPTAIN - you believe that unions are not necessarily bad. Then explain why only 7% of the private sector is organized while 45% of the public sector is organized. Explain why the vast majority of Wisconsin voters refused to repudiate Governor Walker for stripping unions of their bargaining power. The handwriting is on the wall and unions are a big part of the problem in our area. I know they did great things in the past but their most recent activities have been an abuse of power and a destructive force.

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