Governor Scott Walker says he wants to revitalize Milwaukee’s economy, but the mayor of Wisconsin’s largest city is skeptical about his motivations for doing so.
The governor on Monday announced his “Transform Milwaukee” plan, an initiative aimed at growing the industrial sector, creating jobs and dealing with the city’s foreclosure crisis. Walker’s plan would be carried out by public and private partnerships, including a nearly $100 million investment from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
Walker says the plan will “strengthen Milwaukee by increasing industrial business development, creating jobs and improving neighborhoods.” He also believes the rest of state will benefit by increased economic development in the city.
While Mayor Tom Barrett welcomes the potential investment, he is a little skeptical about the governor’s timing. Barrett is one of the four Democrats running in a primary next week for a chance to take on Governor Walker in a recall election in June.
Speaking in Green Bay Monday, Barrett said he believes the “job he’s trying to preserve is his own job,” arguing that Walker has taken no interest in the serious problems facing Milwaukee for years.
Barrett says Walker’s recent decisions have actually caused more damage to the economy of the city. For example, he says massive layoffs are now expected at train maker Talgo after the state backed out of a contract with the company. The mayor says that decision will cost the city valuable jobs in one of the poorest areas in the state.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:11)