The Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, which is meeting in Racine, has a message for the next Governor of Wisconsin. The Alliance wants the next governor, no matter who wins, to know that state policies are tying their hands as they try to deal with issues facing their cities.
Mayor John Dickert, current president of the organization, says the mayors want to send a clear and simple message to Madison, “we’re here to help.” Dickert says unlike the federal or state government, municipalities can’t ask Wall Street for money or print up new dollars.
Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna says continued reductions in state aid to cities is the result of a “broken relationship” with Madison. He says comprehensive reform in how cities and counties are funded needs to happen. “The state will not succeed if we don’t succeed, and vice versa,” says Hanna.
The mayors held a meeting earlier with Milwaukee Mayor, and candidate for Governor, Tom Barrett. The group is meeting today with the two Republican candidates, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former Congressman Mark Neumann. Dickert says the group doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate, just get a feeling for how they will react to the message.