With Governor-elect Scott Walker looking for ways to cut the state budget deficit, a Democratic state lawmaker is suggesting he consider selling the Governor’s Mansion.
State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) argues the state doesn’t need to maintain a mansion for the governor, especially a 25 room mansion situated on lake front property in the Madison area.
The home located on Lake Mendota in Maple Bluff sits on 3.7 acres of land and has an estimated value of $2.5 million. Operations and upkeep of the home require 4.5 staff positions and an operating budget of $265,000. Wirch says the state should consider dropping expenses such as a mansion for the governor before it looks at cutting education or other basic services.
The Democrat notes several other states don’t furnish mansions for their chief executives, such as Arizona, California, and Rhode Island. He says the state has a nice Capitol building where the governor could entertain guests and costs could be cut down a great deal if the chief executive just moved into a “nice condo” while in office.
Wirch says change should start at the top, and “it’s hard to set a good example if you’re living in a mansion.”
Wirch offered a similar proposal eight years ago when Democratic Governor Jim Doyle first took office.
The mansion has been the governor’s executive residence since 1949.