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Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

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Milwaukee County is one of 72 counties in Wisconsin. The county seat is Milwaukee.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Wisconsin county websites
Grade2.pngD
Budget
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Meetings P
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Elected Officials
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Administrative Officials P
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Permits, zoning N
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Audits
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Contracts P
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Lobbying N
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Public records N
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Local taxes
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Transparency grading process


The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for four years.[2]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 11 years.[3]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[4]
    • Meeting video or podcasts are available.
  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[5]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[6]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address and phone number.
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2004 are available.[7]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[8][9]
  • Local Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[10]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[11]

The bad

  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are not provided.
  • Administrative officials
    • Individual emails are not provided for all administrative officials.
  • Building permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are not posted online.
    • Permit applications cannot be downloaded on the site.
  • Contracts
    • Approved contract statements are not available for vendors above $10,000.
  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed, nor is the total cost of lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is not identified. Ballotpedia requires a mailing address, phone number and personalized email be listed with this position.

Public employee salaries

Main article: Milwaukee County employee salaries

Renee Booker was hired on Dec. 29, 2010 for the county's top administrative post by County Board Chairman Lee Holloway. A month later Booker left amongst accusations of incompetence and because of resistance to work with him by other county supervisors. For his one month of employment, Booker collected more than $52,000 from the county. His earnings included: $12,037 in wages, $25,000 for unused sick leave and $15,509 in vacation pay. He's also asking for the county to change his pension status, which would boost his checks by 25 percent.[12]

Open meeting violation

A Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge ruled the Milwaukee County Board violated open meetings law by voting for a countywide redistricting plan without giving adequate public notice. County Board Chairman Lee Holloway and the county board as a whole were ordered to pay $300 and attorney fees to the state.[13]

Lobbying

In 2008 and 2009, Milwaukee County reported $40,000 each year spent on lobbying.[14][15]

Public records

The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council performed an audit of compliance with the Wisconsin Open Records Law in 2008. Three in ten of the requests submitted were found to be ignored or responded to in violation of state law.

Milwaukee County provided requested records promptly and without incident.[16]

See "Audit finds nearly 10% of open records requests denied or ignored" for more.

County accountability

County Executive Scott Walker launched the Milwaukee County Accountability Portal “Milwaukee County Accountability Portal (MCAP)” website. The MCAP site provides information about county division purchases and program disbursements and offers data on Milwaukee County government spending.

“New technology allows us to post information for greater transparency in government spending,” said Walker. “We welcome the potential for increased participation from vendors in our community and encourage the public to view where money is spent in county government.”

The site allows the user to search and view payment totals by county division for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2009, to search and view payment totals by category of goods, services or program disbursements for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2009, to drill down to detailed information about the payments and to conduct basic or advanced searches for vendors and other recipients of county funds by name based on as much or as little information as you have available.[17]

News coverage

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covers Milwaukee County government news.[18]

External links

References