The Fighting 14th!

The official blog of Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

18 Feb Technology (TEAM) Committee Meeting Report

Among my duties on the Milwaukee County Board is to chair the Technology, Efficiency, Adaptability & Modernization (TEAM) Committee, also known as the Technology Committee. It’s a special committee that meets at my calling, and does not create legislation. That said, it provides information to the rest of the Board for consideration by a regular (standing) committee, and then consideration by the full Board. People from the County’s Information Management Services Department (IMSD) speak to us and work with us on the various projects that come through the committee.

Today’s agenda had just three items, which I’ll go through line by line.

1. Presentation on implementing Open Data Standards (Matt Richardson, Milwaukee Data Initiative)

Open Data Standards are a way to turn the great piles of data that the Government accrues and make them readily available to the public. By making the data available, people on the outside can do cool things with it. For an example close to home, see what the City of Madison has done with its open data project, which they implemented just last year. They publish assessor property informationpolice data, and transit data, among other things. (Personally, I find the Vacant Land Sales page to be very interesting.) All of this was from data that the City of Madison already had on hand. But without the open data legislation by Madison Alder Scott Resnick, it wouldn’t be available in this fashion.

In Milwaukee County, we have arguably much more data available from many departments. Think of the possibilities. Then, we will begin to act on them.

Matt Richardson from the Milwaukee Data Initiative (creators of the MCTS Transit Stops and Times project) gave a presentation on what can be done with Open Data. Matt was able to answer questions from IMSD Director Chris Lindberg. James Carlson of Bucketworks also testified to the committee about the great improvements that we could gain through adopting open data. Director Lindberg, Mr. Richardson, and Mr. Carlson all expressed a great interest in working with one another. It is exciting to bring these new opportunities for systematic improvement to the County, and I think that the great technology community that we have here in Milwaukee to help pull the County into the future. With our work, it will be a portable, open technological future.

2. Update on Desktop Transformation Project (Laurie Panella, IMSD)

IMSD has been working on a detailed plan to transition the County away from Windows XP and Lotus Notes, which is (still) the base platform for most of our PCs. We also have dozens, if not hundreds, of customer applications written in Lotus Notes Domino and MS Access. IMSD presented their plan to move us, department by department, off of XP and onto Windows 7.

Director Lindberg also noted that the department has successfully transitioned the County’s IT backbone away from being based on from a super-extended local-area network and onto a fiber optic-based wide-area network. I don’t think I want to know how they made a LAN stretch from the Courthouse to the County Grounds in Tosa, but, it was done. I’m just glad it’s running on fiber now.

3. Schedule Next Meeting

As we meet at the call of the chair, I will do just that.


Board Actions on February 7, 2013

Below is the press release dealing everything that the County Board voted on at our last meeting.

It’s worth noting that most of the action, as it were, happens in our committee meetings. The work of the committees then goes to the full board for consideration and a final vote. Virtually everything was unanimously approved, including the final and most controversial item.


For Immediate Release February 8, 2013
Contact:  Velia Alvarez, Public Information Manager, 414/278-4230


· 16-0 to authorize and direct the Director of Health and Human Services and the BHD Administrator to develop a detailed implementation plan for mental health redesign in Milwaukee County (Originally directed in adopted resolution File No. RES 11-284)
· 16-0 to layover the confirmations of Supervisors: Alexander, Jursik, Lipscomb, and Taylor to War Memorial Corporation Board of Trustees for one cycle. (Items 2,4,5 and 6)
· 16-0 confirmation appointing Supervisor Russell W. Stamper II to Milwaukee Art Museum Board for a term expiring June 1st 2014. (Item 3)
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Finance, Personnel and Audit adopted, reports were received and placed on file. (Items 7-23)
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Health and Human Needs were adopted; reports were received and placed on file. (Items 24-33)
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Judiciary, Safety and General Services were adopted; reports were received and placed on file. (Items 34,35,37- 44)
· 13-3 (No: Borkowski, Mayo and Taylor) to authorize Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to set forth a model for the provision of shared services and transition of management of the County Correctional Facility- South from the office of the Sheriff to the Executive Branch. Effective April 2013. (Item 36)
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Parks, Energy and Environment, were adopted, reports were received and placed on file. (Items 45-50,52)
· 14-2 (No: Broderick and Jursik) requesting authorization to amend the Weigel Brocasting Co. and Hearst Corporation Lease Agreements by redirecting Parks general revenue to the designated Estabrook Dam Trust Account. (Item 51)
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Transportation, Public Works and Transit were adopted; reports were received and placed on file. (Items 53-59) Item 58 file 13-97 was adopted by the Finance, Personnel and Audit committee, moot in TPW.
· 16-0 all resolutions and ordinances from the committee on Economic and Community Development, reports were received and placed on file. (Items 60-64)
· 16-0 to request Audit Services Division of the office of the Comptroller to confirm that independent outside audit meets professional auditing standards. (Item 65)
· 14-2 (No: Broderick and Mayo) DAS requesting authorization to retain Reinhart Boerner and Van Deuren S.C. for legal services related to the downtown Transit Center and to extend legal services contract by $100,000. (Item 66)All other items on today’s agenda were approved with no objection.  The complete digest agenda from today’s meeting can be found on the County Legislative Information Center:

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.


County Board Meeting 02/07/13 Results

As provided by our Chief Committee Clerk: 

County Board Meeting 02/07/13 Results (2 seats vacant until spring election)


Approved Unanimous Voice Vote 16-0

Unfinished Business (1)

Item 1 File 12-850 Adopted as Substituted 16-0

Confirmation (2-6)

Item 3 File 13-98 Confirmed 16-0

Items 2, 4, 5 & 6 Laid Over one cycle 16-0

Finance Personnel & Audit (7-23)

All Adopted 16-0

Health and Human Needs (24-33)

All Adopted 16-0

Judiciary (34-44)

Item 36 File 12-987 Adopted 13-3 No: Borkowski, Mayo and Taylor

Balance Adopted 16-0

Parks (45-52)

Item 51 File 13-120 Adopted 14-2 No: Broderick and Jursik

Balance Adopted 16-0

TPW (53-59)

Item 58 File 13-97 Adopted in FPA (Moot in TPW)

All Adopted 16-0


ECD (60-64)

All Adopted 16-0

Special JUD & ECD (66)

Item 66 File 13-152 Adopted 14-2 No: Broderick and Mayo


Resolution Presented Under Suspension of the Rules (65)

Item 65 Adopted as Substituted 16-0 Cosponsor Supervisor Alexander


Transit Claims Disallowed Approved Unanimous Voice Vote 16-0

Citations Approved Unanimous Voice Vote 16-0

Commenced at 9:50 am

Recessed from 11:00 am until 11:26 am

Adjourned at 12:17 pm

(All times approximate)

* * * * * *

 All in all, most items passed unanimously, 16-0.  (We are down by two until the April 2013 election, when new occupants for the two vacant seats will be elected by the people of the districts.) One of the most consequential items was voting to increase the amount we would pay outside legal council to look at the public trust doctrine issues surrounding the proposed construction on the current site of the Downtown Transit Center. Of course, that won’t be what gets the headlines… and even that passed unanimously in the end.

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