The Fighting 14th!

The official blog of Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas

Archive for the tag “General Mitchell International Airport”

Supervisor Haas Celebrates Construction Project; “East Layton Washboard” Now a Smooth Ride

Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Jason Haas, 14th District
For Immediate Release May 5, 2014
Contact:  Jay Saunders, Supervisor Haas’ Office
414/278-4051 or

Supervisor Haas Celebrates Construction Project

“East Layton Washboard” Now a Smooth Ride

Supervisor Jason Haas is happy to announce a big step in fixing East Layton Avenue on Milwaukee’s south side between South Howell Avenue and I-794. Sup. Haas nicknamed that stretch of road the “East Layton Washboard” because it was extremely bumpy.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently finished “diamond grinding” on Layton to smooth things out, and there is scheduled to be a complete re-paving of the area in the next year. Supervisor Haas coordinated the effort with the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation.
“I am happy people have a smooth ride along East Layton Avenue for the first time in years,” Supervisor Haas said. “The road was so bumpy I wouldn’t drive on it unless I had to.”
Last year, Layton Avenue was used as a detour during the rebuilding of Interstate 43. That meant increased traffic on Layton, including semi-trucks that neighbors could hear driving down the street.
“The sound of semis clanging and clanking down the street was really difficult for people living nearby to put up with,” Supervisor Haas said. “It was negatively impacting their quality of life, and that’s one big reason why I worked with County and State officials to take care of this problem.”
Diamond grinding involves removing a thin layer of a roadway using diamond saw blades. It is frequently used because it provides a smooth roadway and reduced road noise. WisDOT paid for this part of the project.

Busy week ahead: 3 committee meetings, 2 community meetings

This week will be rather busy.  The Parks, Energy and Environment Committee meets on Tuesday, and my “SuperPass” resolutionis on deck that day. Its purpose is to form “a Workgroup to explore a Super Pass for various park, recreation and culture facilities with the purchase of one card.”  I have often tried to wrap my brain around the myriad admissions and membership policies of the many County Attractions ad cultural institutions, but it proved to be a bit above my pay grade. The groups’ heads together under the auspices of the chairman of VISIT Milwaukee, whom I know has a hunch on how to make something work.

Still on Parks Committee, the Quarterly Financial Update from the Milwaukee Public Museum may prove quite interesting. Also, the committee will approve and adopt the Parks Department’s 5-year Capital Development Plan, which hopes to get some of the $250 million of deferred maintenance taken care of.

Time Warner Cable is seeking a “limited term easement to  to allow for the placement of a new fiber optic conduit packet under park property to better serve the public.” This is at Lake Park, in particular. We’ll see what the Friends of Lake Park think o that proposal.

Finally, there is a resolution “authorizing the Public Art Program and Committee to be placed on an official hiatus to last no longer than the duration of 2012, while the County Executive along with the Department of Administrative Services provide reports on how to successfully locate an adequate funding source that will allow for the program’s reactivation and continuity, as outlined in County Board policy.”

The above is all Parks Committee stuff.  Then on Thursday is the  Finance and Audit Committee meeting, And here’s the agenda (PDF). Following that on Friday is the Personnel Committee meeting, some of the content from that meeting will overlap with the  Finance and Audit—hence our interest in combining the two committees.

Back to Monday. I had a meeting earlier today with Chris Linberg, former Executive Manager of Technology Services for MillerCoors, now the Milwaukee County Information Management Director.  Chris has made a big jump from MillerCoors to the County, and I’m very glad he’s on board. With him, we will be able to start moving into the 21st century. Like me, he was struck by the amount of drift that has occurred in the County over the past many years. A lot of things are stuck in the past, simply because that’s the way they’ve always been done. With Chris’s help, we will change that for the better.

This afternoon we have a meeting at General Mitchell International Airport concerning the 128th Air Refueling Wing. The County Board has approved the concept of keeping the 128th here.  The meeting is with local businesses who may be affected if and when the federal government and Air Force decide to keep the 128th here and wish to expand it.

Wednesday has the Airport Gateway Business Improvement District’s annual meeting, and a County Dept. of Transportation lunch event. On Thursday we have the Army Corps of Engineers open house on the KK River rehabilitation, which runs from 4-7PM at the Jackson Park Boathouse, 3500 W. Forest Home Ave, Milwaukee.

Three committee meetings. Lots of phone calls and other events. Not too shabby.

Today’s theme is Transportation

9:00: Airport Noise Advisory Committee meeting

11:30: meeting w/CEX, Sup. Jursik re: MCTS route changes

2:00 meeting in Cudahy w/Sup. Jursik re: MCTS route changes

What follows, we’ll see.

October 27, 2011 Milwaukee County budget hearing

Naturally, the only one that I physically could not attend is the one where they vote on the tax levy. I have little doubt that County Executive Abele will veto it, but we’ll see how it plays out.



Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance & Audit Committee is holding a series of public meetings throughout October on the County Executive’s 2012 Recommended Budget.  Each day, the Committee reviews a number of specific departments and items in the budget.

Today, the Committee reviewed the following departments and approved the noted amendments:

• Amendment approved 6-0 to abolish two Noise Abatement Specialist positions and create three new positions at General Mitchell International Airport to assist in operations.

• Amendment approved 4-2 (No: Mayo, Thomas) to adopt policy that the tax levy support for the Department of Parks for the next four years, 2013 through 2016, shall not be less than the tax levy budgeted for this department in the 2012 adopted budget.

Department of Administrative Services
• Amendment approved 5-0-1 (Abstain: Thomas) to create a separate and stand-alone Department of Comptroller and Finance, and retitle the positions of Controller and Deputy Controller to Comptroller and Deputy Comptroller.   The position of Comptroller shall be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Board, and shall be removable from office for cause with the concurrence of both the County Executive and a majority vote of the County Board, or by a two-thirds vote of the County Board.  A number of other positions are transferred from DAS-Administration and Fiscal Affairs Division to the Department of Comptroller and Finance.  The comptroller shall be a position in the classified service and shall have an employment contract duration of five years, commencing January 1, 2012 and which shall be renewable for additional five year terms upon approval from by the County Board and concurrence of the County Executive.

Milwaukee County Transit/Paratransit
• Amendment approved 6-0 to report on the availability of a live feed of real time information on bus location using GPS technology and study electronically posting project times of arrival at heavily-frequented bus stops.

Employee Fringe Benefits
• Amendment approved 6-0 to decrease the proposed employee monthly premium for the family plan to $170 from $250, decreased the proposed office visit co-pay to $30 from $40, and decrease the annual out-of-pocket limit for preferred providers to $2,500 single/$5,000 family, from $3,000/$6,000 respectively.

Budget Amendment No. 2
• Amendment approved 6-0 to reflect personnel actions approved by the Personnel Committee and the County Board that are not included in the County Executive’s 2012 Recommended Budget.
Ordinance Changes

County Ordinances
• Ordinance amendment approved 3-2-1 (No: De Bruin, Mayo, Excused: Johnson) to add that any surplus sales and use tax revenues be applied toward county expenditures, including prefund employee benefit costs or fund unanticipated or extraordinary annual increases in such costs; or supplement the Appropriation for Contingencies.
• Ordinance amendment approved 4-1-1 (No: De Bruin, Excused: Johnson) to increase admission and parking fees at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
• Ordinance amendment approved 4-1-1 (No: Mayo, Excused: Johnson) increasing fees for certain parking violations in Milwaukee County.
• Ordinance amendment approved 4-1-1 (No: Mayo, Excused: Johnson) to abolish language relating to the reimbursement of Continuing Legal Education credits and membership dues for the Wisconsin Bar Association for non-represented attorneys and State-employed prosecutors in the Office of the District Attorney.

State Exempt Computer Aid approved 5-0 (Excused: Johnson)

Property Tax Levy (as amended)
• 5-1 (No: Schmitt) to approve property tax levy of $275,392,969, an increase of $5,838,268 or 2.17% from the previous year (9.6 million below the State-imposed levy cap for 2012)

2012 County Budget (as amended)
• 5-1 (No: Schmitt) to approve

The Committee’s final meeting on the 2012 County Budget is Wednesday, November 2 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 203-R of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The County Board’s annual Public Hearing on the 2012 Budget is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 31 at the Washington Park Senior Center, located at 4420 W. Vliet Street in Milwaukee.

The County Board of Supervisors, under the leadership of Chairman Lee Holloway, will adopt the 2012 Budget on Monday, November 7 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Milwaukee County 2012 budget hearings, Day 7 (10/18/2011)

A day late, but there’s no hearing today, or the rest of the week. So it works out. I’ll add my notes later on.

Hearings will resume on Monday, October 24th at 1:00 p.m.

On the 18th, the Finance & Audit Committee reviewed the Capital Improvement Budget, including the following items:

• General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) – Airfield Safety Improvements
• GMIA – Runways 1L – 19R & 7R – 25L Intersection Re-Paving
• GMIA – Redundant Main Electric Service Feed
• GMIA – Training Facility
• Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport (LJT) – Runway 15L – 33R Extension
• GMIA – Purchase of Non-County Owned Jet Bridges
• GMIA – Terminal Roadway Signage
• GMIA – Cessna Service Apron Reconstruction
• GMIA – Perimeter Road Bridge over Howell Ave
• GMIA – Perimeter Road Extension 128th ARW to College
• GMIA – Terminal Escalator Replacement
• LJT – Runway and Taxiway Light Replacement
• GMIA – Fuel Farm Electrical Service Upgrade

• Zoo Master Plan

Other County Agencies
• Fleet Equipment Acquisition
• Countywide Infrastructure Improvements
• Fiscal Automation Program
• Milwaukee County Revolving Loan Fund
• Special Assessments

Hearings will resume on Monday, October 24th at 1:00 p.m.

Milwaukee County 2012 budget hearings, Day 6 (10/17/2011)

I have been attending every Milwaukee County Finance & Audit Committee hearing on the proposed 2012 county budget. As part of that, I have been posting notes from each meeting. I have posted the previous five entries on my personal blog, and will get them moved over here soon.

When I make comments about a budget item, the comments are placed inside [brackets.]

I took extensive notes and participated in today’s session. So you might think that I’d have more typed up right now… but I took the notes the old-fashioned way—pen and paper. I’ll go off memory for the more interesting stuff.

• • •


Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance & Audit Committee is holding a series of public meetings throughout October on the

County Executive’s 2012 Recommended Budget

Each day, the Committee reviews a number of specific departments and items in the budget. Today, the Committee reviewed the following budgets:

• Milwaukee County Transit/Paratransit System – Amendment approved 5-1 (No: Thomas) to increase the commuter value pass premiums by $6 per quarter

[This would raise the cost to $201, if I am not mistaken. There was questioning of why the most dedicated riders would be stuck with the sole cost increase. Also, many paratransit riders and their advocates came to talk about how difficult a steep increase in the paratransit fare would be for them.]

• Civil Air Patrol

• DOT – Airport

• DOT – Highway Division

• DOT – Transportation Services

• DOT – Fleet Management

• DOT – Director’s Office

• DAS – Facilities Management

[I believe the county security guards fell under this segment. They are slated to be replaced by contracted security guards from Wackenhut Services. I made a request for information on the turnover rate of Wackenhut employees working in County facilities. There is a small chance that these jobs will not be privatized. But if we don’t do that, where would the projected $100,000 savings come from? As Supervisor Romo West noted, it seems that privatizations save money in the first year, but cost more in the second year and thereafter. I do want to see more than anecdotal evidence of this, and at the same time, I do not support the privatization of these or other jobs.]

• DAS – Architectural, Engineering and Environmental Services

• DAS – Water Utility

The Committee will continue its review of budgets and consideration of amendments throughout October in Room 203-R of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Click here to access the 2012 budget meeting schedule

Click here to listen to live audio from the meetings

(available while meetings are in progress)

Click here to access the Budget Overview presented by County Board Staff

The County Board of Supervisors, under the leadership of Chairman Lee Holloway, will adopt the 2012 Budget on Monday, November 7 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The County Board’s annual Public Hearing on the 2012 Budget is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 31 at the Washington Park Senior Center, located at 4420 W. Vliet Street in Milwaukee.


Welcome to the 14th!

Hello, I’m Jason Haas, Milwaukee County Supervisor, 14th District. My district is entirely within the city of Milwaukee. I have a splash of Lake Michigan on the east, and College Avenue along the south. It is generally south of Oklahoma Avenue, with 20th, 27th and 35th Streets being the western borders. General Mitchell International Airport is in my district, along with a total of nine County Parks. Here’s the official county map:

Those are the 2004 borders. The northern border will become a bit more angular in November, when the new districts take effect. We’ll post the map then.

• • •

I have been serving on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors since April 21, 2011. All supervisors serve on several committees. My committee assignments are three: Parks, Energy and Environment, better known as “Parks”; the Transportation, Public Works and Transit, or “Transit”;  and the much shorter-named Personnel Committee. All three do very important work within the county government. Few have given me deeper insights into the county’s inner workings than the Personnel Committee, while the other two deal with what is largely the basis of our quality of life in the county.

Although I’ve been on the board for just six months so far, I have striven to do a great deal of work in the community. I regularly attend neighborhood meetings, and have held one town hall meeting about the 2012 proposed budget, with another coming on Wednesday October 25 at the Wilson Park Senior Center.

Another exiting event will happen on the 20th of October at Saveland Park. We will be meeting at 7:00PM in the Saveland Park Pavilion to discuss forming a group called Friends of Saveland Park. That group’s purpose will be to help create community events at the park, and to raise both awareness and money for repair and improvement of the park.

• • •

We are entering the second week of budget hearings. Tomorrow will focus on the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), which includes oversight of the airport and the county bus system. On top of that, we have these other sections in DPTW:

5070 DTPW - Transportation Services 
5080 DTPW - Architectural, Engineering and Environmental Services, 
5100 DTPW - Highway Maintenance 
5300 DTPW - Fleet Management 
5700 DTPW – Facilities Management 
5500 DTPW – Water Utility

Let me finish this by saying that if you want to see what a government really looks like and how it runs, sit in on a budget hearing. That’s where you see the inner mechanisms of this body. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but, that’s why we elect representatives to do that for us. I’m proud to say that I have been at every budget hearing we have held at the county courthouse. In about a month, the budget process will be over, and we will gird ourselves for whatever comes next.

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